The Reading / Listening - Exam Results - Level 6

The United Kingdom has made a U-turn over the system it used to award exam grades for students hoping to attend university. The government had decided on using a controversial algorithm to determine the grades of students who were unable to take exams due to COVID-19. The algorithm gave students results that were a grade or two lower than the results predicted by teachers. About 40 per cent of the final results were downgraded. The results hit the headlines as the scores for students who live in poorer areas were downgraded. Many of these students did not get into university as a result, despite not taking an exam. Scores for richer students attending private schools were higher than predicted.



The algorithm turned into a scandal for the government as it was accused of favoring the rich. Parents and students were furious with the government for what they saw as gross incompetence and for ruining the future, dreams and aspirations of England's young people. One commentator said the algorithm was designed by the elite for the elite. In its latest U-turn, the government announced that grades will now be awarded based on the predictions of teachers. Gavin Williamson, the UK Education Secretary, said: "I am sorry for the distress this has caused young people and their parents but hope this announcement will now provide the certainty and reassurance they deserve."

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Exam Results - Level 4  or  Exam Results - Level 5

Sources
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-53810655
  • https://metro.co.uk/2020/08/16/level-pupils-launch-legal-action-ofqual-13135305
  • https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/end-exam-shambles-tories-tell-boris-johnson-cd306kz2r


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Warm-ups

1. EXAM RESULTS: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about exam results. Change partners often and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       U-turn / system / award / university / controversial / algorithm / results / headlines /
       scandal / the rich / furious / incompetence / aspirations / elite / prediction / sorry
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. EDUCATION: Students A strongly believe the largest part of a government's budget should be education; Students B strongly believe otherwise.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. EXAMS: What are the difficulties with these exams? What's the best way to study for them? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Difficulties

Best Way to Study

Speaking test

 

 

Writing test

 

 

Maths test

 

 

Art exam

 

 

History exam

 

 

IT exam

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. ALGORITHM: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "algorithm". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. STUDYING: Rank these with your partner. Put the best ways to study at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Read
  • Write
  • Make notes
  • Flash cards
  • YouTube
  • Practice tests
  • Sleep well
  • Don't panic

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. attend a. Giving rise or likely to give rise to public disagreement.
      2. algorithm b. Reduced to a lower score, rank, or level of importance.
      3. determine c. Go regularly to an educational, religious, social, or clinical institution.
      4. controversial d. Said or estimated that a specified thing will happen in the future.
      5. downgraded e. A process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations.
      6. headline f. Find out or establish exactly, typically as a result of research or calculation.
      7. predicted g. The few, larger words that declare the most important item of news in a newspaper.

    Paragraph 2

      8. scandal h. Do something or have or show qualities worthy of getting a reward or punishment.
      9. favoring i. An action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing general public outrage.
      10. commentator j. Approval, support, or liking for someone or something.
      11. elite k. Unattractively large.
      12. gross l. A group or class of people seen as having the greatest power and influence within a society, especially because of their wealth.
      13. aspiration m. A person who talks about news, events, trends or other happenings.
      14. deserve n. A hope or ambition of achieving something.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. The UK government has cancelled all exam results it awarded last week. T / F
  2. The government has now decided to use a new algorithm.     T / F
  3. All exam results were downgraded by 40 per cent.     T / F
  4. Exam grades for richer students were higher than expected.     T / F
  5. Parents and students accused the government of favoring the rich.     T / F
  6. Someone said the exam algorithm was designed for the elite.     T / F
  7. The U-turn means grades will now be based on teacher's predictions.     T / F
  8. The UK Education Secretary said there is no need to apologise.     T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

  1. U-turn
  2. controversial
  3. determine
  4. downgraded
  5. attending
  6. scandal
  7. incompetence
  8. elite
  9. predictions
  10. deserve
  1. upper class
  2. lowered
  3. merit
  4. decide
  5. disgrace
  6. forecasts
  7. about-face
  8. ineptitude
  9. disputed
  10. going to

