Stressed out student ponders quitting

A STUDENT has criticised AS level examinations and said he is considering dropping out of school because of the stress.Arran Lyne , a lower sixth form pupil at Stowmarket High School who gained eight GCSEs mainly at A grade, is currently taking his AS level examinations.

A STUDENT has criticised AS level examinations and said he is considering dropping out of school because of the stress.

Arran Lyne , a lower sixth form pupil at Stowmarket High School who gained eight GCSEs mainly at A grade, is currently taking his AS level examinations.

Arran, 17, is studying business, geography and design at Stowmarket High School and criticised the AS exam which he said comes too soon. He believes pupils do not have long enough to learn and said they are under pressure and he and friends have thought about leaving education.

Mr Lyne, from Stowmarket who studies every week evening for three hours after five days at school, is already applying for jobs.


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He said: "GCSEs were rather laid-back, but now there is a constant rush. We are constantly being prepared for exams, there is no time to stop and do extra learning, and the quality of my work has gone down awfully.

"We are losing learning time to more revision time, I feel very stressed by it. I had not studied business before. I started in September and by January am taking my first exam. It's a rush, I find it hard, a lot of people I know are struggling.

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"I enjoyed the subjects I took originally, now I don't and find it really boring, it's such a shame. Some friends are not interested in next year now and I have been applying for work.''

His headteacher David Oliver said: "The AS is one exam too many. In the old days the lower sixth had a chance to grow up first, expand their horizons and learn about being adults.

"To do an exam after two terms and a bit with the AS levels is ridiculous. There are schools where this is very demotivating. The AS level as an exam has not really worked.''

Mr Oliver said some students who fail to do well in their AS levels drop out, whereas with the old system of A levels with exams after two years, students had more time to get up to the required standard.

A spokesman for the Department For Education and Skills said: "The availability of AS units at the end of year 12 provides a much better quality assessment than most schools end of year examinations.

"What has changed is the number of examinations being sat by many students, where the increase does mean a reduction in the time available for teaching.

"One of the services a student suffering from severe stress might be referred to is the Education Psychology Services run by the Local Education Authority, whose aims are to promote the attainment and healthy emotional development of children and young people from 0-19 years.

"This is done by working with students, schools and parents.''

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