My big mouth: Are exams really getting easier?


Pass rates are at 98%.


By Ellie Harvey

With exam results improving year on year, the debate about whether they are getting easier to pass continues to dominate the headlines every summer.

As more and more students qualify for higher education it is hard to ignore the dispute about whether exam papers are getting simpler.

As a student who has gone through the painstaking process of A-levels and GCSEs, I think it is ignorant to assume that these exams were a lot harder several years ago.

Pass rates are at 98% and over a quarter of all grades are at an ‘A’ or higher, so something is definitely different for the modern day student. Critics of these results suggest that the questions on the exam papers are becoming less and less demanding as the money-obsessed government advertise universities and higher education as a necessity to success during a time when student fees are increasing dramatically.

However, is it wrong to criticise the government for squeezing money out of students who qualify for university? They in turn could increase the economic state of our country due to having the degrees that are becoming more and more important.

I would suggest that grades are improving not because the exams are getting easier, but because the teachers’ lessons and guidance is more exam focused. This means that students are more aware of what will appear in the exams and feel more prepared and confident going into the assessments.

It is important not to forget that we are in a digital age, and students in this time have easy access to past papers, advice, notes and help from exam boards plus more information on the various topics examined. With this accessibility and the ease of access to all of the necessary information, we should be worried if the exam results weren’t improving.

With the country in economic turmoil, students are increasingly attentive of the importance of having a ‘good job’. In the 21st century a ‘good job’ means a ‘good education’ and so there is unquestionably more pressure for students to focus their minds and create a richer future, without money problems.

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