GCSE and A Level examinations are rapidly approaching for thousands of students across the country. Yet the style of examination is far from perfect.


These exams are important milestones in a student’s education. A passing grade serves as a certification of competency in a subject. Good GCSE and A Level grades are usually needed for university acceptance or job offers. 


Grades are usually based on the scores of two or three exams sat at the end of the school year. This means years of education in a subject are defined by a couple of tests. For students who do not test well, or even just happen to have a bad day during the exam, their grades will likely be an inaccurate and unfair representation of their true academic aptitude. 


This one-size-fits-all approach to British standardised exams puts many students at an automatic disadvantage. Instead of basing grades solely on final exams, previous assessments and schoolwork should also be taken into account. This would create a more holistic grading process that is more representative of students’ true capabilities.


As anyone who has sat these tests would know, they can be very stressful. Putting less emphasis on final exams may put less pressure on students during the exam period. This could reduce test anxiety, which may cause students to perform better. 


For those sitting exams in the upcoming weeks, it is important to remember that these grades cannot truly define years of education. The best thing to do is work hard and try your best, and prioritise your physical and mental wellbeing.