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Exams are testing kids and teens

Updated: Aug 27

Exams have been the latest event to be hit by 2020. 


Algorithms and assessments have caused chaos to teenagers up and down the country who received their GCSE and A-Level results over the last two weeks. Subsequently, debate around the effectiveness of exams has filled the front pages and news programmes but what do the people whose future will be shaped by these systems think? 


Less than half (40%) of UK kids and teens aged 7-14, think that tests and exams are a good way of testing knowledge. 


Interestingly, that opinion changes with age. With kids facing statutory testing from Reception, the more exams they do seems to affect their belief in them – 49% of UK 7-year-olds agree with tests and exams as an effective way to test knowledge vs only 26% of UK 13-year-olds.  And despite girls consistently performing better in exams than boys*, boys are more likely to agree that tests and exams are a good thing (42%) compared to girls (38%).


The last two weeks’ events seem to have had little effect on opinions for most age groups but we’ve seen an increase in a preference for no exams and tests at school in 8-10-year-olds. Compared to when we asked the same question in June, last week we saw increases of up to 6% amongst this cohort. 


However, it's worth bearing in mind that over the last 6 months TikTok has become the most popular source of news amongst kids and teens, so even if they are not of exam age, they are more than aware of the current exams debacle and the impact on their generation.  How the fallout hardens their opinions going forward remains to be seen.


But with kids and teens, and increasingly teachers, requesting alternatives to testing, is now the time to look at a new educational approach for Gen Alpha and Gen Z?  


If you’d like to know more, please get in touch. We’re here to help. 


*Sources: 

The Guardian

BBC News