A-Levels in Art History to End in 2018
Ben Street, “Make No Mistake, Art History Is a Hard Subject. What’s Soft Is the Decision to Scrap It,” Apollo (15 October 2016).
So: art history A-level is to be scrapped in 2018. However much they protest the fact, the decision taken by the exam board AQA seems related to the Conservative government’s policy of ranking subjects by perceived relative difficulty, using an analogy of ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ that seems designed to belittle students and teachers who’ve apparently taken the easy way out. AQA deny this. Their claim is that art history—ditched along with archaeology and classical civilisation, whose demise has raised much less of a public fuss, for which you can provide your own punchline—is too difficult to mark successfully in an exam setting. It’s too ‘complex and specialist’, apparently. Too ‘hard’, in other words. . . .