Teachers' blog


【Exams and Tests】

(Contributed by Will)
In the UK, ‘school-age’ kids are ‘subjected to a barrage of’ exams and tests from an early age right up until they leave school or college at 18. In fact, from the age of 15 to 18, you can be ‘faced with’ an important exam or set of exams every year until you leave school. Understandably, this puts a lot of pressure on kids to study, ‘revise’ and prepare in all kinds of ways for serious and challenging examinations over the course of three or more years!
At the age of 11, a lot of kids in the UK ‘sit’ an exam known as the ’11+’ or ’11 plus’ whilst others sit a similar exam known as the ‘common entrance’ exam, both of which are important when it comes to ‘getting into’ a good school at 12/13 years old.
Between 13 and 15 years old, most UK schoolkids or school-age kids will not have to sit any important or serious exams, but they will, however, be ‘looking towards’ the first important set of exams at 15 years old.
These exams are known as ‘GCSE’s’ in the UK (‘jee – see – ess – EEZE’) which stands for ‘General Certificate of Secondary Education’. GCSE’s require you to sit exams in a minimum of 5 subjects, which must include Math, English and Science. Some people take as many as 12 GCSE’s!
GCSE’s take place over two years (sometimes three) and therefore put a lot of stress on young students. Once they have finished those at 16/17 years old, they are already preparing the next set of exams over the next two-year period.
Next comes the ‘A level’ exams, which use to be limited to a single set of exams in one year but while I was at school was changed to include ‘A.S. levels’ or ‘A.S.s’ (‘ay – ESS – iz’) at 17 years old, followed by ‘A2 levels’ or ‘A2’s’ (‘ay – TWOS’) the next year at 18 years old. A.S. exams normally cover four subjects that the student chooses for themselves and A2 exams normally contain one fewer subject, for three exams (again, chosen by the student).
The’exam results’ or ‘results’ of A-level exams are perhaps the most critical, as they are the results that are looked at by Universities when considering students for ‘places’. It’s no wonder, then, that many UK students, after leaving school at 18 take a ‘Gap Year’ and go travelling around the world for a year before going to university – at least they don’t have to do any more exams!

・英国の学生の多くは18歳になるとgap year(高校卒業後、大学入学資格を保持したまま1年間遊学できる制度)を利用します。


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