Don’t dismiss the efforts of students taking exams in 2013

Students receive their A-Level results at Burnley College.'Photo Ben Parsons
Students receive their A-Level results at Burnley College.'Photo Ben Parsons
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It is that time of year that just about everyone in local newspapers really hates. Yes, our Thursday mornings are even more manic than usual and the following day you are able to read all the local GCSE and A Level results.

We only hate them for purely logistical reasons.

But other people hate them because they believe the exams are just too easy and the resulting certificates don’t count for anything.

That is not a theory I can ever agree with.

The first reason I can’t go along with the “not worth the paper they’re printed on” brigade is that I have never actually sat a GCSE or A Level in their current form and my recollection of my own children’s course work is limited, to say the least.

The second reason I will not have the hard work of this year’s students denegrated by others is the current 16, 17 and 18-year-olds can only pass the exams in front of them.

And the third, and probably most important, reason is that, from what I have seen of some of the course content of current schooling, it is much more relevant than some of my own studies which started 40-ish years ago.

Knowing the Schlieffen Plan made the Great War almost inevitable has never done me any good at all, other than blurting it out as a correct answer during a episode of “The Chase”.

Not since the day Virginia Wade won Wimbledon, my final day at high school, have I felt the need to draw an annotated map of Southampton Harbour.

And, from my vicarage upbringing, I probably already knew as much about the Synpotic Gospels as anyone at school was ever going to teach me.

Don’t get me wrong about my own schooling.

I have retained a great deal of knowledge from the likes of Miss Smith, Mr Wilkinson, Mr Chapman, Mr Crewe, Mrs Wightman, Mr Lowe and Mr Pile as I am ever likely to need.

But were the exams I sat in 1977 and 1979 as difficult as those sat 20, 30 or 40 years earlier?

I have no idea. All I know is we did our best and got the results the marking guide of the time said we deserved.