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  • rocketman
    Member

    They are getting easier.

    I helped my lad with his revision and although I don’t think the questions were any easier they were a lot less wordy and not intended to confuse the candidate.

    As opposed to some of my O-level questions e.g a geostationary satellite of mass blah blah blah is in a decaying orbit. Given that blah blah blah give the grid reference of where the satellite is expected to land (Maths)

    or

    An alchemist is attempting to turn lead into gold. He has a solution of Copper Sulphate and a particle accelerator blah blah blah (Chemistry)

    Happy days

    In answer to my own question.

    This year 53.1% of science entries were awarded between an A* and a C, down from 60.7% last year. That was the biggest fall in top results across all the subjects.

    brakes
    Member

    I thought everyone was doing international batchelorettes these days?

    I did 13 GCSEs about 20 years ago and got 3 A*s, 5 As, 3 Bs, a C and a D.
    It all went a bit downhill after that.

    I thought everyone was doing international batchelorettes these days?

    no lots of places are doing IGCSE as its easier and Gove wants to judge schools on five “good” gcse’s rather than just eng and maths plus 3. He called this the english bacc to confuse people and its eng maths sci a modern language and history or geography I think.

    Premier Icon ads678
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    I did GCSE’s back in 92 I think, I got 2 E’s, 2 F’s, & 2 G’s.

    I’m now a Civil Engineer!

    Premier Icon tenfoot
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    I got an A, B, B and A at A level.

    But I couldn’t get anyone to Take A Chance On Me.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
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    I am not sure about the argument that IB is harder than IGCSE – although there is a perception that IB is harder (work) than A levels and possibly pre-Us but again not sure that is correct.

    IMO, the material is as hard if not harder than it has ever been – maths is a good example where calculus, surds etc are (I)GCSE whereas they were Ad Maths O level in my day. The distant past! Plus the volume of material in subjects like geography is very broad indeed. The main difference IMO is the marking and to a lesser extent the requirements to write correctly. My younger son took all IGCSEs bar Theology ( πŸ˜‰ ) which was standard GCSE. His conclusion…you know you will get an A* in GCSEs because you just have to get the facts down (but against major time pressure in his case) but in all the others the top grade was in doubt due to the stricter grammar/spelling/essay structure requirements. In my day this was the Oxford & Cambridge board versus JMB debate, so perhaps things haven’t changed all that much!

    A-A the name English Bacc is really stupid as it it really based on old O levels not the IB at all. Can’t see why Gove did that?

    stumpy01
    Member

    molgrips – Member
    11 GCSEs? Wtf are they doing to kids these days?

    Eh? I did 11 GCSE’s in ’93.
    2A’s, 8 B’s and a C…..

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
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    Yep 12 in the late 80s. Two early (Maths, Divinity in those days!), nine in the correct year, and one in lower sixth (Spanish from scratch) as a bit of fun. So no real difference there.

    The other difference – no course work, no retakes, all linear exam-based apart from language oral papers. No chance for parents/teachers to “do” the course work!!!

    A-A the name English Bacc is really stupid as it it really based on old O levels not the IB at all. Can’t see why Gove did that?

    because he’s a **** idiot, he also wants Grammar Schools go look good.
    IGCSE maths has been taken up a lot recently as it was easier afaik. The ibacc is a completely different kettle of fish.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
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    No harm in making grammar schools look good In my book, πŸ˜‰ not that they need politicians to do that for them!!!

    Interesting to hear you perception of IGCSE v GCSE and you have some support in that view especially with English if the Torygraph is to be believed. However, that is not our experience. But even fewer seem to believe the boards who try to present both exams as being equally challenging!

    Premier Icon totalshell
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    back in ’79 (1979) we did 7 gce’s from maths english language english lit., one foriegn language, 3 sciences (physics biology chemistry) history or geography.

    each marked soley on two 90 minute exams.. no calculators ( but we did have books of logarithms , whatever they were..)

    we did no revision.. zip. we had a prelim 6 months before the actual june exam for practice and that was it.. (My outstanding achievement was getting 4% in the maths prelim.. this meant extra lessons on saturday morning from a very very attractive 19yr old teacher training student from the local college)

    they are easier today on the basis that the kids are schooled to pass the exams (such as they are) where as we just turned up and were memory tested from stuff we might have done 3 years earlier..

    I thought everyone was doing international batchelorettes these days?