3. PHRASE MATCH: (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

  1. made a U-turn
  2. a controversial algorithm to
  3. results that were a grade
  4. hit the
  5. higher than
  6. The algorithm turned into
  7. it was accused
  8. gross
  9. designed by the
  10. I am sorry for the distress
  1. incompetence
  2. headlines
  3. predicted
  4. or two lower
  5. a scandal
  6. this has caused
  7. over the system it used
  8. elite for the elite
  9. of favoring the rich
  10. determine the grades

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
unable
downgraded
private
grade
system
despite
attend
headlines

The United Kingdom has made a U-turn over the (1) _____________________ it used to award exam grades for students hoping to (2) _____________________ university. The government had decided on using a controversial algorithm to determine the grades of students who were (3) _____________________ to take exams due to COVID-19. The algorithm gave students results that were a (4) _____________________ or two lower than the results predicted by teachers. About 40 per cent of the final results were (5) _____________________. The results hit the (6) _____________________ as the scores for students who live in poorer areas were downgraded. Many of these students did not get into university as a result, (7) _____________________ not taking an exam. Scores for richer students attending (8) _____________________ schools were higher than predicted.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
based
distress
aspirations
favoring
elite
deserve
scandal
gross

The algorithm turned into a (9) _____________________ for the government as it was accused of (10) _____________________ the rich. Parents and students were furious with the government for what they saw as (11) _____________________ incompetence and for ruining the future, dreams and (12) _____________________ of England's young people. One commentator said the algorithm was designed by the (13) _____________________ for the elite. In its latest U-turn, the government announced that grades will now be awarded (14) _____________________ on the predictions of teachers. Gavin Williamson, the UK Education Secretary, said: "I am sorry for the (15) _____________________ this has caused young people and their parents but hope this announcement will now provide the certainty and reassurance they (16) _____________________."

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  The United Kingdom has made a U-turn over the system it used to ______
     a.  award exam grade
     b.  award exam gradients
     c.  award exam grades
     d.  award exam graders
2)  The government had decided on using a ______
     a.  controversial algorithm
     b.  controversy algorithm
     c.  controversially algorithm
     d.  contra-verse all algorithm
3)  gave students results that were a grade or two lower than the ______
     a.  results prediction
     b.  results predict it
     c.  results predict did
     d.  results predicted
4)  About 40 per cent of the final results were downgraded. The results ______
     a.  hit the headline
     b.  hit a headlines
     c.  hit a headline
     d.  hit the headlines
5)  students did not get into university as a result, ______ an exam
     a.  in spite not taking
     b.  respite not taking
     c.  despot not taking
     d.  despite not taking

6)  turned into a scandal for the government as it was accused of ______
     a.  flavoring the rich
     b.  favoring the rich
     c.  favor ring the rich
     d.  favor in the rich
7)  students were furious with the government for what they saw ______
     a.  as grass incompetence
     b.  as glass incompetence
     c.  as gloss incompetence
     d.  as gross incompetence
8)  One commentator said the algorithm was designed by the elite ______
     a.  for the poor
     b.  for the needy
     c.  for the less able
     d.  for the elite
9)  Gavin Williamson, the UK Education Secretary, said: "I am sorry ______
     a.  further distress
     b.  for them distress
     c.  for then distress
     d.  for the distress
10)  this announcement will now provide the certainty and reassurance ______
     a.  they'd serve
     b.  they'd reserve
     c.  they deserve
     d.  they dessert

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

The United Kingdom has made a U-turn (1) ____________________ it used to award exam grades for students (2) ____________________ university. The government had decided on using a controversial algorithm to (3) ____________________ of students who were unable to take exams due to COVID-19. The algorithm gave students results that were a grade or two lower than the (4) ____________________ teachers. About 40 per cent of the final results were downgraded. The results (5) ____________________ as the scores for students who live in poorer areas were downgraded. Many of these students did not get into university as a result, despite not taking an exam. Scores for richer students (6) ____________________ were higher than predicted.

