Let students type exam answers: poll

Westminster School Year 12 students Alice Bradley, Alex John and Akash Patel

Westminster School Year 12 students Alice Bradley, Alex John and Akash Patel. Picture: Tricia Watkinson Source: adelaidenow

STUDENTS should be allowed to undertake their Year 12 testing on a computer, an online poll suggests, as thousands start their final exam block today.

Most of the state’s 13,557 students who sit the exams, will tackle them with pen and paper, without technology other than calculators.

But 47 per cent of 904 respondents to an adelaidenow survey say all students should have the option to type or write answers. A further 8 per cent said students should type their exams, not write them.

State Education Minister Grace Portolesi said technology had changed the way the department approached teaching and learning and this potentially might include introducing the use of computers in exams.

“Sitting exams is an important but often stressful part of the SACE for students and I’m always keen to hear suggestions on how we can help students more during this time,” she said.

“I am happy to consider the use of computers into the future but we need to ensure the process remains fair and equitable for students when any changes are made.”

Other survey results show 76.4 per cent say students should not be allowed to sit more than one exam a day and 57 per cent say pupils should spend the entire year preparing for exams.

While some language subject exams were held a fortnight ago, the majority will be held in the next two weeks, including English Studies and  Arabic (beginners) at 9am today.

Westminster School students Akash Patel, Alice Bradley and Alex John will sit  the English Studies exam this morning.

Akash, 17, who will sit three other exams and hopes to study medicine at university, said English tended to be a trickier subject than most.

“The thing I find with English is that it’s a bit harder to tell how you’ve gone.

“You don’t really know until you get the results,” he said.

For aspiring nutritionist Alice Bradley, a practice exam last week helped calm her nerves.

“It reassured us we could write what we needed to in the right amount of time,” the 18-year-old said.


Do the maths

> More than 13,500 students from 196 schools will complete exams in 59 subjects in the next fortnight.

> Mathematical Applications has the highest number of students taking part (4121), followed by Biology (3203), Mathematical Studies (2984), Physical Education (2455), Chemistry (2238), Physics (2139) and English Studies (2060).

> One of the oldest students will turn 70 this year, while Glenunga International High student Shabab Rahman, 13, is among the youngest.

 Read story


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