More and more exams, and who pays for it!


The Admissions Testing Service are the body responsible for the BMAT and other tests.  This year Cambridge and other Russell Group institutions have launched their own tests – that are bound to increase in number.  The ATS website gives only information on a test by test basis.


The following exchange below between the Admissions Testing Service which oversee many of the growing tests being added to student workloads on top of their A level studies and an exam office colleague is very alarming. This trend raises the question over the objective set by this government, to reduce the number of exams being taken by students. This development seems to be a total contradiction of that policy and undermines the whole idea behind the A level gold standard ethos which has dominated educational reform for years.


Email to the Admissions Testing Service - 

Dear Admissions Testing Service


'Thank you for preparing a summary of the assessment tests in November.  Please convey the concern of many examination officers about the increased burden that the proliferation of higher education admissions tests is placing upon the exams community at what is already an increasing busy time of the year due to GCSE resits.


The elite universities appear to be passing the cost and administration of their interview day tests onto schools and colleges and expect us to pay them.  For those of us in the state sector this is an unfair use of scarce public resources and diverts funding away from educating students.


The ATS on behalf of the universities admissions tests could ease the burden and cost by creating one portal for all administrative issues such as registering entries similar to the other Cambridge Assessment divisions such as OCR and CIE.  Entries to ATS have to be done in an archaic form on your website rather than electronically via EDI or the new A2C vehicle.  Each school and college not only has to record in its own systems the details of the student wishing to take one of the tests but then has to repeat the process on the ATS website'.


from the exams officer


Is this trend impacting on your centre? - contact the EOA office with your feedback at

(Name of author supplied on request)