Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Exam Results and University Entry

Two Scottish universities (St Andrews and Robert Gordon) have apparently been guilty of leaking exam results to some of their incoming students ahead of their official publication. (These are presumably Scottish Highers, but the same principles apply to A-Levels.)

What stands out to me is the fact that universities have these results so far ahead of the candidates themselves. I see that there's need for universities to be able to process offers before clearing, but I don't see why candidates should be kept in the dark.

What we have at the moment amounts to this (random dates):
4th - universities get results
11th - candidates get results
11th - clearing begins
I would have thought a much better system would be like this:
4th - universities get results
4th - candidates get results
11th - clearing begins

In other words, universities can still have the same amount of time to process grades, finalize offers, and work out how many clearing places they have, but candidates should know where they stand during this period. Those who've missed their grades will have an agonising wait for clearing to begin, but at least they'll know their grades and have time to think over and consider options, rather than having to make important decisions immediately after receiving disappointing exam results.

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