Exam appeals could cause admissions chaos

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30 June 2021

By Josh P

Schools have taken a serious hit as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. With working from home being introduced, many students may feel that their academic learning has taken a hit. Now, staff and students are concerned about potential appeals chaos.

The impact on education from the coronavirus pandemic also further extends beyond primary and secondary schools. With the cancellation of exams due to concerns about the pandemic, many warn that this could have a large impact on further education.

The reason this could have a large impact on further education is due to the university admissions system. Due to the cancellation of examinations, grades will be based on teacher assessment once again this year for A-level students.The government have assured students that they will be able to appeal their grades should they not receive the results they expect as graded by their teachers.

While this does seem to be a fair approach, it means there is a high potential for mass appeals. If overturned, admissions to higher education could be heavily impacted as an increased number of students will potentially meet their university entry requirements.

In response to this, many institutions have taken a more conservative approach in making offers. An equal concern is that if the appeals system is strained by high demand, many students may not be able to sort out their grades before the opening of their desired courses in the autumn.

If this were to happen, many students would be left heartbroken by the inability to attend their desired course due to administrative issues.

It is certainly clear that the approach to handling exams could cause significant chaos in the near future. Perhaps it would have been more sensible to maintain examinations using an at-home approach?

While many would say this opens the door for cheating, software and tools do exist which serve to prevent cheating in examinations. This approach could have helped students dodge the issue of appeals. Equally, however, using technology could have caused issues for disadvantaged students and so I can definitely see why some people would have been against such a move. It wouldn’t be fair if all students were not on a level playing field.

Hopefully, the assessment system functions well this year and issues surrounding appeals do not cause massive strain on admissions. Appeals chaos for students would definitely be disappointing on top of the already difficult year they have had.

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