At a Disadvantage: Year 12 Students Want Special Consideration for Their Final Marks

We’ve made it our mission to give senior students a voice during their final year, which has been heavily impacted by lockdowns, inconsistent schooling and school closures due to the pandemic. Here’s what they had to say.

Cluey Learning Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Our research shows that 84 per cent of Year 12 students believe they deserve special consideration for their final mark, with 60% saying their ATAR will be worse due to Covid-19. There is also strong anecdotal evidence within the research that this period has negatively impacted student mental health and confidence when it comes to tackling exams and future opportunities.

Sam, is one of the effected students. “COVID has degraded true confidence in my ability to perform in exam conditions with expectations for ATAR slowly dropping resulting in more alternatives for university courses being added to the list weekly,” he said.

87 per cent of Year 12s surveyed agree that their cohort are more disadvantaged than Year 12 students from previous years. In fact, 74 per cent of them believe that even when in-person school learning returns (or in some cases has returned), they still won’t be as prepared for the ATAR as they would have been during a normal year of schooling.

The inconsistency of approach amongst schools and government protocols has been another point of contention. Emma, one of the unhappy Year 12 students, said, “It is very unfair that some schools are able to replace trials with assessment tasks and do trials online, while others are going into school to complete their trials.”

Another student couldn’t agree more with Emma’s sentiments, and said, “during this time at home, letting some students go back to school and not others is disadvantageous to us who are in affected LGAs. I don’t know how NESA will make it fairer for all students if we are still getting ranked as per usual.”

Over half of NSW Year 12 students surveyed feel that the stop-start disruption of COVID-19 has disadvantaged their schooling and their academic performance. Good study habits also appear to be impacted, with 60 per cent of Year 12 students admitting they’re studying less when they are at home.

We wish them all strength and the best of luck for their upcoming exams.

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