Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey there Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

GCSE exams to be made harder by 2013

Announcements Posted on
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by 117r)
    Well it does sound like a step in the right direction to me. Certainly it sounds like a good idea to make the exams linear. Life is about performing well at given points in time, and not about being given as many chances as you need until you fluke a good performance. There is no real reason for people to truly flunk an exam that will not be taken into account by an exam board.

    The real advantage of a linear system is that it allows for more teaching time, and more material to be covered without the constant stress of imminent exams.

    An increase in difficulty is also overdue in my opinion. GCSEs don't in reality test skill in particular subjects, and as such it is perfectly possible with a little intelligence and hard work to gain As and A*s in nearly all exams. What people don't seem to realise is that they won't be adversely affected by increasing difficulty. It will be harder to gain A* grades yes, but you will still do as well as you would have in comparison to the general populous. The positive result of harder courses would hopefully be students being more prepared for their future life, whether it be academic or otherwise, by being better equipped with critical thinking skills.

    For those struggling with the content to such a degree as it becomes impossibly difficult, there should be some form of foundation tier offered, as there is now.

    So there, that's my opinion. And I'm not some adult who has never looked at a GCSE paper either, I took 'em last year.

    Oh, and regarding the simple question of whether the exams have become harder over time, just take a look at past paper O-level questions. I remember reading one opinion of someone who was in the first batch of GCSE students. He was saying how his class had been preparing using O-level past papers, and how everyone was astonished by how easy the new qualifications were!
    This, basically (except I took my GCSEs 4 years ago!)
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Back 2-3 years ago when I did my GCSE's all my subjects bar the sciences were linear. I gotta admitt, I did sort of prefer the linear style (personally) because it just seemed as though there was much more time. More time to explore the subject for my own enjoyment, more time have trips or do field work (in geography for example) and just generally more time to understand the content.

    This is compared to my modular sciences in which it always seemed as though the next exam was merely days away. We ONLY learned the material which would definitely come up in the exam (because there was so little time). We did very few practicals and the ones we did were because they were assessed practicals, rather than doing practicals to expand our knowledge or augment it.

    Nevertheless, the fact that they were repeatable helped out a few students who had bad days or who were just ill prepared for their first GCSE examinations, was there redeeming feature. Also the ability of them to force students to work consistently is rather good as well.

    If it were my choice I think I would make a compromise. I would make each subject bi-modular and have an exam at the end of each year. I think this would keep students focused and stop them from leaving everything over two years to the last week, while also providing 1 chance for those who mess up in the year 10 exam to retake it with their better knowledge and experience at year 11.
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I think it really sucks for Year 9 future Triple Scientists.

    To have to remember the entire 2 year courses including the higher tier difficulty and extensions is really hard.

    It was hard enough for me to do the modules (1a, 1b, 2, 3) as I was doing constant revision. I have done well - but we chose to do coursework for Physics and Chemistry because apparently the C3 and P3 exams are super hard, and I mean last year a straight A* student got a D in C3 exam. Ouch.

    Right now with Biology 3 I think I've covered everything, Biology is the easiest memory-wise anyway. The way they phrase questions is harder for them I reckon.

    But to remember the entire course over 2 years, no way. That's terrible.

    It works for History because a lot of the questions are source or opinion based, and if you are able to understand history then all you need to do is refer to a few facts for each sub topic. It's a lot to learn but I find it sticks more.

    I completely agree with the remark on exam-centric lessons. In English the whole of our second year was focused purely on exam based questions. The teacher we had before failed our English Language exam (and subsequently scarpered to Spain), and because of the time wasted, we have had to learn (deep breath)

    Language Unit 1 (For the school-wide re-sit...)
    Shakespeare and War poetry Controlled Assessment
    About a Boy
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    Inspector Calls
    Unseen Poetry
    Language Unit 2 (Writing)

    All within the year, and consider that Year 11 is shorter than Year 10 anyway! Right now we're having switching lessons all the time! One day it's Inspector Calls, then the next we're doing persuasive writing, then unseen poetry! And the exam is in 2 weeks time.

