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    Does anybody else feel this?

    The race to the bottom (to make grade boundaries as low as possible) which has essentially made exams a business is ridiculous.

    ie. Why on Earth should one board say we should learn about 1800-1900 History and another 1950-2000. The whole concept is completely ridiculous?

    Isn't it clear that by standardising under one exam board such as AQA then our Nations education levels would be so much clearer to see, and would allow for actual comparison - which might make extremists like Gove cool off a bit.

    My father was telling me the other day of somebody who works for him getting rejected from a college because they had AQA maths, not edexcel. Like this is genuinely so stupid. I actually think I hate democracy cos' it lets such morons make really important decisions..

    'Democracy - the only way in which two idiots can rule a genius'.
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    I think completely the opposite. There are too few exam boards and syllabuses. When O levels existed there were 9 boards administering O and A levels. Each of those boards ran several syllabuses.

    Whilst some boards had a reputation for being a little easier than others, the advantages were that:

    any problems with the running of an exam affected only a very small number of candidates;

    there was not a sufficient market to justify producing textbooks for a particular board's syllabus so that textbooks covered the entire subject and not merely the buzz words of a particular syllabus;

    most teachers would in their careers teach a number of different syllabuses. They would therefore know their subject and not simply an exam board's syllabus.

    All in all, teaching to the test is a consequence of their being too few tests.Concentrating on discrepancies in the standard of examinations is to concentrate on a minor inherent flaw whilst missing the bigger picture of what is wrong with school examinations which is that they have ceased to be a way of assessing what has been learnt at school but have become an end in themselves with teaching geared solely to the passing of examinations.


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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I think completely the opposite. There are too few exam boards and syllabuses. When O levels existed there were 9 boards administering O and A levels. Each of those boards ran several syllabuses.

    Whilst some boards had a reputation for being a little easier than others, the advantages were that:

    any problems with the running of an exam affected only a very small number of candidates;

    there was not a sufficient market to justify producing textbooks for a particular board's syllabus so that textbooks covered the entire subject and not merely the buzz words of a particular syllabus;

    most teachers would in their careers teach a number of different syllabuses. They would therefore know their subject and not simply an exam board's syllabus.

    All in all, teaching to the test is a consequence of their being too few tests.Concentrating on discrepancies in the standard of examinations is to concentrate on a minor inherent flaw whilst missing the bigger picture of what is wrong with school examinations which is that they have ceased to be a way of assessing what has been learnt at school but have become an end in themselves with teaching geared solely to the passing of examinations.
    You make a very good point - I understand your concept that it ensures teachers know the subject and not just the syllabus - but one would hope that as teachers tend to have done at least fairly relevant degrees, then they would know it in the first place? And as they teach several years then they would have a broad level of knowledge?

    I may have been lucky in the sense I went to both a brilliant public school and a state 6th form which is in the top 5 in the country - but from my experience, teachers tend to enjoy what they are teaching and if they don't, they let you know (my politics teachers regularly remind us that they hate teaching us Europe etc); and in fact many had very good degrees from top Uni's (Oxford, Manchester, Camebrigde - several were Drs) and you could ask them on pretty much anything on the subject and they could answer pretty in depth. Though I understand that this will obviously not be the same for all.

    To be fair, I can admit that it is not just exam boards that are the problem - the removal of the Grammar school system was an absolute travesty and schools no longer aim to educate, merely to meet targets and look good on tables.

    Furthermore I think it is an outrage that children to foreign parents such as the Polish can do a GCSE in Polish, which is not like our English exams - it is like a MFL exam - so schools can get easy a*s, it genuinely infuriates me. I also detest how courses such as Travel & Tourism, Horse Care & Management or Health & Social Care (to name a few) are offered at A-Level and schools tell students that they are acceptable and good subjects to take that will be respected by any half decent University.

    There are deep deep flaws in our education system - I find it sad that I have to look to a nutjob like Gove and hope that he will be able to pass his plans...
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    I don't see why we can't have one exam board for each exam, either.

