Friday, 20 May 2011

Letter From School

Daniel took his Geology exam today. As if I'm not stressed enough, a letter came home from school adressed to Mick and I advising us that there had been some technical problems.

This year is the first year that the exam has been computerised. From the letter it appears that the exam turned in to chaos when there were technical issues, with some students unable to answer one of the questions, some students found that all their answers had disappeared completely and some students found they couldn't go back and check their answers once they had finished.

Daniel had answered all the questions but 'lost' half of them after the screen froze and ended up having to write half of them out.

Apparently, it was a nationwide problem caused by the provider's software. We have been assured that the circumstances will be fully considered in the marking and awarding of grades.

I don't think this is acceptable. Daniel is very laid back and I know this won't affect his confidence in other exams, but that's not to say that this is the case for all students. Apart from that, why has this happened? Surely the examining body had checked and double checked the software. It doesn't seem so.

Mick tried to contact the exam officer once we'd received the letter but he was unavailable. He left a number for a callback but we haven't heard anything yet. We're left to stew over the weekend.


  1. oh you poor things, your lad must being feeling awful not knowing whats going on, i do hope that you can get it sorted x

  2. Oh my goodness that is just disgusting!!

    We've had a new software installed at work and it's caused no end of problems despite the promises the company assured us of but business can deal with that, children in exams shouldn't have to go through these problems!

    I hope you get some helpful information back,

    Victoria xx

  3. oh no. what a nightmare! Hope it is sorted ok. Those kids must be in a right tizz. sheesh.
    Hope you manage to relax this weekend.

  4. Thats just appalling Jo.
    Poor Daniel. At the time of sitting the exam it must have been a nightmare for them, wondering if it was their own fault first of all I expect, before realsiing there was a real hiccup.
    Terrible, so sorry for Daniel and all the other children sitting that exam today.
    Hope all the parents make a huge fuss as its unacceptable.
    Thanks for your lovely supportive comment today - I really am finding all this stressful despite the fact its poor Bella taking the wretched things!
    I can't settle to do anything through worrying that everything is alright for her, whether she's at school sitting an exam or at home revising! Yet outwardly having to be calm for her!!!
    Good Luck to Daniel with the rest of his exams, I do hope he doesnt have any more nonsense like today and that he's still cool with it all - they are surprisingly resilient with this sort of thing.
    Gill xx

  5. That is disgraceful, don't they understand this is going to affect people futures! Just think of the panic you would feel in that situation, especially in exam condition when you wouldn't automatically feel able to question it!
    I hope he can put it aside and wish him luck with his other exams!
    I have been really bad at keeping up with my commenting! I have dedicated the weekend to catching up! Now Sophie is sleeping so well I have a bit of free time in the evening!!! Yay!!!

  6. That really is totally unacceptable. Problems like this should have been idenitified and sorted before the software was given the go ahead. As if exam time isn't hard enough for all concerned.
    Hope you manage to have a somewhat relaxing weekend.
    Lisa x

  7. Just asked my lad and all theres are still paper based - although thats not fool proof either. My only advise would be to relax this weekend - theres nothing you can do about it and hopefully it'll all be sorted next week. xx

  8. What a joke that is! I'm glad Daniel is taking it all in his stride though. I hope you get a response from them soon. XxX

  9. Thank you for all your supporting comments. GCSEs are stressful enough without things like this happening. I can't see that there's anything they can do about it now, I just hope that it's taken in to consideration when they mark the exam. Thank you also for all the good wishes for Daniel.

    Lisa - That was my initial reaction, problems should have been identified before the exam. So annoying.

    Diane - It's only the geology exam which is computerised, all the rest are paper based (thank goodness), though as you say, they're not fool proof either. I've heard of many hiccups in previous years.