The algorithm turned (7) ____________________ for the government as it was accused of favoring the rich. Parents and students were furious with the government for what they (8) ____________________ incompetence and for ruining the future, dreams (9) ____________________ England's young people. One commentator said the algorithm was designed by the elite for the elite. In its latest U-turn, the government announced that grades will now be (10) ____________________ the predictions of teachers. Gavin Williamson, the UK Education Secretary, said: "I am sorry for (11) ____________________ has caused young people and their parents but hope this announcement will now provide the certainty and (12) ____________________."

Comprehension questions

  1. What were students hoping to attend?
  2. What controversial thing did the government use to determine grades?
  3. By how much were the teacher-predicted grades downgraded?
  4. What did the exam grades hit?
  5. What happened to scores for some richer students?
  6. Who did the article say the government favored?
  7. What did parents and students see the government's actions as being?
  8. Who did a commentator say the original exam grading was for?
  9. What will exam grades now be based on?
  10. What did the education secretary apologise for?




Multiple choice quiz

1) What were students hoping to attend?
a) a university open day
b) an exam workshop
c) a meeting
d) university
2) What controversial thing did the government use to determine grades?
a) a times table
b) an algorithm
c) an abacus
d) a fortune teller
3) By how much were the teacher-predicted grades downgraded?
a) about 10%
b) about half
c) about 30%
d) about 40%
4) What did the exam grades hit?
a) home
b) the fan
c) the headlines
d) the poorest people
5) What happened to scores for some richer students?
a) they also went down
b) nothing
c) they reached record levels
d) they rose

6) Who did the article say the government favored?
a) politics students
b) medical students
c) the rich
d) politicians' children
7) What did parents and students see the government's actions as being?
a) gross incompetence
b) exemplary
c) excellence
d) fairness
8) Who did a commentator say the original exam grading was for?
a) politicians
b) history students
c) the elite
d) everybody
9) What will exam grades now be based on?
a) past results
b) teachers' predictions
c) school averages
d) a new exam

10) What did the education secretary apologise for?
a) distress
b) incompetence
c) elitism
d) low grades

Role play

Role  A – Practice Tests
You think practice tests is the best way to study. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their ways. Also, tell the others which is the least effective of these (and why): writing notes, YouTube or sleeping enough.

Role  B – Writing Notes
You think writing notes is the best way to study. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their ways. Also, tell the others which is the least effective of these (and why): practice tests, YouTube or sleeping enough.

Role  C – YouTube
You think YouTube is the best way to study. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their ways. Also, tell the others which is the least effective of these (and why): writing notes, practice tests or sleeping enough.

Role  D – Sleeping Enough
You think sleep is the best way to study. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their ways. Also, tell the others which is the least effective of these (and why): writing notes, YouTube or practice tests.

After reading / listening

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words...

'exam'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'result'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • Share your findings with your partners.

    • Make questions using the words you found.

    • Ask your partner / group your questions.

    2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

    •Share your questions with other classmates / groups. •Ask your partner / group your questions.

    3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

    4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

    5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

    • system
    • unable
    • 40
    • hit
    • areas
    • private
    • scandal
    • gross
    • elite
    • based
    • sorry
    • deserve




    Student survey

    Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

    (Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

    Discussion - Exam Results

    STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'exam'?
    3. What do you think of exams?
    4. Are exams the best way to assess students?
    5. What were your exam results like?
    6. How can a system give exam grades if students haven't taken exams?
    7. What is the best way to pass exams?
    8. What do you think of poorer students being downgraded more?
    9. How unfair is it an algorithm can stop a student getting to university?
    10. How important is going to university?

    STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'result'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What scandals has your government had?
    5. Do you think your government has ever favored the rich?
    6. Has your government ever been grossly incompetent?
    7. What are the good and bad things about a government making U-turns?
    8. Is it better to use teachers' predictions for the exam scores?
    9. Do you think the apology is enough?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the UK government?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

    STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

    STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________





    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    The United Kingdom has made a U-turn (1) ____ the system it used to award exam grades for students hoping to attend university. The government had decided (2) ____ using a controversial algorithm to determine the grades of students who were unable to take exams (3) ____ to COVID-19. The algorithm gave students results that were a grade or two lower than the results predicted (4) ____ teachers. About 40 per cent of the final results were downgraded. The results (5) ____ the headlines as the scores for students who live in poorer areas were downgraded. Many of these students did not get into university as a (6) ____, despite not taking an exam. Scores for richer students attending private schools were higher than predicted.

    The algorithm turned into a scandal for the government as it was (7) ____ of favoring the rich. Parents and students were furious with the government for what they saw as (8) ____ incompetence and for ruining the future, dreams and aspirations of England's young people. One commentator said the algorithm was designed by the elite for the elite. In its latest U-turn, the government announced that grades will now be awarded (9) ____ on the predictions of teachers. Gavin Williamson, the UK Education Secretary, said: "I am sorry for the (10) ____ this has caused young people and their parents but hope this announcement will now (11) ____ the certainty and reassurance they (12) ____."

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     under     (b)     over     (c)     on     (d)     in    
    2. (a)     up     (b)     on     (c)     down     (d)     across    
    3. (a)     as     (b)     though     (c)     because     (d)     due    
    4. (a)     of     (b)     by     (c)     as     (d)     but    
    5. (a)     smacked     (b)     hit     (c)     whacked     (d)     nudged    
    6. (a)     grade     (b)     score     (c)     result     (d)     test    
    7. (a)     pledged     (b)     recounted     (c)     accused     (d)     recalled    
    8. (a)     gloss     (b)     class     (c)     gross     (d)     glass    
    9. (a)     boasted     (b)     biased     (c)     basted     (d)     based    
    10. (a)     distress     (b)     redress     (c)     address     (d)     tresses    
    11. (a)     provide     (b)     reap     (c)     harvest     (d)     spare    
    12. (a)     conserve     (b)     serve     (c)     deserve     (d)     observe

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. using a ocsreilaortvn algorithm
    2. hoping to atnted university
    3. dmrteneie the grades of students
    4. final results were aedwnrgdod
    5. tseidpe not taking an exam
    6. higher than itrpdcede

    Paragraph 2

    1. accused of fnroavgi the rich
    2. gross nimctcopenee
    3. the future, dreams and aasinpristo
    4. designed by the itele
    5. the tisrssed this has caused
    6. reassurance they edveser

    Put the text back together

    (...)  not taking an exam. Scores for richer students attending private schools were higher than predicted.
    (...)  on the predictions of teachers. Gavin Williamson, the UK Education Secretary,
    (...)  announcement will now provide the certainty and reassurance they deserve."
    (...)  of students who were unable to take exams due to COVID-19. The algorithm gave students results that were a grade or two
    (...)  areas were downgraded. Many of these students did not get into university as a result, despite
    (...)  the future, dreams and aspirations of England's young people. One commentator said the algorithm was designed by the elite
    (...)  university. The government had decided on using a controversial algorithm to determine the grades
    (...)  said: "I am sorry for the distress this has caused young people and their parents but hope this
    (...)  rich. Parents and students were furious with the government for what they saw as gross incompetence and for ruining
    (...)  for the elite. In its latest U-turn, the government announced that grades will now be awarded based
    (...)  downgraded. The results hit the headlines as the scores for students who live in poorer
    (...)  The algorithm turned into a scandal for the government as it was accused of favoring the
    1  ) The United Kingdom has made a U-turn over the system it used to award exam grades for students hoping to attend
    (...)  lower than the results predicted by teachers. About 40 per cent of the final results were