    At uni we have to cover basics all over again because the syllabuses are so different, instead of lecturers knowing what we have covered and hence moving into building on top of this knowledge.

    My teachers taught "to the test" most of the time and I don't think that is a bad thing. There isn't a point of revising something to the 't' if it isn't on the syllabus. At the end of the day that's why I did A levels - to meet university requirements. Now, my own reading, in my own time for general interest had a place, and that was at home, not in the class room.

    If there was just one exam board, there would not be a discussion of which one is "easier" or "harder".

    The majority of other European countries have just one syllabus per subject, why can't the UK change?


    (Original post by christanmu)
    Furthermore I think it is an outrage that children to foreign parents such as the Polish can do a GCSE in Polish, which is not like our English exams - it is like a MFL exam - so schools can get easy a*s, it genuinely infuriates me. I also detest how courses such as Travel & Tourism, Horse Care & Management or Health & Social Care (to name a few) are offered at A-Level and schools tell students that they are acceptable and good subjects to take that will be respected by any half decent University.
    Just quick point - I'm half Polish (but English born) and was encouraged to do Polish GCSE because, as a MFL exam, it would be easy to get an A*. I decided not to bother nonetheless. To be honest, when applying to university, an extra A* at GCSE doesn't really make the difference. If you're applying for a competitive course you're generally going to be an A/A* student across the board. I don't think that should infuriate you - it won't make a massive difference to their careers.

    I assume some of those soft subjects are accepted by some foundation courses so perhaps they aren't pointless for those who could not cope with traditional A Levels. I don't think any school would say that Travel & Tourism is a good A level to do for students wishing to go to Oxbridge..
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    (Original post by SilverstarDJ)
    I don't see why we can't have one exam board for each exam, either.
    It just makes so much sense, yet it's another brilliant Labour policy to allow it to come to what has happened now.

    When it comes to the MFL exams for foreign students, it's not the fact that they get the grade that bothers me - I have got good grades myself. It is the fact that they can make failing schools look like they are improving which means the government feel it is ok to cut a little here, cut a little there and not make any changes. I was tying it into my point about easy subjects.

    The same goes for those, it doesn't annoy me that people do them and get good grades or the such - it's just they are a waste of time and resources.

    I'm a firm believer that we should go back to the old Grammar system (not exactly but something alike) - with students less academically able learning relevant skills at relevant levels. With the current one size fits all approach, so many students are just left behind - and teachers are the preoccupied with ticking achievement boxes to really care about students, especially at 6th form they would rather you not sat the exam if you're going to get below target just so you don't reflect badly upon them. As I have stated i'm lucky that i've always been to good schools and this hasn't happened to me but friends have had situations where they have been told openly to stop studying the subject - and then revised loads and got an a
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    [QUOTE=christanmu;42651543]

    When it comes to the MFL exams for foreign students, it's not the fact that they get the grade that bothers me - I have got good grades myself. It is the fact that they can make failing schools look like they are improving which means the government feel it is ok to cut a little here, cut a little there and not make any changes. I was tying it into my point about easy subjects.
    [QUOTE]

    It depends if you're looking at GCSEs overall, or just core subjects (English, Science & Maths). I think the government would put cuts in place regardless of what some of the problems failing schools are facing - there have been cuts to all sectors and, sadly, the NHS as well as educations have faced cutbacks over the years.



    The same goes for those, it doesn't annoy me that people do them and get good grades or the such - it's just they are a waste of time and resources.
    Perhaps there should be more apprentice places to help cater for those who aren't very academic but with to learn a trade at which they could excel at, rather than some of these softer subjects.


