Schools remove analogue clocks from exam rooms as teenagers can't tell time

Helpless students complained they couldn't read the clock faces.
Helpless students complained they couldn't read the clock faces. Photo credit: File

Teenagers are now so bad at reading analogue clocks that UK schools have been forced to remove them from exam rooms.

Digital clocks are being installed instead, after helpless students complained they were unable to tell how much time they had left.

Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) deputy general secretary Malcolm Trobe says young people are increasingly incapable of reading the clocks.

"The current generation aren't as good at reading the traditional clock face as older generations," he told the Daily Telegraph.

"They are used to seeing a digital representation of time on their phone, on their computer. Nearly everything they've got is digital so youngsters are just exposed to time being given digitally everywhere."

And he's not the only one. Numerous other teachers say they have swapped clocks.

Meanwhile, universities are considering abolishing compulsory handwriting in exams, after complaints from exam markers that students' handwriting is unreadable. Instead, students would be allowed to type their answers using computers.

Last year, Dr Sarah Pearsall told the Daily Telegraph that some students' writing is so illegible, they were forced to return over summer to read their answers out loud.

"Handwriting is very significantly in decline. We have to accept the reality - this is the way the vast majority of students have been brought up," University of Buckingham vice-chancellor Sir Anthony Seldon said.

"Some of our finest wordsmiths in England today write using laptops, and I'm afraid that we have to fight to preserve what is really important, such as the use of great English, great sentence structure."

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