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10th August 2010

Imogen Stubbs to examine A-Level system for Radio 4

Next week, pupils across the country will be receiving their A-Level results – including, for some, the coveted new A* grade, brought in to distinguish students who score 90% or more. Perhaps unsurprisingly, some have questioned whether this is more evidence of “grade inflation” – so how hard is it to get an A* at A-Level?

Actress and Exeter alumna Imogen Stubbs (1979, English) has recorded a Radio 4 documentary to find out – a process which involved getting her husband, the renowned theatre director Sir Trevor Nunn, to complete a question on Hamlet’s revenge from a recent English paper.

Her interest began as she tried to help her daughter with A-Level revision, and as she began to look further into how exams have evolved since her own school-years, she discovered how very different the exam system has become.

“You absolutely cannot sit an A-level now without understanding the marking system,” she concluded. “That’s the fundamental difference with my education. I didn’t have a clue how examiners marked. I thought they were nice old people who smoked pipes and chuckled at my use of the semicolon. Now kids are just ticking boxes.”

You can read more about Imogen’s look into the A-Level system in theĀ Daily Telegraph.

As for how Sir Trevor Nunn did with his thoughts on Hamlet – you will have to tune in on Monday to find out!

How to Get an A-Star will be broadcast on Monday 16 August on Radio 4 at 11.00am.

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