Books for All: Digital Examinations

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Watch and listen to pupils talking about the impact that digital exams has had on their performance in SQA exams.

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Books for All: Digital Examinations

Teenage boy: I can look over the answers I’m putting down far more easily because my handwriting’s so bad I can’t even read it myself at times and in the pressure of an exam it just gets even worse so having it there on the computer screen allows me to go back over it. I know that my answers are there and it’s correct and it takes that pressure off me as well so I’m not so stressed out.

Interviewer: And do you think your teachers find it easier, now that you’re producing your coursework in this way as well?

TB: Yeah, far more easy. They can assess where I’m at with all my NABs and homework and things cos I do it all on the computer now, preparation for the exam and things, so they can have a better idea of where I’m at now... because they can mark my work more easily.

Second boy: Like Calum my handwriting’s appalling but I’m also dyslexic and I have trouble reading the questions properly so when I’m writing my answers I miss out words. It helps if I can have the software that’ll read my answers back to me so I can see where I’m going wrong.

Third boy: As you’re reading papers then they need to clearly see the answers and it needs to meet the criteria for the marks and if you’re writing that they won’t be able to see it as clearly but if you say it’s on the computer it’s plain there in type so they can easily mark it off.

Teenage girl: With me it’s not being able to write the answers or read the questions, it’s more making the font that much bigger so I can read it easier, and also if I get an exam, if it’s a long exam and I get tired, I can just maximise the text to bring it to whatever it is I need. Also I’ve got revision books on my computer, it’s the same, I can just make it bigger or smaller. It’s just like a normal... It’s the same book, just in computerised format, and that’s helped with my revision a lot.

Fourth boy: Well I tried it with a scribe at first and I felt like I was repeating myself when I was doing my answer so they put me on to digitally and it flowed much easier and I felt more concentrated and focussed on my work and it just made the whole thing easier for my exam.

First boy: Last year I did my prelims by hand, written. In geography I actually failed the exam. My teacher came up to me and was like ‘I can’t understand what you’ve written.’ Didn’t understand anything, so I lost so much marks just because of the handwriting. But I sat my final exam, the Higher exam, digitally and got a B, so it definitely proves that it’s a huge benefit.

Second girl: Spelling was always the worst thing and with the digital it’s just far easier cos I can see what mistakes I’ve made and I can correct them myself. Especially for English it’s difficult, writing, for me, and doing it on the computer’s far easier. It doesn’t take as long so I’m less frustrated with not getting words up right and rubbing out and messing up paper. It’s just clean and easy.

Interviewer: What do you think has been one of the really positive things that you’ve experienced with digital resources?

Second girl: Becoming more independent and not having to rely on people helping with spelling and not having to worry about whether I’m doing it wrong or writing it wrong, it’s just... Now I can do it and there’s no getting frustrated with me not being able to do things, feeling almost like a weakness, not being able to spell. This means I can do everything on my own now.

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