Exams Special

Should scum be allowed to get A-levels?

In the last ten years, the percentage of students passing and attaining the top grades in Advanced level exams has increased a phenomenal amount. This has understandably worried educationalists. Because A-levels are no longer awarded to a select few it is getting harder for university admissions to distinguish between exceptional middle class students and merely able scum.

This is partly the result of the more fluid class or caste system that exists in Britain today compared to fifty years ago. In 1950, it was possible for an adult male to determine his position in society by carefully observing who doffed their cap as he passed. Movement between the classes was possible, but only by observing the strict cultural codes that signified an individual’s membership within that class. Clive Warren, 59, explains, ‘Well, I come from a council estate. But, of course, I went to a grammar school, where I was taught Latin grammar, how to look down on one’s family, and how to wear a good syoot (sic.). So of course, when I went up to one of Oxford’s less well endowed colleges to read Greats, it was merely a case of buying oneself a syoot, buying a copy of ‘Dance to the Music of Time,’ and one fitted in perfectly.’

The increase in popularity of easy subjects like History, English Literature and Art and the decline of elite genius subjects like Mathematics, Physics, and Economics may also explain the higher pass rate and grades. Scum are naturally attracted to soft subjects like History and English. Professor Eugene Haerrdarsse, Professor of Social Eugenics and Phrenology at the Cecil Rhodes Institute at Oxford explains, ‘Scum are naturally attracted to literature, as their enjoyment of rap music gives them a natural propensity to bullshit about poetry. Similarly with history, we have an increasing number of scum claiming that everyone has ‘his story’ which leads to the tedious increase of women’s history, gay history, black history, which really diminishes History from the pure intellectual enterprise it once was.’

Can you do today’s piss easy A-levels? Try some questions that we made up to make you feel better about your shatteringly mediocre intellect.

Advanced Level English Literature Paper

Question One

Here is a poem written by John Donne:

Batter my heart, three person'd God; for, you
As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow mee,'and bend
Your force, to breake, blowe, burn and make me new.
I, like an usurpt towne, to'another due,
Labour to'admit you, but Oh, to no end,
Reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weake or untrue.
Yet dearely'I love you,'and would be loved faine,
But am betroth'd unto your enemie:
Divorce mee,'untie, or breake that knot againe;
Take mee to you, imprison mee, for I
Except you'enthrall mee, never shall be free,
Nor ever chast, except you ravish mee.

a) Describe, using whatever language/lingo/slang or patois that you please, what this poem makes you feel like.

Mechanics diagram

b) A plane is travelling at 10 m/s. God is on the plane, and drops John Donne’s heart in order to batter it more efficiently. How many seconds will pass before it hits the ground? Take gravity to be 9.81N.

More articles from the special report on exams:

Paul Morley writes about how he got his A-levels

Are exams getting easier to write about? Indepth analysis