Texting times for exam chiefs

5th August 2005 at 01:00
It is rather a nice irony that news of the national exam body embracing the texting power of mobile phones comes at a time when it is also forced to clamp down on their misuse (page three). The Scottish Qualifications Authority is showing an appropriate sense of balance. The technology makes perfect sense for bringing exam results to pupils in the more far-flung parts of the country and, perhaps, to everybody else in due course. On the other hand, the authority has sent out a signal that the use of mobile phones to cheat in exams is an offence punishable by a "no award". We are glad to note, however, that the SQA is not being draconian: unit results are not affected, only the end-of-year exam which candidates can sit again next year.

Exams are, of course, artificial and the ban on external aids such as mobile phones, notes and calculators is not something that is replicated in real life. But exams are a test of ability and performance, so some restrictions are inevitable. Fortunately, however, in these days of lifelong learning, they are not the one-off chance for success they once were. Pupils who experience disappointment when the results come out next week, and those who guide them, should remember that.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today