Universities are failing to produce enough science graduates with the skills needed for economic growth, a House of Lords committee report finds.
If you dumb down examinations there will always be a breaking point. Making candidates feel that they have a firm grasp of a subject because they scored top marks will create the illusion that they are well equipped to move on to the next level. Oxford and Cambridge set their own entrance examinations because they do not believe that getting A* (it pains me even to write ‘*’) is necessarily an indicator that students are exceptional achievers. It is not the students’ fault; the exams are too easy.
Universities take the view (and so they should) that top scoring Mathematics undergraduates who begin an Engineering Degree (for example) should bring a good mathematical competence to their first lecture. It should not be up to Universities to fill in gaps that should not exist. Potential Engineers need to possess a good grasp of Calculus before beginning their degrees.
Easy exams along with political pressure to push more and more eighteen year olds into further education is creating a situation where first year students are woefully educationally underprepared for the challenges ahead.