Surprise Surprise, GCSE results

#1
Once again at this time of year we are subjected to the impending news that GCSE's are getting easier.

Are they?

Who has actually taken these exams more than once? That is the only way you are going to establish this. Unless???? We take a group of kids and teach them the old and new way. Make them sit the exams twice and once and for all we will know!

We all know that Girls are better at school as they don't have their hands permanently attached to their under carriage on the first hint of puberty or wondering what the Maths teacher looks like without her clothes on! Yet still its parraded that 5.7% get better grades.

How long before the Govt spend millions on an independant review to figure all this out? Money which could be spent much better on other causes!

Rant off.
 
#2
You're on a roll this morning. :twisted: Slow day at work?
 
#4
once again the press forget that O levels had norm referenced marking + grading and the exam boards decided if they were going to allow an increase in grades where the vast majority of current awards are criteria based marking with fixed grade boundaries
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#5
My boy just picked up 8 passes at C + today. He cannot complete a form in legible handwriting, and is unable to do basic arithmetic without a calculator.
Some of the subjects he had a C in before the actual exam due to coursework.
Don't know if the exam is easier, but the pressure and way of sitting them certainly is. If his coursework had been submitted to me, I would have returned it with the comment "fail - cannot read your handwriting".

He is hoping to join the Air Farce next year (if they get any vacancies) - his mother did not want him to go in the military - so she got her way :D
 
#6
I've had to resit maths to meet the minimum educational standard for officer selection. Im 25 and have a first class degree from a decent university.

In 2000 I got a D, this time I got a B. Then I had hours of maths lessons a week over a two-year sylabus, this time I taught myself from books and crammed the whole lot into about three months, working around my full-time job. The exam wasn't easy (far from it) but I didn't have any help or tuition.
 
#7
A couple of years back channel 4 did a series called "that'll teach 'em" where they took a group of straight A students and sent them back to a 1950's school environment, taught them everything as per the old curriculum, food, dress, the lot.

At the end they sat the exam, horrific results, all agreed that the exam was harder then....

Their faces were a picture when it was revealed that they hadn't sat a CSE at all but had in fact just taken (and failed) the 11+

Point proven me thinks

GW
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#8
gloworm said:
A couple of years back channel 4 did a series called "that'll teach 'em" where they took a group of straight A students and sent them back to a 1950's school environment, taught them everything as per the old curriculum, food, dress, the lot.

At the end they sat the exam, horrific results, all agreed that the exam was harder then....

Their faces were a picture when it was revealed that they hadn't sat a CSE at all but had in fact just taken (and failed) the 11+

Point proven me thinks

GW
Everyone knows you don't fail exams - you just get asked the wrong questions :roll: :wink:
 
#9
Alsacien said:
gloworm said:
A couple of years back channel 4 did a series called "that'll teach 'em" where they took a group of straight A students and sent them back to a 1950's school environment, taught them everything as per the old curriculum, food, dress, the lot.

At the end they sat the exam, horrific results, all agreed that the exam was harder then....

Their faces were a picture when it was revealed that they hadn't sat a CSE at all but had in fact just taken (and failed) the 11+

Point proven me thinks

GW
Everyone knows you don't fail exams - you just get asked the wrong questions :roll: :wink:
Unlike the Mob, at least an 80% pass mark was still 80% of the questions had to be answered correctly or it was a fail unlike the sliding scale variant whereby you take your highest marks attained and call that the 100% mark and everything falls out of that...twaddle and sheer stupidity. :roll:
 
#10
gloworm said:
A couple of years back channel 4 did a series called "that'll teach 'em" where they took a group of straight A students and sent them back to a 1950's school environment, taught them everything as per the old curriculum, food, dress, the lot.

At the end they sat the exam, horrific results, all agreed that the exam was harder then....

Their faces were a picture when it was revealed that they hadn't sat a CSE at all but had in fact just taken (and failed) the 11+
Point proven me thinks

GW
I don't remember that bit.
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
Isn't it the case now you get the taught to pass the exam i.e. only get taught specific parts of history which relate to the exam questions
Therefore you can get good results but don't actually know much about the broader subject
 
#12
Having only just completed my first year of A-Level studies I can still easily remember my time studying for GCSE. They are getting alot easier, anybody who has ever done past-papers will tell you that. We are actually told in class now that if we get a B in a past mock we will most likely get an A in the exam due to the grade boundries not being decided until AFTER the results have been collected. This allows them to put the grade boundries down.