    Put the words in the right order

    1. award   it   used   grades   .   to   system   The   exam
    2. the   controversial   algorithm   A   determine   grades   .   to
    3. live   students   Scores   in   areas   .   for   poorer   who
    4. university   .   of   students   these   into   Many   get   didn't
    5. richer   Scores   private   students   attending   for   schools   .
    6. government   of   accused   the   was   The   favoring   rich   .
    7. elite   .   designed   the   The   algorithm   was   by
    8. be   based   Grades   now   predictions   .   will   on   awarded
    9. this   distress   the   for   caused   .   sorry   I'm   has
    10. certainty   .   the   now   This   announcement   provide   will

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    The United Kingdom has made a U-turn over / under the system it used to award exam grades for students hoping to attentive / attend university. The government had decided at / on using a controversial algorithm to determine the grades of students who were incapable / unable to take exams due to COVID-19. The algorithm gave students results that were a grade or two lower than the results predicted / predictive by teachers. About 40 per cent of the final results be / were downgraded. The results hit the headlines was / as the scores for students who live in poorer / poverty areas were downgraded. Many of these students did not get into university as a score / result, despite not taking an exam. Scores for richer students attending private / privacy schools were higher than predicted.

    The algorithm turned into / onto a scandal for the government as it was accused of flavoring / favoring the rich. Parents and students were fury / furious with the government for what they saw as gloss / gross incompetence and for ruining / ruing the future, dreams and aspirations of England's young people. One commentator said the algorithm was designed by the elite for the elite. In its latest U-turn, the government announced that grades will now be awarded based in / on the predictions of teachers. Gavin Williamson, the UK Education Secretary, said: "I am sorry / apologise for the distress this which / has caused young people and their parents but hopeful / hope this announcement will now provide the certainty and reassurance they reserve / deserve."

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    T h_ U n_t_d K_n g d_m h_s m_d_ _ U - t_r n _v_r t h_ s y s t_m _t _s_d t_ _w_r d _x_m g r_d_s f_r s t_d_n t s h_p_n g t_ _t t_n d _n_v_r s_t y . T h_ g_v_r n m_n t h_d d_c_d_d _n _s_n g _ c_n t r_v_r s__ l _l g_r_t h m t_ d_t_r m_n_ t h_ g r_d_s _f s t_d_n t s w h_ w_r_ _n_b l_ t_ t_k_ _x_m s d__ t_ C O V I D - 1 9 . T h_ _l g_r_t h m g_v_ s t_d_n t s r_s_l t s t h_t w_r_ _ g r_d_ _r t w_ l_w_r t h_n t h_ r_s_l t s p r_d_c t_d b y t__ c h_r s . A b__ t 4 0 p_r c_n t _f t h_ f_n_l r_s_l t s w_r_ d_w n g r_d_d . T h_ r_s_l t s h_t t h_ h__ d l_n_s _s t h_ s c_r_s f_r s t_d_n t s w h_ l_v_ _n p__ r_r _r__ s w_r_ d_w n g r_d_d . M_n y _f t h_s_ s t_d_n t s d_d n_t g_t _n t_ _n_v_r s_t y _s _ r_s_l t , d_s p_t_ n_t t_k_n g _n _x_m . S c_r_s f_r r_c h_r s t_d_n t s _t t_n d_n g p r_v_t_ s c h__ l s w_r_ h_g h_r t h_n p r_d_c t_d .

