A-degrees: Scholar foresaw exam disaster in winning story

A-levels: Student foresaw exam crisis in winning story

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Jessica Johnson

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Jessica Johnson received an Orwell Youth Prize last calendar year for her story A Band Apart

An award-successful writer whose dystopian fiction about an algorithm that types learners into bands based mostly on course suggests she has “fallen into my possess tale”.

Jessica Johnson, 18, reported the University of St Andrews had to begin with rejected her following her English A-level was downgraded from an A to B.

Examinations this calendar year have been cancelled owing to Covid and grades centered on an algorithm.

Ms Johnson reported it was “ironic to come to be a target like just one of her characters”.

Her piece, A Band Apart, won an Orwell Youth Prize Senior award in 2019.

“I wrote about the inequality in the training program,” the Ashton Sixth Variety Faculty student mentioned.

“I wrote about the fantasy of meritocracy and it was about an algorithm that break up persons into bands centered on the class that they were being from.

“I sense like that is quite ironic, I’ve literally fallen into my personal tale.”

“I really feel a target of it,” she included.

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There have been a amount of protests around A-stage grades right after examinations were being cancelled thanks to the pandemic

Ms Johnson, of Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, essential an A in English Literature for a location at St Andrews and a £16,000 scholarship.

“I’ve performed a large amount of further-curricular work and I have been supplied that scholarship on the foundation of my achievements and it just felt like all of that [has] been taken away from me mainly because of the put I live and the faculty I show up at,” she claimed.

About 40% of A-level results – printed on Thursday – were being downgraded from teachers’ assessments by examinations regulator Ofqual, which used a method dependent on schools’ prior grades.

Adhering to protests, the federal government has now mentioned instructor estimates will be employed and Ms Johnson is hoping she will get in at St Andrews.

She mentioned she was “thankful” and “psyched” about the government’s U-flip but felt it should really have been completed sooner.

“It’s induced a good deal of stress and stress that it didn’t need to have to by building us hold out,” she stated.

Professor Jean Seaton, director of the Orwell Foundation, praised Ms Johnson’s “prescient tale”.

She mentioned the teen “saw into the heart of what the system represents and her tale demonstrates the human ability which examinations only exist to uncover”.

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