Andreas Pribnow is the ‘Deputy Rector Berufsmatura’ at the zB. Zentrum Bildung Wirtschaftsschule | KV Aargau Ost. Read on to hear what he has to say answering three questions.
1. How did you perceive the change to Swiss Exams?
Our request to change must have come at the worst moment possible to Swiss Exams. We had worked with them before, so Swiss Exams was the natural choice. And we were not let down. We were sent forms so we could put down what our requirements were, so we knew that we were on the map. What I appreciated most was a series of webinars that explained the way Swiss Exams runs their exams, so we were able to do what was needed at the time it needed to be done. Although there wasn’t frequent contact with Swiss Exams, we were always sure that our requests were taken into account. And there was a happy ending when we were given the opportunity to offer Business English exams to 90 candidates at the end of June.
2. "After Corona" – How do you think exams will be impacted in the future?
Having the right to offer exams on basically any date probably helped all the centres a lot. As a client, I would be very happy if some of that flexibility was kept alive. We have large numbers of candidates for certain exams. If we are allowed to pick a date for those exams, it will help the school’s planning as well as the candidates’ preparation. It would also mean that something good comes out of the crisis after all. Depending on how long safety rules apply, centres may have to offer more exams anyway if large numbers of candidates cannot to be examined at the same venue.
One point that may affect exams much more than Corona could be the reform of the vocational education as from 2022. According to the changes that have already been revealed, foreign language certificates will play a far less important part in the qualifications than they do now.
3. What are three key points that are important to you collaborating with Swiss Exams?
Our school and Swiss Exams both provide services to students. So basically, what I expect are the points that guarantee a good service.
a. Reliability is key. We must be certain that the registration process works well, that the exams are held according to the conditions agreed, and that the results are given to us in time.
b. Clear communication is important at all levels. I very much like the Swiss Exams Access portal that provides me with the information I need while registration is still in progress. What’s even more important is clear and easy communication with our candidates because their English isn’t always at a very high level.
c. Professionalism in difficult situations. I’m aware that mistakes can happen wherever work is done – and mistakes will happen. I expect a culture of solving problems as efficiently as possible rather than blaming institutions or individuals for what’s gone wrong. However, there must be time after the exams to find ways of preventing the same mistakes from happening again.
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