Hey there Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Are you glad to hear O-Levels are coming back? POLL

Announcements Posted on
  • View Poll Results: Are you glad O-Levels are returning?
    Yes - I have already sat my GCSEs or equivalent
    39.76%
    Yes - I have not yet sat my GCSEs or equivalent
    0.99%
    No - I have already sat my GCSEs or equivalent
    56.72%
    No - I have not yet sat my GCSEs or equivalent
    2.53%

    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Also, course work is just a way for Private schools to bend the rules and get better grades. Coursework should be eliminated-it's totally unfair.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I thought they were just changing the format to be similar to O-levels I didn't realise they were ditching GCSE's and put back O-Levels in there place?!!! :eek:
    • 27 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I've taught CSE, O levels, 16+ and GCSE over the last 30 years. None of them is perfect, largely because they are devised by politicians and not people who deal with students. Equally, none is without its merits. I'm glad to be heading for retirement.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I don't think anyone who is going to sit O Levels will be happy they've made it harder- however, they might be pleasantly surprised at how doing well is so much more fulfilling when your peers aren't so successful with harder exams.
    • 4 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jfranks)
    but foundation limits your top grade to a C anyway so surely it is better to do a universal paper with the possibility of getting higher even if u do end up getting that same C either way. but of course there should always the vocational training option
    I am talking about people whose grades will average more below a D
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I'm quite shocked reading through a lot of these posts. There are a lot of people implying only 'stupid' people get bad GCSE grades or the people who 'can't be a**ed. The surroundings you are taking these exams in needs the be considered, school is well known for the part of your life you either block out or the so called best time of your life. Me personally I got E's and F's and I am far from 'stupid' but when I was taking these exams I was being physically and mentally bullied, kind of makes it hard to concentrate right? So stop assuming under achievers are thick or just not as clever as the shining A* student! You don't know their background, you don't know their circumstances, and you don't know them. If your going to use examples use yourself not the underachieving student you remember...
    • 7 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Paha yes I did and it took me forever to type the thing! Yeah I was basically summarising the arguments that are against bringing O-levels back and here they are briefly:
    • It would be taking a step backwards as O-levels were eliminated for good reasons and why should we overlook them now?
    • I was a little offended when they claimed the exams I had just done were far too easy
    • The foundation and higher tier system does actually work as an umbrella for all abilities
    • There is a lot of pressure at the age of 15/16 and toughening exams would increase them
    • If they disallow low-ability students from doing the same courses as other then it may upset them and create a division in students
    These were just some of the reasons why I didn’t want O-levels to return but having researched it, I think I kind of disagree now. Personally, I did believe that some of my OCR exams were far too easy and I was receiving A*s without doing much revision. OI think I made the mistake of getting scared of the name of ‘O-levels’ rather than the improvements. Many people disagree with the change due to the term ‘O-level’ which suggests we are going back to the 20th century. However, I think I do agree with the idea of revising and toughening the current GCSEs and do believe that they do need improvement. I completely agree with all of the reforms you have suggested. My main point of focus is the ‘one exam board’ idea. I think it would seriously improve the system as all students would be categorised fairly without other factors interfering (like easier exam boards, tougher papers etc). I also strongly agree with the idea of focusing on learning information rather than exam techniques. The main bridge between GCSE and A level is the understanding. AT GCSE, I personally clearly understood al the concepts but I guess you could get away without the comprehension too.

    You’re probably wondering why I’ve suddenly changed my mind so drastically but I had my induction the other day where it struck me that there is a big gap between year 11 and 6th form courses. I myself did not feel I would struggle to cross the bridge as I always develop my understanding at GCSE and all of my teachers would frequently take the lessons on to A-level work (not for exams but for comprehension). However, I did realise that those who weren’t lucky like me will struggle lots in this transition.

    I guess I’ve written ANOTHER essay. I think we’re getting too used to this *_* lol x
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Yes, GCSEs as they exist right now are a complete farce, with the ability to undertake a number of resits until you achieve the grades you want.

    There is nothing real about this.

    Even if they don't return, going back to the old non-modular GCSEs would still be an advantage.

    Exams are definitely getting easier every year and this trend should be reversed - we need to change something or it will just keep getting easier and worse.

    To any that just sat their GCSEs you probably thought your exams were tough enough and for you yes they may have been but give that same exam paper to someone who sat it a few years back, or 5 years, or 10 years and they will tell you how easy it is in comparison.

    This is because progressively each year exams/classes have been getting easier until we have now reached this point.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    ...and to add to the above:

    The boy who was allowed to sit maths A-level papers TWENTY NINE times until he got enough marks to pass
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...s-A-level.html


    The fact he was allowed to do so, is a ******* disgrace to the education system. Yes I know it is A-Levels, but resits also apply to Modular GCSE subjects too.

    And all this 'he got there in the end' BS. He attempted the exam and he FAILED.

    It is as if we are afraid to say that.

    He had to take it twenty-something times again before passing. But that won't show up on his C.V. or application form.

    Further down the article it mentions some universities are now refusing to accept resit results - about ******* time too!

