British Columbia

'About time' to get rid of provincial exams, says expert

An education expert at the University of British Columbia says it's about time a change is made to the way students in B.C. are assessed.

Students will only have to write two provincial exams instead of five

B.C. students will only have to write two exams testing writing skills and math. (CBC)

An education expert at the University of British Columbia says year-end exams are part of an older system; and change is good.

His comments come after B.C.'s minister of education announced yesterday students won't have to write as many provincial exams anymore.

"I think it is about time they made some changes to the assessment and standardized testing. I think this is actually moving in the right direction," said Don Krug, a professor in the faculty of education. 

Instead of five provincial exams, there will now be two — one for literacy and one for math. 

"I think there is an assumption there that those exams treated students fairly and equal," said Krug, but he points out that some students are better than others at taking tests. 

Krug would like to see students be assessed on work they're doing in the classrooms and for the report card to better reflect student learning. 

Students will still be given tests throughout the year,

"The notion of the provincial exam with 300 students in the gymnasium spending three and a half hours of their life trying to remember everything that has been taught in a semester or linear course has changed significantly," said Sherry Elwood, president of the B.C. School Superintendents Association. 

The minister also announced changes to classroom assessment, course requirements for graduation, and potential changes to report cards. The changes are due to take effect next year and this year during summer school. 

With files from the CBC's The Early Edition and Jake Costello.


To hear the full story listen to the audio labelled: B.C. students to write fewer provincial exams

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