Yesterday, June 10th, every VCE year 12 student (and year 11 student who was completing a year 12 subject) sat a three hour exam. It all started at 10:00am, when everyone state wide was able to open the question book of the General Assessment Test that could potentially determine their ATAR score.
I for one sat the test yesterday and it is safe to say that that certainly was not general knowledge. I personally believe that the VCAA system needs to reassess their definition of common knowledge because I could ask hundreds of people to complete that test of any age, and they would still struggle with most of the questions. How is it fair to be test on something that is common knowledge about numbers and literature when schools have taught only year 12 literature students how to analyse a passage to determine exactly how the writer was feeling when they were writing the piece.
However, I personally found the first writing piece incredibly interesting. Learning about 2050, during the GAT was fantastic. Who knew that potentially in 2050 we could have three different types of networks and that house hold chores would be a thing of the past thanks to robots. That was certainly my favourite fact to learn from the GAT and probably the only thing I learnt from the GAT.
I can confidently sit here now and tell you that I am not a dumb person, but I am almost not the smartest person in the world, I probably sit with most of the population of the state at an average. However, if I have to use the score that I get on that kind of test for my ATAR score, any chance of me getting a decent score will be out the window. Does that not put added stress onto year 12's that is certainly not needed?
The GAT should be a test of actual common knowledge, not questions that are open to interpretation such as an expression of a person’s face in a cartoon or find the leg that a ship would have to be on to find the missing object, y, when the instructions barely make sense. I understand that some questions have to be hard to distinguish the good from the great, but the GAT does not to do this fairly. If I got to write the GAT, it would be a serious of modules about the information you learn in your subjects for unit 3. There would be a module for each subject that can be taken in year 12, not general knowledge that has nothing to do with anything.
Did any of you do the GAT and if so, what did you think about it?