Spread out exams and follow SQA guidelines

Spread out exams and follow SQA guidelines

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Usman Yusuf started this petition to Bellahouston academy

We understand the time available for the school to examine us has been limited as we haven't physically been in school for quite a bit of time due to the pandemic. However, current examination timings are unfair. We have all just undergone a two week period of preliminary exams. After having these 8 assessments in 8 schools days all back to back, I thought it couldn’t get worse than that, but my “assessment” sheet now tells me I have 8 exams in 5 schools days, the final ones this time. 

The dates the exams have been scheduled for, are back to back and done even on the same day. This is unfair and limits our ability to perform well on these exams. This is more stressful for us than having proper final exams, as they would be more spread out and we would have more than a 6 day notice, for some people, on when we would be assessed.

The SQA website clearly states: "Classroom based assessments should be spread out over the remaining weeks to help manage the marking and quality assurance activities as well as reduce pressure on learners" (URL: https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/93778.html). This means that there should be space between our exams and that we should not be having multiple on the same day, something that is currently occurring.

This website also states "Assessment opportunities shouldn't be one-off, high-stakes scenarios and should accommodate, as far as possible, the maximum opportunity for learners to perform well". This means that there shouldn't be "All or nothing" exams, something the science department is doing. We are having content heavy "one off" tries after missing school in June last year, having to self-isolate for some, as well as home schooling ourselves for 4 months. When we raised the issue of not being able to learn in class, we were told we would have a gap between both assesemnt periods. Some received a total of 3 school days.

Another reason we are all upset is that we are expected to attend school for 6 hours a day and on top study for our finals. We are also being asked to sit the full course assesemnt again for subjects like English, when we have already sat a full course assessment under exam conditions only 10 days prior. This also hinders the amount of time we have to study for each subject.  

For many, like myself in S5 these exams can determine a large part of my future career and doing well in them is my priority. However, with such back to back exams, I don't feel I will perform as well as I am capable to do so. Many of the S6 student do not have the luxury of having an extra year to more exams as I do. This adds to the stress of these students as many of them were already "done dirty" last year by predicted grades. We still want to sit our exams but not in the way that it is currently being given to us. Many feel the same as me and we are all of the consensus that the exam timetable should be changed.

Thank you for reading. 

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