Can I have a new exam result please?
Published at 13:59, Thursday, 20 September 2012
AN open letter to the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education:
Dear Mr Gove
Following your announcement this week of a complete overhaul of the school examinations system, I am writing to ask if it will be possible to have my 1981 biology O-level paper re-marked.
Having been predicted an E or F this exam, I was left disappointed and emotionally scarred when I was in fact awarded a U.
This anomaly occurred because the examination board arbitrarily changed the goalposts without warning, and made the grossly unfair decision not to include the biology of the heart in that year’s paper.
That being the only part of the syllabus I had bothered to revise, I was traumatised to find myself having to write an essay on photosynthesis in plants, using almost total reference to the aortic valve.
Furthermore, it is entirely the exam board’s fault that the cross section of a leaf, which I was asked to sketch in question 4, bore more than a passing resemblance to the upper left ventricle of the human heart.
It is not my fault that when my parents thought I was upstairs revising, I was in fact, hanging out of my bedroom window learning to smoke, whilst listening to “Keep on Loving You” at full blast on my record-player.
The blame for this lies squarely with the multinational tobacco corporations, Margaret Thatcher, the Marlboro Man, and REO Speedwagon.
The U grade I received left me unable to follow my chosen career of becoming a vet – a profession I had decided upon having watched the first three series of All Creatures Great and Small, and having successfully diagnosed an overgrown front tooth in my pet rabbit, Bobtail.
Granted, I don’t know one end of a cow from another, faint at the sight of blood, and couldn’t castrate a Doberman if my life depended on it; but I think you will agree that it is unfair that my ambitions – however unrealistic they may have been – should have been thwarted at such a young age.
I am very much with today’s X-Factor generation of young people, some of whom have been brought up to believe that such trivialities as lack of talent should be no bar to success.
My teacher, of course, must shoulder some of the responsibility for my biology exam fiasco. I was left requiring counselling after he humiliated me in front of the entire class by reading aloud an essay I had written on water deficit in plant cells – which I misspelled as “water defecate” throughout.
My failure at biology is clearly the result of a catalogue of errors by various individuals and agencies, all of whom should now be brought to book.
I should also like to request that my maths CSE paper from the same year be re-marked.
The Grade 4 awarded to me in that exam was 110 per cent the fault of other people.
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Well said, Louise; what a laugh! I failed a GCE 'O level' science exam in 1972 because we had only been taught part of the syllabus. Was there an enquiry? No; it was just a case of 'deal with it', as they say these days.
Superb stuff, Louise. I think Stuart probably needs to develop a sense of humour!
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