However, the problem is not the fact that the results are going up but the fact that the pressure is going up. As more and more people realise that the exams are getting easier, they realise they can look for higher achieving students. For example I achieved 1 A*, 8 As and 2 Bs.... this was considered just over average. Many that got 2 As and 9 Bs (which I used to consider a decent result) were told they needed to resit the exam. This means that one bad exam - such as an E in one module while all other modules were As - can lead to being rejected by 6th Forms or other education establishments.

The ease of the GCSE exam also comes with the additional issue of the link to A-Level. Although many on this site would argue that A-Level exams are getting easier aswell, they do not realise that A-Level is getting harder for people to pass as GCSE exams are no longer preparing people for the difficulties of Higher Education.

I could sit here and moan about the education system all day but ironically enough I'm supposed to be doing A-Level work right now. I shall suggest however, that you take into account the difficulty that many GCSE students will face in the coming year and the fact that nothing is worse than to return from results collection to be informed that your exam is easier. Personally I think any talk in the media about this subject should be done either a week before or after the personal results are given the students.

Anywho, thats just my opinion :D
 
#13
Boo di fricking hoo, I took mine back in 96/97, and they were a piece of urine back then. As a rule of thumb, the older the past paper the harder the test.
 
#14
I got my results this morning and was pleasently suprised. I have achieved 6 As, 2 Bs and a Distinction * (2 A*). I'm suprised due to the fact that rather foolishly I didn't bother to revise just really turned up and did them. Coursework does make life rather easy seeing as all my English Lit, Lang and Humanities were all A*s and DT was at A grade, with the course being 60% coursework 40% exam. On a DT mock I left the last two pages blank and still came out with an A, achieving 30/50.

:D
 
#16
the_boy_syrup said:
Isn't it the case now you get the taught to pass the exam i.e. only get taught specific parts of history which relate to the exam questions
Therefore you can get good results but don't actually know much about the broader subject
Congratulations on writing the one really sensible comment on this thread. You have got it spot on correct. We told government twenty years ago that "teaching to the test" would be the inevitable result of league tables. We were not believed. Sadly, it is precisely what teachers HAVE to do.

End result - kids are taught the content of an examination board syllabus, what they need to know to get the grades. My students got high grades in science, but I had not turned them into scientists.

Don't blame the schools or the teachers, that would be wrong. Blame those in Westminster who think they know best, and whose most recent experience and knowledge of the state education system comes from when their own children went to public school.
 
#17
stoatman said:
AQA GCSE higher maths, November 2008 paper: http://store.aqa.org.uk/qual/gcse/qp-ms/AQA-4301-2H-W-QP-NOV08.PDF

holy crap, that's easy!
That looks very similar to the paper I did! Might even be almost exactly the same.

Did my GCSEs in 1998 and they were a piece of piss. I did absolutely no revision for any of them and got 10 passes (1 A, 7 Bs and 2 Cs) and I was no more intelligent than anyone else in my school (although I went to a selective Grammar school, so we were probably slightly higher than the general population).

Considering pupils are getting better and better grades at A Level and GCSE yet universities are finding students turning up who are barely literate, I think there's only one explanation...
 
#18
Interview Question for Physics at an Oxford college a couple of years ago:
Q) "Estimate how many molecules are in this room"
A) "Erm, 10 Billion."
Q) "How did you get that number?"
A) "I guessed."

This person was predicted A's for A Level Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.
They were rejected by the college.
 
#20
This is as hard as it gets:

Problem Page
Answer the questions in English.
Je m’appelle Claire et j’ai 14 ans. Mon problème? Je suis la fille
d’un principal de collège. Mon père travaille dans le même collège où
moi, je suis élève! Il y a beaucoup de garçons qui me trouvent
gentille et jolie, mais ils ne veulent pas sortir avec moi à cause de
mon père. Qu’est-ce que je peux faire? Ma mère ne me comprend
pas, elle ne me prend pas au sérieux. Elle se moque de moi.
Réponse:
Ne t’inquiète pas ! Heureusement, tu n’es pas tout le temps au
collège. Essaie de rencontrer des garçons qui étudient ailleurs et qui
ne fréquentent pas ton établissement. Et n’oublie pas que tu auras
bientôt 15 ans, et l’année prochaine tu quitteras ton collège et tu
auras une nouvelle école où les garçons pourront sortir avec toi sans
problème.
8 (a) What exactly is Claire’s problem at school? Give two details.
...................................................................................................................................
...................................................................................................................................
(2 marks)
8 (b) What are we told about Claire’s mother’s attitude? Give two details.
...................................................................................................................................
...................................................................................................................................
(2 marks)
8 (c) What advice is Claire given? Give two details.
...................................................................................................................................
...................................................................................................................................
(2 marks)
8 (d) What will happen next year? Give two details.
...................................................................................................................................
...................................................................................................................................
(2 marks)
 

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