For the last few years, AS and A level grades have been horrendously off course for many pupils. In particular, humanities subjects have suffered, with the marking being more subjective and often hard to examine. There has also been evidence raised that mis-marking may have been a way for exam boards to increase profits. This is causing many students to lose out on places at universities, which should otherwise have been rightfully theirs.
Back in 2009 the exam board chief - Jerry Jarvis - quit, stating that more needed to be done to see that higher grades were more difficult to achieve. He said the 'whole system risked failure' and that qualifications alluded to less value, as a result of consistently high grading. This also sparked off beliefs that the qualifications offered by UK Universities were increasingly more useful to foreign students, than those from the UK. It looks like his prayers were answered.
Since an enquiry in 2010, after 600 papers both GCSE and A level were returned incorrectly marked by AQA, much has been kept quiet about the poor quality of marking across the broad. One documentary in 2012 by Channel 4 News revealed there had been errors in the system of marking the previous year; errors which increased profits. Around £5.5 million was made that year from remark submissions, from both schools and individual pupils.
In 2013 all January modules were taken off the exam path by the #Government. At the time of this decision the justification was that there is a 'resist' culture from young people to work hard at their subjects, and the move to push all papers to summer should have helped to improve this. However this decision received criticism, as it was implemented in some cases through the middle of students' A level course. Rumours also spread that these grades were lowered at the last batch of January examinations, to back up the evidence that testing at this time were causing poor results.
In a school located in the South West, humanities faced a huge hit in marking. One student who had been obtaining A* grades in Geography throughout her course obtained a C grade on her January mark. After requesting her paper for review she was informed by teachers, that her exam should have gained an A* grade. She was entered confidently for a remark and still the grade did not increase. Remarks can cost between £20-£60 per exam, and this is only refunded if the grade boundary is crossed.
In many instances, the whole academic years' grade: of subjects like English Language and Literature, were submitted by the school for re-evaluation. This was following a single remark of a significant increase. And yet, results day on 14th August this year, three quarters of the top universities in England were still offering over 3,000 places through clearing. Statistics show that the percentage of A grades achieved have dropped by an average of 0.3% over the last four years.
The consistent appearance of atrocious grading in recent years, along with the lack of light cast upon the issue, suggests that this is a topic that the government want to keep quiet. Hundreds of students each year have missed out on top university spots and are paying for this corruption, whilst punters sit by silently. #David Cameron