WAY back in the day, when teachers still wore mortar boards and gowns, a funny thing happened in a silent exam hall.

In a cavernous room, where the only sound was the clicking on the floor of the invigilators heels, one of our teachers shattered the peace when she fell off the school stage as she walked backwards.

Thankfully, she was OK, if a little embarrassed, but any chance that any of us had of passing the exam had gone as it was now impossible to concentrate in between muffled giggles.

School exams have caused generations of pupils no end of stress as a mind full of studied facts and figures suddenly turns to mush as soon as the examination paper is turned over.

Countless careers have been ruined as pupils crack under the archaic system that places a good memory ahead of ability when it comes to measured success.

If you are told you need an A in Higher Maths to keep your place at medical school, it is little wonder that so many fall short under the strain.

So it is good news that moves are afoot to change the exams system to bring it into the 21st century. It is rather bizarre that many thousands of Scots kids have missed out on their dream career because they suddenly forgot the simplest algebra or calculus under the extreme pressure of a silent gym hall.

Businesses have complained for years that the current system does not equip youngsters for the workplace.

It is absurd that someone with little ability can study very hard and scrape through the exams to gain a place at university while a pupil with more intelligence can flunk them and be left on the scrapheap.

There are no half measures at the moment and that is wrong. Some kids are good at passing exams while some are not. A system should be in place that doesn’t penalise those who just aren’t any good at exams. In this digital age, it is ridiculous that we still have an exams system where success and failure is judged with a pen and a scrap of paper.

We should embrace that technology and continuous assessments applied throughout the year, so crammers can’t wing it and the intelligent but serial exam failures can achieve success.

The whole curriculum should be radically overhauled at the same time so teenagers are far better equipped to deal with the outside world.

Six straight As actually means nothing in the grand scheme of things, yet it is hailed by universities and schools as a measure of greatness.

Straight A students don’t necessarily make the best doctors, for example, but that’s what you need to get into medical school.

At a time of great upheaval in the jobs market, it is time to think radically about the entire education system and produce one that’s fit for purpose and gives every pupil an equal chance of success.

Anything else would be failure.