    Thank **** we are getting rid of the modular system!
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I like the idea of the one exam board so everyone has to do the same exams for the subject e.g. certain exam boards can release harder papers than others which makes it unfair when students of the same ability who have studied hard etc. cannot achieve the same grades because of exams with differing amounts of difficulty.
    However I think it is unfair to create the big gap that separates the year so much; higher and foundation are enough of a split and it sounds like there's no middle ground for the average B/C grade student.
    I must say I am not the most informed but think that the changes to linear exams is going to be a big enough change for the year 9s at present.
    Coursework has been a great way to enable students that cannot represent their true capabilities in one exam or even more can show that they do deserve their grades from a different kind of hard work.
    I think the controlled assessments were a good idea in the end as it did stop so much plagiarism etc. which could not be picked up upon as easily in my opinion and got it all out of the way quickly, as opposed to how courseworks drag on (of course I understand the difference in a level where it would almost be impossible to put this into practie - please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong I'm no expert as I'm hopefully about to start my A levels in September) ... despite the pressure in certain subjects.

    Hope the answer helps in some way
    Take it with a pinch of salt due to my inexperience (as I'm sure you might already do)
    Listener15
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Listener15)
    I like the idea of the one exam board so everyone has to do the same exams for the subject e.g. certain exam boards can release harder papers than others which makes it unfair when students of the same ability who have studied hard etc. cannot achieve the same grades because of exams with differing amounts of difficulty.
    Agree with this as certain exam boards tend to make their papers easier on purpose so that schools will go with them to ensure their students will pass. This should be illegal - an A with one board may be the same as a B with another due to the difficulty/easiness of a paper.

    (Original post by Listener15)
    However I think it is unfair to create the big gap that separates the year so much; higher and foundation are enough of a split and it sounds like there's no middle ground for the average B/C grade student.
    For a number of subjects, exam boards are already talking about removing the higher/foundation issue and creating only one paper. At present this means the lower ability pupils will suffer more as they would have been the ppl previously doing Foundation.

    So having 2 separate certifications actually solves this particular issue as an O-level would be like a Higher Paper and a CSE would be like Foundation.

    (Original post by Listener15)
    Coursework has been a great way to enable students that cannot represent their true capabilities in one exam or even more can show that they do deserve their grades from a different kind of hard work.
    Coursework for some subjects has been/is a farce, because of plagiarism and help from siblings/relatives/friends/teachers etc. The complete removal of coursework would not be unwelcome.


    (Original post by Listener15)
    I think the controlled assessments were a good idea in the end as it did stop so much plagiarism etc.
    In theory these were a great idea, but in practice with the "resit culture" (see my previous post) these also became a complete farce which is why they are better removed. They also reduce overall learning, because a student can "cram" everything they need to know just to pass that module, then "dump" it all out of their mind and start a new topic. A terminal exam forces the student to ensure they are aware of everything in their subject at one time and they can't be sure what will come up. This is definitely a fairer way for all.


    (Original post by Listener15)
    Take it with a pinch of salt due to my inexperience (as I'm sure you might already do)
    Of course
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    [QUOTE=GreenLantern1;38252663]Well I am happu top see them come. Am doiing my GCSE exams this Summer and would have rather don the O-Levels as then we could've been more challenged.

    Atleast now there won't be a bunch of old people discrediting our success as they can't say O-Levels are easy now!



    It's very ironic to see so many typos in a complaint about GCSE's being too easy! Would you rather have achieved lower grades or what?
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Not really, but I'll live
    • 11 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by priscilla)

    It's very ironic to see so many typos in a complaint about GCSE's being too easy! Would you rather have achieved lower grades or what?
    What a great comeback! My spelling. I can spell fine but I type fast so sometimes tend myself to typographical errors. Just shows how petty you are being and have no argument in response. Could you reply with an actual issue related to the topic rather than simply a means of failing to defend your point. Can we not just have a constructive argument?
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Kelly.87)
    I'm quite shocked reading through a lot of these posts. There are a lot of people implying only 'stupid' people get bad GCSE grades or the people who 'can't be a**ed. The surroundings you are taking these exams in needs the be considered, school is well known for the part of your life you either block out or the so called best time of your life. Me personally I got E's and F's and I am far from 'stupid' but when I was taking these exams I was being physically and mentally bullied, kind of makes it hard to concentrate right? So stop assuming under achievers are thick or just not as clever as the shining A* student! You don't know their background, you don't know their circumstances, and you don't know them. If your going to use examples use yourself not the underachieving student you remember...
    Oh do be quiet dear. You're the sort of person who claims that criminals are misunderstood and need help not punishment. The fact is you have to be pretty stupid to let bullying get to you, to the extent that you can't pass an exam that is essentially testing whether you read the revision guide the night before. I do feel sorry for you that you seem to think you're not stupid yet you got Es and Fs. You clearly are stupid.


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
    • 0 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by scottstacey)
    Oh do be quiet dear. You're the sort of person who claims that criminals are misunderstood and need help not punishment. The fact is you have to be pretty stupid to let bullying get to you, to the extent that you can't pass an exam that is essentially testing whether you read the revision guide the night before. I do feel sorry for you that you seem to think you're not stupid yet you got Es and Fs. You clearly are stupid.
    This is the logical equivalent of a toddler thinking they are hidden because they shut their eyes.
    Abuse and neglect can make exams a distant priority for some people your age. I don't know why the idea offends you but you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Life is a little more complicated than they let on in school and some of your cohort know this by acquaintance all too well.
    I get you don't care about them but pretending it doesn't happen or can be shrugged off is fantasy.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Maybe check out the Not Going To Uni website, has all the apprenticeship information I use... Pretty good
    • 5 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    A step backwards is never a good move.
Updated: October 18, 2012
New on TSR

What are your A-level predictions?

Join our AS and A2 results day chat thread

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