Does it matter if exam results are wrong?

I have lost count of the number of times we have been informed of problems with exam results. They have either been the result of exams that are too easy, or too hard. This year some have apparently been marked incorrectly and there is a lot of fuss over whether or not the results should be changed.

Does it matter?

In the 1950s the exam system was very different. At the age of 11 all pupils took the 11 Plus. You either passed, or didn’t. If you failed you were educated at a Secondary Modern, Grammar School was the result if you passed. Was it that simple?


At the time it was apparently more important for a boy to pass the exam than a girl. There were quotas to reach – X numbers of boys and Y numbers of girls. Many  boys failed, some by just a few points. This meant that quotas weren’t met. Conversely many girls passed, but there were no places for them. A system was introduced called ‘Second Chance’. Miraculously boys passed and girls failed. Quotas were satisfied. No fuss. No chance of argument. In fact, no-one knew until many years later.

Did it matter?

Frankly, from this distance it didn’t, but I’m sure that many of you will have a different opinion. I know a number of women who were victims of this unfair selection process and all have said that their lives have been fulfilled and satisfying. I know a number of women who went to Grammar School and regret that they weren’t able to investigate other skills that became apparent during their education. Some men grew up being channelled into jobs that they hated. Most men who were educated by that system couldn’t wait to retire.

So what do you think? Surely, if wide ranging education is available to all age groups everyone can reach their full potential in this ever changing world? The important thing is to make sure that education is affordable and available. I’d love to know what you think.

6 thoughts on “Does it matter if exam results are wrong?

  1. I’m one of the ‘second chancers’. I ‘failed’ the second time, apparently my year had the biggest intake of girls into grammar school. I didn’t hear about the policy until many years later, and was amazed. Not only did the system fail me at that point, as my birthday was late in August I missed a whole year of schooling!


  2. I went to grammar school, they tried to brain wash us into thinking we were better than everyone else. They failed. One of my brothers is rich, but appears old and lonely because he accepted that doctrine.


  3. I ‘passed’ my eleven plus and got a good education, but my gripe is, why does anyone have to fail? Just because the acacemic route isn’t the best way for someone, it doesn’t make them a failure. Expecting all kids to stay in school until 18 and then go on to university is naive, some kids are much betting at ‘doing’ and they should be encouraged too. I will get off my soap box now 🙂


    1. Wendy, I agree. There is almost no point to exams in the first place at the lower levels. Funnelling people into academic qualifications is one of the reasons our country is in such a state. (Sadly, only one…… )


Comments are closed.