    T h_ _l g_r_t h m t_r n_d _n t_ _ s c_n d_l f_r t h_ g_v_r n m_n t _s _t w_s _c c_s_d _f f_v_r_n g t h_ r_c h . P_r_n t s _n d s t_d_n t s w_r_ f_r___s w_t h t h_ g_v_r n m_n t f_r w h_t t h_y s_w _s g r_s s _n c_m p_t_n c_ _n d f_r r__ n_n g t h_ f_t_r_, d r__ m s _n d _s p_r_t__ n s _f E n g l_n d ' s y__ n g p__ p l_. O n_ c_m m_n t_t_r s__ d t h_ _l g_r_t h m w_s d_s_g n_d b y t h_ _l_t_ f_r t h_ _l_t_. I n _t s l_t_s t U - t_r n , t h_ g_v_r n m_n t _n n__ n c_d t h_t g r_d_s w_l l n_w b_ _w_r d_d b_s_d _n t h_ p r_d_c t__ n s _f t__ c h_r s . G_v_n W_l l__ m s_n , t h_ U K E d_c_t__ n S_c r_t_r y , s__ d : " I _m s_r r y f_r t h_ d_s t r_s s t h_s h_s c__ s_d y__ n g p__ p l_ _n d t h__ r p_r_n t s b_t h_p_ t h_s _n n__ n c_m_n t w_l l n_w p r_v_d_ t h_ c_r t__ n t y _n d r__ s s_r_n c_ t h_y d_s_r v_. "

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    the united kingdom has made a uturn over the system it used to award exam grades for students hoping to attend university the government had decided on using a controversial algorithm to determine the grades of students who were unable to take exams due to covid19 the algorithm gave students results that were a grade or two lower than the results predicted by teachers about 40 per cent of the final results were downgraded the results hit the headlines as the scores for students who live in poorer areas were downgraded many of these students did not get into university as a result despite not taking an exam scores for richer students attending private schools were higher than predicted

    the algorithm turned into a scandal for the government as it was accused of favoring the rich parents and students were furious with the government for what they saw as gross incompetence and for ruining the future dreams and aspirations of englands young people one commentator said the algorithm was designed by the elite for the elite in its latest uturn the government announced that grades will now be awarded based on the predictions of teachers gavin williamson the uk education secretary said i am sorry for the distress this has caused young people and their parents but hope this announcement will now provide the certainty and reassurance they deserve

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    TheUnitedKingdomhasmadeaU-turnoverthesystemitusedtoawarde
    xamgradesforstudentshopingtoattenduniversity.Thegovernmentha
    ddecidedonusingacontroversialalgorithmtodeterminethegradesofst
    udentswhowereunabletotakeexamsduetoCOVID-19.Thealgorith
    mgavestudentsresultsthatwereagradeortwolowerthantheresultspr
    edictedbyteachers.About40percentofthefinalresultsweredowngrad
    ed.Theresultshittheheadlinesasthescoresforstudentswholiveinpoor
    erareasweredowngraded.Manyofthesestudentsdidnotgetintouniver
    sityasaresult,despitenottakinganexam.Scoresforricherstudentsatte
    ndingprivateschoolswerehigherthanpredicted.Thealgorithmturnedi
    ntoascandalforthegovernmentasitwasaccusedoffavoringtherich.Par
    entsandstudentswerefuriouswiththegovernmentforwhattheysawas
    grossincompetenceandforruiningthefuture,dreamsandaspirationso
    fEngland'syoungpeople.Onecommentatorsaidthealgorithmwasdesi
    gnedbytheelitefortheelite.InitslatestU-turn,thegovernmentannoun
    cedthatgradeswillnowbeawardedbasedonthepredictionsofteachers.
    GavinWilliamson,theUKEducationSecretary,said:"Iamsorryforthedi
    stressthishascausedyoungpeopleandtheirparentsbuthopethisanno
    uncementwillnowprovidethecertaintyandreassurancetheydeserve."

    Free writing

    Write about exam results for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    Everyone should continue studying into higher education. Discuss.

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    Homework

    1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google's search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.
    2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
    3. EXAM RESULTS: Make a poster about exam results. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. UNIVERSITY: Write a magazine article about everyone having to go to university. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against this.
    Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).
    5. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on exam results. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your ideas on how to increase exam results. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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