Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Chasing that extra 0.05....
I discovered this news story yesterday online: Student loses appeal over 99.95 HSC mark, a follow up to an earlier story here.
Apparently this student has hypermobility of her wrist joint (see above photo to check out what this looks like) and was offered special provision in the form of rest breaks during the exam, and a scribe to whom she could dictate her answers. As an occupational therapist who has occasionally had to assess children with hypermobility issues in the past, my understanding is that this would be the standard form of special provision in these circumstances.
This girl declined the offer of the scribe, and challenged her score because she believed she would have achieved higher marks had she been granted a computer or extra time to complete the exam. She doesn't seem to have realised that these options would have provided her with an unfair advantage over everyone else. I'm sure most people could claim they would have scored higher marks if they had been given more time or a computer to type answers into.
I think most people get tired after writing for lengthy periods of time. People with hypermobility issues in their wrist and hand joints do fatigue more quickly than most, but to complain after having been offered assistance to prevent this seems completely over the top to me. It sounded from the article as if this girl's mother was also an extremely pushy parent.
So having achieved her not-quite-perfect HSC score, this young woman is now studying medicine at the University of Sydney. It doesn't seem she's been left at such a disadvantage by her lower than expected mark. Not sure how she'll go on some of the surgical rotations if her wrist really is as bad as she claims. And I wouldn't think her behaviour to date would leave a particularly positive impression on any potential employer.
I'm pleased that the appeal was dismissed. It was one of those stories that left me shaking my head and wondering if the world had gone mad. What kind of society are we living in, where falling 0.05 short of a perfect score is to be complained about and blamed on other people? Whatever happened to personal responsibility?