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An image of an exam hall featuring lots of seats with small desks attached. The image has a distorted filter with lots of different colours including green, red, blue, purple.

Review of Exams and Assessments

In Scotland there is a review happening about how pupils are assessed.

As part of this, the Inclusion Ambassadors were asked to share their thoughts with the Scottish Government.

This is what they said:

Success Looks Different

The Inclusion Ambassadors believe that success is different for everyone.

In 2022 they launched their own awards for schools who celebrate and recognise the success of their pupils in different ways. These are called the Success Looks Different Awards.

The awards are a way of recognising that while exams are important, they are not everything.

The Inclusion Ambassadors believe that things like being creative and having good relationships with people should be seen as a more important part of assessing the success of pupils.

Too Much Focus on Exams

The Inclusion Ambassadors understand why there needs to be exams and assessments in school to see how everyone is doing.

However, for lots of the group, they find the idea of exams stressful.

They also think that too much focus on exams takes away from other parts of school life.

What about life skills?

The group talked about they way exams happen at the moment not being relevant in the real world.

Exams don’t help with life skills and the support they need for beyond school that isn’t related to higher education.

One of the Inclusion Ambassadors said:

“Sometimes things you learn they aren’t for the real world. I don’t know about bills or money or taxes, I don’t learn that.”

Inclusion Ambassador

How exams can affect you

The Inclusion Ambassadors shared some of the ways that exams can make them think and feel:

What can be changed?

The Inclusion Ambassadors support a more flexible approach to exams and assessments.

They think that a move towards a more ongoing form of assessment across the year would be better.

Pupils should be given more choice about how they want to be assessed.

Schools should celebrate the successes of all pupils, not just good exam results.

Schools need to find ways to reduce pressure around exams. The impact it can have on the health and wellbeing of pupils is often negative.

More news and advice

An image that consists of an illustration of the winners and runners-up trophies for the Inclusion Ambassadors' Success Looks Different Awards. It contains three winners trophies at the top with three runners-up trophies below. The trophies have a wooden base with the Inclusion Ambassadors logo in black (a circle made up of hands) and a transparent material attached to the wooden base which has black text on it. The background of this image is light green with a confetti design in green and white colours.

Inclusion Ambassadors

Find out about the first Success Looks Different Awards – created by the Inclusion Ambassadors to recognise how success can be celebrated differently.

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