    I'm a firm believer that we should go back to the old Grammar system (not exactly but something alike) - with students less academically able learning relevant skills at relevant levels. With the current one size fits all approach, so many students are just left behind - and teachers are the preoccupied with ticking achievement boxes to really care about students,
    I've not been taught in a grammar system so not sure what that involves exactly. At primary school we were put into ability classes for subjects like English and Maths, and were given homework etc. to tailor to each level. In Secondary school, we were in ability sets for Maths, and Science but not English pre-GCSE for some reason (some of the students in my class could not read at all, whilst I was capable of reading "difficult" books; it didn't work as the teacher could not cater for everyone). I would argue, so long as there are enough ability sets, this is a better way to cater to everyone's needs rather than dumping all in one classroom.


    friends have had situations where they have been told openly to stop studying the subject - and then revised loads and got an a
    Perhaps that was a good motivator for your friend I agree that statistics can sometimes overshadow a student as an individual and what might be best for them which is a real shame.

    I've never been in this situation, but surely if a pupil wishes to sit an exam the 6th form couldn't refuse them even if they have advised them to drop the subject (assuming they have not bunked throughout the year and show evidence of some effort)?
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    (Original post by christanmu)
    It just makes so much sense, yet it's another brilliant Labour policy to allow it to come to what has happened now.

    When it comes to the MFL exams for foreign students, it's not the fact that they get the grade that bothers me - I have got good grades myself. It is the fact that they can make failing schools look like they are improving which means the government feel it is ok to cut a little here, cut a little there and not make any changes. I was tying it into my point about easy subjects.

    The same goes for those, it doesn't annoy me that people do them and get good grades or the such - it's just they are a waste of time and resources.

    I'm a firm believer that we should go back to the old Grammar system (not exactly but something alike) - with students less academically able learning relevant skills at relevant levels. With the current one size fits all approach, so many students are just left behind - and teachers are the preoccupied with ticking achievement boxes to really care about students, especially at 6th form they would rather you not sat the exam if you're going to get below target just so you don't reflect badly upon them. As I have stated i'm lucky that i've always been to good schools and this hasn't happened to me but friends have had situations where they have been told openly to stop studying the subject - and then revised loads and got an a
    it was multiple exam boards under thatcher too, and . As already pointed out once in this thread. Is there some feature of private school education that makes it's pupils come out blaming everything they don't like on new labour?

    Uni lecturers will still be faced with multi national students from a variety of educational heritages.

    Here's a thought for you, why not send all the kids who pass the 11+ to badly funded tumbledown schools, they're going to be ok anyway and will probably teach themselves off the internet. We can send the kids that fail the 11+ to the well funded schools, they need all the help they can get to catch up since the country has abandoned the careers open to people with low qualifications.
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    it was multiple exam boards under thatcher too, and . As already pointed out once in this thread. Is there some feature of private school education that makes it's pupils come out blaming everything they don't like on new labour?

    Here's a thought for you, why not send all the kids who pass the 11+ to badly funded tumbledown schools, they're going to be ok anyway and will probably teach themselves off the internet. We can send the kids that fail the 11+ to the well funded schools, they need all the help they can get to catch up since the country has abandoned the careers open to people with low qualifications.
    During the time of Maggie there were 4 exam boards, one for each representative area of the country, with then one in Scotland and one in Wales. Not the 8 we have today.

    Yes Uni's accept International students and usually they are very capable once through the language barrier, and often better educated than those who have come through the English system.

    And I don't blame everything on New Labour, Churchill was essentially the worst Chancellor we have ever had, although I would have said that was Keynes if he ever had the position (he was only financial adviser to Attlee).

    And that is quite possibly the worst idea I have ever heard - that would make the country even worse than it is by throwing away bright kids and giving money to those who are indefinitely more susceptible to doss and not work hard. Here's an idea that will go with what you just said, how about we make the poor poorer, but make the rich poorer by a bigger margin. I have no time for bull**** socialist ideas so please leave.


    (Original post by SilverstarDJ)
    It depends if you're looking at GCSEs overall, or just core subjects (English, Science & Maths). I think the government would put cuts in place regardless of what some of the problems failing schools are facing - there have been cuts to all sectors and, sadly, the NHS as well as educations have faced cutbacks over the years.

