Letter:Better A-level results since schools banished fear from the classroom

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The Independent Online
Sir: The concern over standards of A-level examinations is justified. Thankfully my daughter has just been granted a university place. However, I am acutely aware that her general knowledge is poor and this was confirmed when I devised the following set of questions.

1) Who was President of the US

before Clinton?

2) What is the capital of South Africa?

3) In what year did the First World

War commence?

4) What does PAYE stand for?

5) Name two fossil fuels.

6) Who wrote La Traviata?

7) Name one Graham Greene novel.

8) Who designed St.Paul's


9) What is the currency of India?

10) Which British newspaper has the

largest circulation?

She scored only two (questions one and five). I find this appalling. Are we devoting too much time to ensuring pupils are crammed with facts to pass exams while neglecting their overall knowledge and awareness of the world around them?


Hawkhurst, Kent