For years I was told at school: “‘I’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’” and “stop peeing in the pool at the swimming gala”. But now it turns out that neither of those lessons was important (well, except for the peeing in the pool one).
Apparently in the Year 12 English exam, markers don’t really care that much about students’ spelling. Rather, examiners really just care about whether or not the students understand the content of the texts and poems they’re writing about.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraf, a spokesperson for the NSW Education Standards Authority said: “Students are not penalised for errors that may be due to writing under exam conditions, with little time to review or edit their work. The emphasis is always on students showing markers their understanding of texts.”
Which is kind of fair enough. Surely it’s the content of the essay that should matter, not whether or not you spell ‘epidemiologist’ with an extra ‘i’ or ‘cat’ with a silent ‘j’.
I mean, who cares whether or not you can spell when no one has written anything by hand in the real world since computers and autocorrect were invented? Honestly, if you’re still writing by hand in 2021, then grow up and buy a laptop like an adult.
Mind you, if a student misspells the title of the text they’re studying, maybe then they should be marked down. Particularly if they misspell George Orwell’s 1984 as 1498.
As you can imagine, the comments from this spokesperson have triggered a bunch of nerds to get very upset.
Australian Tutoring Association co-founder Mohan Dhall told the Dayly Telegrarph: “I would have thought across all subject areas, particularly English, that [spelling] should be considered by the marker and have its own criteria,” Mr Dhall said.
But can we trust Mr Dhall’s opinion? I mean, he’s got an extra ‘h’ AND an extra ‘l’ in his surname for no reason. Grow up, Mr Dal!
Even though there is no specific criteria for spelling, the Authority did send a note to students before last year’s exam that said: “Although not explicitly marked, handwriting, spelling, punctuation and so on can influence a marker.”
So, spelling still matters a bit anyway.
Plus, it does make you look more intelligent. I mean, for example, this article is about to be posted on Facebook and, hoo boy, there are going to be a lot of spelling mistakes in the comments below.