    Because of this we have no fun learning the content at all. It's simple read, highlight, techniques for the exam, and exam practice.

    And I think it really sucks because you can't re-sit the new 2013 exams. One bad day and you're out.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I think it could be a good thing, as someone above mentioned, the gap between gcse and A level is pretty huge. I know some peple who got nearly all A for gcse but are struggling at A level. So maybe making it a bit tougher can be a good thing.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    There was a post on here about 60% getting A*-C and the government wants to REDUCE this number?

    :eek:
    • 5 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    my school does everything linear, this summer i'm sitting my gcses with 23 exams! i think linear is viewed upon by universities to be more impressive, well at AS and A2 i've heard! i guess it would be more fair if everyone was doing linear, despite not having any experience of modular, many of my friends whose schools sit modular say modular is definitely easier.
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Pawsies)
    There was a post on here about 60% getting A*-C and the government wants to REDUCE this number?

    :eek:
    I am wondering if that is partially one of the reasons why UK unemployment is so high...
    • 5 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AboveTheLine)
    I think it really sucks for Year 9 future Triple Scientists.

    To have to remember the entire 2 year courses including the higher tier difficulty and extensions is really hard.

    It was hard enough for me to do the modules (1a, 1b, 2, 3) as I was doing constant revision. I have done well - but we chose to do coursework for Physics and Chemistry because apparently the C3 and P3 exams are super hard, and I mean last year a straight A* student got a D in C3 exam. Ouch.

    Right now with Biology 3 I think I've covered everything, Biology is the easiest memory-wise anyway. The way they phrase questions is harder for them I reckon.

    But to remember the entire course over 2 years, no way. That's terrible.

    It works for History because a lot of the questions are source or opinion based, and if you are able to understand history then all you need to do is refer to a few facts for each sub topic. It's a lot to learn but I find it sticks more.

    I completely agree with the remark on exam-centric lessons. In English the whole of our second year was focused purely on exam based questions. The teacher we had before failed our English Language exam (and subsequently scarpered to Spain), and because of the time wasted, we have had to learn (deep breath)

    Language Unit 1 (For the school-wide re-sit...)
    Shakespeare and War poetry Controlled Assessment
    About a Boy
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    Inspector Calls
    Unseen Poetry
    Language Unit 2 (Writing)

    All within the year, and consider that Year 11 is shorter than Year 10 anyway! Right now we're having switching lessons all the time! One day it's Inspector Calls, then the next we're doing persuasive writing, then unseen poetry! And the exam is in 2 weeks time.

    Because of this we have no fun learning the content at all. It's simple read, highlight, techniques for the exam, and exam practice.

    And I think it really sucks because you can't re-sit the new 2013 exams. One bad day and you're out.
    in my school we sit all the exams at the end of the course and i'm taking triple science and many people have before me! i guess it's hard to retain that much knowledge, but it's good to be able to revise topics and have them fresh in your memory, especially if you're taking that subject up for AS, opposed to visiting it after you did it in year 10. i can see your point, but i guess being in a school that does this and seeing a lot of success stories, i think it's feasible. it is pretty terrible to be able to remember the whole two-year course, trust me, revision is hell, but then it becomes second nature because that's what you have to. think about it, to them they won't know it any other way.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    From what I hear, the Sciences are becoming linear as well.

    I think its a brilliant idea. I do modular Science, Maths, History, Geography and RS. They're all easy because I only have to know such little content at any given time. Whilst it's good for me and my marks on paper, for an employer it's awful. They have no idea if a person just memorised a small chunk or actually LEARNT it like the previous generation did. Some people just learn exam technique with a mediocre knowledge of the subject matter and get Bs. This isn't good for society in the long run.

    I love my modular exams though
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AdamskiUK)
    From what I hear, the Sciences are becoming linear as well.

