Plausible reasons to be fearful 1

April 22, 2005

Putting university candidates through multiple-choice tests ("Exam boards unveil SAT rival", April 15) to determine their "potential" marks a new phase in the degradation of education in this country.

Thinking is not a "skill" detachable from the learning discipline in which it is embedded, not even in general terms such as mathematical or verbal reasoning. The use of multiple-choice style is open to very serious objections: the "thinking" such tests require is of a limited kind, and not suitable at all to any form of higher education.

Worse, they depend to a large extent on sheer chance. Such testing wipes out the need for young people to acquire any education at all.

As the A level has ceased to be a suitable discriminator for well-qualified candidates, it needs enhancement, not abolition. I suggest universities invite high-fliers to submit extended essays with the guarantee of an interview in order to defend their views.

Nigel Probert

Please login or register to read this article

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments