Exams are the most hated villain of the education system. It makes sense for students to hate exams for the reasons which are so obvious but even experts are agreed upon their insufficiency in terms of determining true potential. Perhaps, this is the reason why think tanks are urging universities to reduce the entry grades for disadvantaged students so that their circumstances and social-cultural background don’t mask their true abilities.
Slashing Entry Grades for Disadvantaged Students
Since last one year, a recommendation from prominent think tanks asking universities to slash entry grades for disadvantaged students are making headlines.
One such suggestion came from a report for Scottish funding council (SFC) which recommended cutting exams results for some prestigious courses.
The Durham university report for SFC had argued that since exams don’t show the exact potential of a student, universities must consider other parameters as well. It further suggested cutting entry requirements for A-levels to 5B.
FEA Report Urging to Slash Entry Grades
Another notable report that recommends cutting entry grades for A- Levels came from FEA (Fair Education Alliance). The report acknowledged that UK universities were already giving weight to a contextual analysis for making admission offers like checking this socio-economic background etc. but it emphasized on using a more ambitious approach to make the process more transparent.
Overall, the report stressed upon offering an equal opportunity irrespective of social and ethnic background so that universities can unlock the potential of even the disadvantaged students. And, youngsters don’t need to be worried about how to select universities for higher education.
Need for Cutting Entry Grades
Many Ivy League colleges require students to have high grades in A-levels in order to get enrolled in prestigious courses. They do so in order to determine whether a student is academically capable of pursuing higher education or not. But, A-level grades don’t always determine what a student is capable of achieving, a student might have got low graded because he had troubles, some medical issues, he was from a disadvantaged background where his parents were not much educated or his economic conditions didn’t allow him/her to concentrate on studies.
Denying students admission in prestigious courses only because they couldn’t make significant academic achievements in high school can be unfair. It can bar the students, unable of making their report cards glorious due to some unfortunate reasons or some kind of under privilege.
While reports say that raising the bar higher for entry requirements, often makes the disadvantaged students suffer they should also take into account the fact that even a student from a privileged background might not be able to reflect his/her potential in form of grades.
Therefore, universities must evaluate a student’s admission application form multiple perspectives and mustn’t judge his/her academic ability only on the basis for required entry grades. And, such a rule must be helpful not only for the disadvantaged students but for those coming from all the backgrounds.