June 23, 2014 9:10 pm
Updated: June 24, 2014 2:47 am

Essay questions scrapped from today’s provincial exams

Provincial exams taken on June 24 in B.C. will no longer have the essay questions, becoming predominantly multiple choice.

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B.C. students taking provincial exams today will find themselves doing a lot less writing than they had planned.

The provincial government announced this afternoon that the essay portions of today’s English 10 and Social Studies 11 exams have been removed.

The multiple choice questions on both exams will still need to be completed, as will one Written Response Question in the English 10 exam.

In an email to Superintendents across the province, they said the decision was taken after “concerns raised by a number of Superintendents related to quality and validity of the marking”.

The labor relations board ruled earlier this month that provincial exams for Grades 10 through 12 were essential services that teaching staff had to oversee.

However, concerns persisted that there weren’t enough qualified instructors who could mark the exams.

A weekend tweet from Patti Bacchus, Vancouver School Board chair.


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Vancouver School Board chair Patti Bacchus says “the whole situation is frustrating.”

“They made these essential services, but they didn’t seem to think how these things could be accurately marked. I don’t think it’s really fair for kids who are weaker on multiple choice when they clearly perform better on written response. We have politicians making policy, which is really not fair to kids.”

Students unhappy with the change can take the cancelled portions of the exam electronically during the November 2014 session.

But Bacchus says it will cause problems for many students who need their marks in order this summer.

“To me, it’s really putting the validity and integrity of the whole process into the question.”

© Shaw Media, 2014

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