Students' skills tested in QCS
GRADE 12 students from around Queensland have only one more day of nail-biting stress to get through before QCS exams are complete.
The Queensland Core Skills test is held over two days and contributes information for the calculation of Overall Positions (OPs) and Field Positions (FPs), which are used to select students for tertiary entrance.
Kepnock State High School student An Pham said the QCS test exam block was an important yet challenging part of her senior year.
"It just feels very nerve-wracking knowing that this could determine you going to university," she said.
"It is a scary thought."
The QCS test does not test particular knowledge of specific Year 12 subjects, instead, it tests the Common Curriculum Elements (CCEs), a set of generic skills identified in the Queensland senior curriculum.
The test consists of four papers - a writing task, a short response paper and two multiple choice papers.
Fellow Grade 12 scholars Ryan Kruger, Paul Scholze and Lauren Cutmore said they each had some strengths and weaknesses when it come to the test's subjects.
"After seeing my results for the practice test I am slightly worried about the short response section because I am not very good at maths at all and there are a couple of maths-based questions," Lauren said.
"The written test I was most unsure about but now that I have that done the rest is going to be a breeze," Paul said.
"The writing task is definitely my weakness," Ryan said.
The students agreed that the test was an important part of Grade 12 but also thought it had some drawbacks.
"It tests not necessarily what you have done in Grade 11 and 12 but how much your understanding has grown," Paul said.
"I honestly don't think it's the best way to determine people's futures. Say if you are part of a cohort of students who aren't that bright, you will be dragged down a little bit and vice versa," Ryan said.
Principal Jenny Maier said this would be the second last year of the QCS test before a new system comes into play in 2018.
"The fact is we have less and less students sitting the test because there are so many other avenues students can take for tertiary studies," she said.
"That in itself tells us that it is time for a change."