This year Irish students who took the Higher Level Maths exam in their Leaving Certificate received 25 'bonus points' over those who took the Ordinary Level. (For those not familiar with the system, these points act as tokens for university places. The more tokens you have, the more valued/competitive course you can enroll in.) Not surprisingly the numbers taking the harder exam increased by a third and, even accounting for this increase, the number of failing grades fell by a fifth.
When you offer bonus tokens, and more people avail of these tokens, and hold supply of college places steady, the price will rise.The Irish Times reports today that:
Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn is set to review the impact of the new Leaving Certificate bonus points system amid increasing concerns it could have a distorting impact on college entry points.That was precisely the point of the project, and completely predictable. The mind boggles.