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The country’s 16-year-olds call for fairness measures in exams

Two-thirds of this year’s Year 11 students favour knowing which topics will be in the exam and more generous grading.

Year 11 students across the country are calling for a range of fairness measures to be introduced for GCSEs in Summer 2021, reflecting the disruption to learning since lockdown in March this year.

In a survey of 2,649 16-year olds carried out by leading online content provider GCSEPod, “knowing which topics will be in the exam” scored highly as a fairness measure, with 66% of teens believing this would make exams fairer.

67% of respondents who are due to take their GCSEs next summer said that they would like to see grades being more generous, whilst a quarter (26%) favour having more options on which questions to answer in the exam.

Regional breakdowns are as follows:

Knowing which questions will be in the exam

Making grading more generous

Having more options on which questions to answer:

“It’s clear teenagers are really tuned in to the fairness debate around their exams, and – given all of the challenges everyone has faced this year – have clear views on what would make exams fairer. Ultimately, these are decisions for policymakers and politicians, but it’s important that amidst all of this we don’t forget who matters the most – the students.”

Anthony Coxon

Chief Executive of GCSEPod

GCSEPod provides short curriculum-mapped videos, known as ‘Pods’ authored by subject specialists and covering 28 subjects.

Currently accessible to more than 1 million teenagers, the online learning site has seen a recent surge in engagement from 14 and 15-year-olds, with its easily streamed and downloadable content available to watch at any hour of the day on any device. The platform appears to have struck a chord with teenagers who can spend small chunks of time studying, when it suits them, on their chosen device.

Over 9 million ready-made assignments have been submitted – and marked – by teachers, since lockdown – more than in the past two years combined.