    Perhaps there should be more apprentice places to help cater for those who aren't very academic but with to learn a trade at which they could excel at, rather than some of these softer subjects.

    I've not been taught in a grammar system so not sure what that involves exactly. At primary school we were put into ability classes for subjects like English and Maths, and were given homework etc. to tailor to each level. In Secondary school, we were in ability sets for Maths, and Science but not English pre-GCSE for some reason (some of the students in my class could not read at all, whilst I was capable of reading "difficult" books; it didn't work as the teacher could not cater for everyone). I would argue, so long as there are enough ability sets, this is a better way to cater to everyone's needs rather than dumping all in one classroom.

    I've never been in this situation, but surely if a pupil wishes to sit an exam the 6th form couldn't refuse them even if they have advised them to drop the subject (assuming they have not bunked throughout the year and show evidence of some effort)?
    A school can pull you from any exam they want!

    And Grammar schools essentially cherry picked the best students and put them in a school with those of similar capabilities, this drove up standards as parents wanted their kids to be in these good schools. Labour scrapped them because poor kids couldn't get in and brought in the Comprehensive system and shock horror that England is now free falling down most education charts.

    I don't understand why it is acceptable to have sets based on talent in schools, but not schools based on talent? It's a complete joke. For example, I am awful at hockey, I would not turn up to a great hockey team and then get angry when they did not use all of their coaches to try and make me better - as it is not in my potential.. Yet if they ignored me and focused on the best players then I would expect that.

    Yeah we do need more apprenticeships and the like, maybe if the government rose the minimum wage for them from £2.65 we might get somewhere.. And on that note, it is absolutely ridiculous that there is a minimum wage differing for what age you are - I'm surprised the Socialist Leftists that ruin pretty much everything in this Nation haven't jumped onto that. I don't understand why someone ages 18-21 is worth nearly £2 an hour less than someone ages 21 or over? Under 18 I can understand - but after that it is ridiculous.
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    (Original post by christanmu)
    During the time of Maggie there were 4 exam boards, one for each representative area of the country, with then one in Scotland and one in Wales. Not the 8 we have today.
    With the greatest of respect:- Cobblers

    In 1981 when I did O Levels there were:

    OUDLE
    UCLES
    O&C
    London
    AEB
    JMB
    WJEC
    SUJB

    and

    NISEC

    In addition there were another 12 CSE Boards (as well as the WJEC and NISEC which also offered CSE examinations)
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    With the greatest of respect:- Cobblers
    Touché.

    Note to self - don't skim read sources when trying to make a forceful point in debate. God damn Wikipedia

    I correct myself than and also say I am heavily disappointed that Maggie didn't crack down on this - it is very unlike her.
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    i think there should be one exam board and one paper for all subjects and everyone sits the same to prevent anything about 'ocr has more application' 'aqa has mroe content' 'aqa has a hard paper this june, whereas ocr was nice' etc
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    (Original post by christanmu)

    And Grammar schools essentially cherry picked the best students and put them in a school with those of similar capabilities, this drove up standards as parents wanted their kids to be in these good schools. Labour scrapped them because poor kids couldn't get in and brought in the Comprehensive system and shock horror that England is now free falling down most education charts.
    I suggest you read Margaret Thatcher's speech to the 1972 Conservative Party conference
    (my highlighting)

    I come on to secondary education, about which so many people have spoken so strongly. It is a very difficult area in view of the rights of local education authorities. What did we say about it? We said this: "In secondary education ... we will maintain the existing rights of local education authorities to decide what is best for their area ... They will naturally be slow to make irrevocable changes to any good school unless they are sure that the alternative is better."

    The last Government attempted to vary those rights by administrative action under Circular 10/65. I withdrew that to give local education authorities a chance to re-consider their reorganisation programmes. Since then, local authorities have put up some 2,300 statutory proposals related to secondary schools.

