Thinking For The Individual

Formerly known as 'Thinking For The People', this site offers some reflections on the state of British society and her people from the perspective of a libertarian Conservative with a passionate belief in the pillars of freedom and responsibility.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Natural Aptitude Testing

As claims that universities are tending towards discrimination against students from private schools are becoming evermore voluble, I believe it is time to address the roots of these fears. So far as I can see, universities want students with natural ability that they can nurture, not simply some acquired polish. There is a great difference between the large number of privately-educated students who have gone through their academic careers being taught facts after facts, and a proportion of less well-off kids who have raw talent which has never been tapped. Perhaps it is fair to say that universities are crying out for natural aptitude, not some kind of 'textbook regurgitater'.

To meet this desire for true talent, I believe the examinations system should be reformed. As the A-Level and the GCSE are both the same kind of fact-based test, only one is slightly more in-depth than the other, why not replace one of them with an aptitude examination? I suggest that Years 12 and 13 (before the A-Level) may be devoted to studying the area of expertise a student wishes to study at university of make a career out of in later life. The only examination should be a test of natural aptitude, much like the American SAT which, until recently, was a test of abstract reasoning and which had done great things for education in that country.

To reform our examination system to test the natural aptitude of students would be real reform, worthy of a modern society like ours.

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