War against bad punctuation

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There are plans in the UK to stop awarding GCSEs at grade C or above in English to students who cannot punctuate correctly. Naturally, some have criticised the idea for potentially preventing good students who make careless mistakes from passing.

It would be unfair to fail students or prevent them from getting a grade C or above simply because of a couple of errors, but do good students make that many mistakes in an exam? One idea is to separate this part from the main test, which would allow them to perform the rest of the test under less pressure while testing their knowledge of this area. This strikes me as a good idea. I can't see why it is that unfair to say that someone who does not know the basics of punctuation is not a particularly good student in the area of English. If exams are there to test standards and to encourage adherence to them, I can't see much wrong with the idea, as long as a few minor errors don't incur the penalty.

Categories: General

1 Comment

It strikes me as an oversimplification of language and a sop to the more conservative views of testing.

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