    I think its a brilliant idea. I do modular Science, Maths, History, Geography and RS. They're all easy because I only have to know such little content at any given time. Whilst it's good for me and my marks on paper, for an employer it's awful. They have no idea if a person just memorised a small chunk or actually LEARNT it like the previous generation did. Some people just learn exam technique with a mediocre knowledge of the subject matter and get Bs. This isn't good for society in the long run.

    I love my modular exams though
    Your employer will know about every course you take? Do you even have to mention it on your CV?

    Either way, you are correct. My head of science isn't very happy about it but just says we're lucky. I couldn't imagine doing the whole 2 year Triple Science course in one exam at the end. No way.

    If you ask me, the whole exam system is flawed. This idea of adjusting boundaries due to national struggling with the paper (or national easy-peasyness). And like you said, a lot of lessons are exam technique. Not fun for the teacher and not fun for the students. You have to teach them the marking scheme because there are obscure ways of getting marks, questions are awkwardly phrased etc.
    • 9 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Aww thats so harsh! I'm in an good place because I'm going my final GCSEs this year but I don't even see why they're making maths and history harder. I take history and when it comes to the revision, I find it frustrating half the time and with maths, it's a subject a lot of people have to work their butts off if they want to gain even a C.
    By making them harder, one thing being is, is that it'll prepare them for A-levels but bad thing is, way too much stress.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AboveTheLine)
    Your employer will know about every course you take? Do you even have to mention it on your CV?

    If you ask me, the whole exam system is flawed. This idea of adjusting boundaries due to national struggling with the paper (or national easy-peasyness). And like you said, a lot of lessons are exam technique. Not fun for the teacher and not fun for the students. You have to teach them the marking scheme because there are obscure ways of getting marks, questions are awkwardly phrased etc.
    You're right. The employer will know about every course, but it doesn't mean it's ideal for them to choose out of a selection of students who took the easy route to their GCSE. I suppose only high-end jobs will be too affected (top-end Science jobs, accountancy, possibly IT stuff) because there is much more application of the subject knowledge in these.

    And I agree totally about the adjustment of exam boundaries. I found out that all you need is 36/45 on the AQA Science Modular papers to get the full 100 UMS - the maximum you can have on the paper (Paper 3 I'm talking about). Anything above this is still worth the 100 UMS, and seeing how everything is converted to UMS to get your overall grade, getting anything other than a 36/45 seems pointless. Even more foolish when the actual A* boundary is 32/45.

    I might sound like a bit of a snobbish prick atm, but it's no good if people don't know what they're on about when they apply for a job or even A-Levels.

    From what I've heard, A-Levels aren't so easy -sigh-
    • 6 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    My situation is i finish school in 2 days, i started my gcses a year early in year 9 in the core 3, citizenship &RP. I've completed everything modular, So i have got the following in the bag.

    Fully Finished:
    English(double award) by end of year 10 - yr 11 was for retaking
    Citizenship-finished in year 10
    Maths- finished modular by year 10 but unless you got A* the whole year did linear in march.
    French-finished by january year 11 and retakes for those who wanted in summer



    Partly finished:
    Geography: 2 out of 4 units completed
    History: 3 out of 4 units completed
    RP: one unit completed from year 9, half of final grade
    RM(dt woodwork) 60% coursework based
    Chemistry Biology and physics did 30% of each in year 9 and another 40% in year10 only got 30% one exam in each for summer year11


    As this clearly shows I could have awful summer exam period and still walk away with good results.
    I agree with Linear in English compared to modular because everyone in my year improved in retaking units because simply your english language skills improve when your sitting an exam for 16 years when your 16 not when your 13/14.


    However other subjects I believe modules were really good for two reasons; 1) got people into mindset to learn and work fro early age 2) Allows people to learn form mistakes. Saying this there are several people who have not taken advantage of these modulars and are now resiting or cannot achieve their potential after resitting already.

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: May 14, 2012
New on TSR

Find out what year 11 is like

Going into year 11? Students who did it last year share what to expect.

Article updates
Reputation gems:
You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.