Letter: Working hard to raise standards

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The Independent Online
Sir: I write in response to your article "New examination system set to boost A-level pass rate" (5 August). While wholeheartedly agreeing with proposals for improving standards in education and a more varied university application system, as a 17-year-old student expecting modular A-level results in both mathematics and economics this August, I find the criticism levied at standards in education unfair and disheartening.

I would refute any suggestion that A-levels have been rendered any easier by the modular retake option. Although, as your article states, any number of resits are theoretically possible, given the constraints of time combined with the serious pressures of other modules pending and the large quantity of relearning required for a successful resit, modular retakes are both impractical and often unsuccessful.

The whole point of the modular system was to provide greater motivation and allow pupils to succeed through their own dedication - not via lower thresholds. I and thousands of other pupils and teachers around the country have worked extremely hard all year towards the summer examinations and we do not expect our attainment to be denigrated by the annual round of cynicism.

What is the point in examination boards spending money to increase levels of attainment only to turn round and refuse to accept that standards have risen?


(aged 17)