    My personal diary plans are none of your business.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
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    Parental input, revisions guides, the Internet, peer pressure, overall expectations etc…..a lot has changed. Not all for the better, but unlike a lot of headlines IMO a lot is much, much better…..even teachers!!!!! πŸ˜‰

    Junkyard
    Member

    No harm in making grammar schools look good In my book, not that they need politicians to do that for them!!!

    of course not, which school would if they pre selected students on ability?

    Please note I am not anti grammar schools as education should be about teaching each person to fulfil their maximum potential. That will be grammar for some and a more technical based approach [as used in Germany] for the less able/more practical inclined for others and basic education for some.

    ell_tell
    Member

    2 A’s, 5 B’s and 3 C’s for me.

    It was A levels I found the hardest, more so than my degree even.

    Premier Icon miketually
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    6th form of choice stipulated A grade minimum at GCSE for the A levels he wanted to do

    Wow, we don’t ask for anything like that – if you get 5 Cs, you can come here; some subjects ask for a B, but none require an A – and we do pretty well.

    Premier Icon ransos
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    I took 9 in 1992, only high pressure over-achieving swots took 10, and our school didn’t even give us the option!

    12 GCSEs in 1994. Not A*s though!

    Please note I am not anti grammar schools as education should be about teaching each person to fulfil their maximum potential.

    I’m unsure how selecting people at 11 and then segregating them achieves these laudable aims.

    rogerthecat
    Member

    Very proud dad here – eldest lad has 2xA*, 5xA, 2xB & 1xC
    Off to do A Level Maths, further Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Govt & Politics
    πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon Cougar
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    I sat my high school exams the first year GCSEs came in. We took eight subjects; three mandatory and five options. No option to take any more. That would’ve been 1988.

    3xA, 4xB and a C. And I was a girly swot. Either they’re getting easier, kids are getting smarter or teaching’s improved. I’m leaning towards the latter.

    TiRed
    Member

    5A’s, 5B’s and a C for Son1. He is pleased and we are ff for dinner. Might buy him a set of kneepads for our trip to the Forest of Dean this weekend. If I really push the boat out, I’ll rent him a downhill bike for an uplift day at UK Bikepark next month. We don’t do pay for performance nonsense.

    The 7% drop in Science passes is dissapointing but I think it is setting the stage for a return to more sensible marking across all subjects. Given the sample size, a 7% change must have a 10^-10 P value.

    chewkw
    Member

    Nephew’s result 6A’s & 1B.
    Niece’s result 3A’s 3B’s & 1D …

    πŸ™‚

    The 7% drop in Science passes is dissapointing but I think it is setting the stage for a return to more sensible marking across all subjects. Given the sample size, a 7% change must have a 10^-10 P value.

    Amazing work by Gove to dress up poorer results as an improvement. He really has worked himself the ultimate win win. Its dressed up as a harder set of courses, although I teach it and struggle to see whats harder. Some of the exam questions are harder but the content is much the same. The % needed to get an A grade really are shockingly low so I’m not sure its helping we are just having less questions got right and more people failing. My school and department got best ever results though πŸ™‚ thats despite offsted moving us from outstanding to in need of improvement just a couple of months ago πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
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    IMO the first sentence makes some sense – however to prove his own rigour, and to set the appropriate example, Gove should have said that YoY comparisons are of less value as the marking criteria have become stricter in sciences (and English?). As usual with Gove a hint of something sensible but dashed by sloppy presentation and execution – no A* for the minister.

    Premier Icon Sandwich
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    I had the dubious pleasure of e-mailing my boss to tell him his eldests maths teacher needed to chat via e-mail!(They are on holiday in the US in Yosemite). I think it wasn’t good news and the career choice of medicine may not be possible now.

    Premier Icon miketually
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    The 7% drop in Science passes is dissapointing

    There was a deliberate move to make sciences harder this year, so a drop was expected. Not sure if it was 7% though.

    The overall drop is hard to compare with last year, because a huge number of Y10 kids were entered for GCSEs this year and they did less well. Just looking at Y11, it was about on a par with last year.

    There’s certainly been grade inflation – we’re getting students who are not as good as someone with the same grades of a few years ago – but that’s not necessarily a sign that the exams are easier. Schools are now very good at targeting specific students and use all sorts of techniques to make sure their headline figures as as good as possible.

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