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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 December 2005, 15:21 GMT
Pupils give views on exam time
Ken Macdonald chats to pupils for Soundtown
Ken Macdonald chats to pupils for Soundtown
Radio Scotland's Soundtown has gathered views on the country's exams system as part of "The Investigation" series.

Ken Macdonald travelled to Elgin to talk to pupils, parents and teachers at Elgin High School.

He heard from 4th year pupil Shelly MacDonald, who's preparing to sit her prelims.

She said: "Obviously there is a purpose to exams, but there's a lot of unnecessary pressure too. And a lot what you need to know to pass the exam is irrelevant to life."

Shelly felt she would be learning a lot more at school if she didn't have to spend so much time studying for exams.

Fellow pupil Ryan Douglas also felt exams put too much pressure on pupils and should be spread much more throughout the year.

Other pupils felt it was unfair that an exam judged your performance on just one day rather than giving a better reflection of your work throughout the whole of Standard Grade.

Exam concerns

Although they did think there was purpose to exams to allow you to get a job or go on to university.

Parents of pupils at Elgin High were also sceptical about the exam system.

Wendy Toner's daughter Stacey is in 6th year and feels a lot of what she has to learn to pass exams is useless information, only required to get through the test.

Isobel Robertson's two sons have now left Elgin High. Her experience has left her feeling there is too much emphasis placed on getting exam results.

Her elder son did well with his exams and has since graduated from university, but doesn't have a job. Her younger son didn't like exams and couldn't wait to leave school.

He quickly got a trade and was earning money before his older, more qualified brother.

Ken Macdonald chats to pupils for Soundtown
Parents gave Ken their views on the education system

Kenny Ferguson, who has a son in fifth year, also thinks too much importance is given to exams.

He thinks they can be a good way of testing a pupil's knowledge of a subject, but all they really show is how well a pupil can revise for exams and handle the pressure on the day of the test.

According to Kenny exams do not show a child has a good understanding of a subject.

You can hear Radio Scotland's investigation into our exams system on Monday starting at 0850 GMT with Ken Macdonald and former Elgin High School pupil Gary Robertson.

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04 Dec 05 |  Scotland

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