    There is a right on the part of local people to object to the scheme to the Ministry if they wish to do so, and before a decision is made upon any change I am bound to take those objections into account. Clearly it is best where the local authority is absolutely in step with the people and the objections are very few; but where the changes are proposed for famous grammar schools with supreme reputations the objections come in thick and fast. I have upheld 92 of the objections, mostly in favour of famous or well known grammar schools which have served the whole area regardless of the background of the children and which have therefore provided the educational ladder from the bottom to the top.

    I can only express the hope that those who believe intensely in the future of grammar schools and what they have to offer will be as vocal in their own areas and outside this conference hall as they are today.
    Then you might care to read her autobiography where she writes of preserving grammar schools:

    we were defending a principle - namely that the state should select children by the simple criterion of ability and direct them to one of only two sorts of school - that is far more consonant with socialism and collectivism than with the spontaneous social order associated with liberalism and conservatism. State selection by ability is, after all, a form of manpower planning.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I suggest you read Margaret Thatcher's speech to the 1972 Conservative Party conference.
    To be fair now I've thought about it, it makes a lot of sense - remove the chance for the poor to excel and the poor will never take over. Sounds like a pretty right wing policy.

    Nonetheless I stand by what I said - the Grammar system should be reinstated.
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    The students that went to Grammar School were chosen on these things: one basis of how they did 11+ mean, two how many spots the local grammar school had there ere if they passed, and two and often wether they were boys or girls since there were fewer spots for girls.


    There are seven exam Boards which are as follows: AQA, Edexcel (Pearson). OCR ,CIE, CCEA, WJEC,and ICAAAE. In 1988 there were more boards they are as follows: Associated Lancashire Schools Board, East Anglian Examinations Board, East Midland Regional Examinations Board, Metropolitan Regional Examination Board,Middlesex Regional Examination Boar, Northern Ireland Schools Examination Council, Northern Regional Examinations Board, North West Regional Examinations Board,South East Regional Examinations Board, South West (Region, l) Examinations, Board Southern Regional Exams Board, Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC ), West Midlands Regional Examination Board, The West Yorkshire and Lindsey Regional Examinations Board, and Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Examinations Board which is15 boards
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    (Original post by us3481jd)
    The students that went to Grammar School were chosen on these things: one basis of how they did 11+ mean, two how many spots the local grammar school had there ere if they passed, and two and often wether they were boys or girls since there were fewer spots for girls.

















































































    manyspots three t were at the mlol Gramm, arand three if they were girls oweree boys School

    There are seven exam Boards which are as follows: AQA, Edexcel (Pearson). OCR ,CIE, CCEA, WJEC,and ICAAAE. In 1988 there were more boards they are as follows: Associated Lancashire Schools Board, East Anglian Examinations Board, East Midland Regional Examinations Board, Metropolitan Regional Examination Board,Middlesex Regional Examination Boar, Northern Ireland Schools Examination Council, Northern Regional Examinations Board, North West Regional Examinations Board,South East Regional Examinations Board, South West (Region, l) Examinations, Board Southern Regional Exams Board, Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC ), West Midlands Regional Examination Board, The West Yorkshire and Lindsey Regional Examinations Board, and Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Examinations Board which is15 boards

    Edit out that massive gap please..
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    (Original post by christanmu)
    Does anybody else feel this?

    The race to the bottom (to make grade boundaries as low as possible) which has essentially made exams a business is ridiculous.

    ie. Why on Earth should one board say we should learn about 1800-1900 History and another 1950-2000. The whole concept is completely ridiculous?

    Isn't it clear that by standardising under one exam board such as AQA then our Nations education levels would be so much clearer to see, and would allow for actual comparison - which might make extremists like Gove cool off a bit.

    My father was telling me the other day of somebody who works for him getting rejected from a college because they had AQA maths, not edexcel. Like this is genuinely so stupid. I actually think I hate democracy cos' it lets such morons make really important decisions..

    'Democracy - the only way in which two idiots can rule a genius'.
    He got rejected for doing AQA Maths seriously ?? Why ?? ... Is it because the Edexcel is the most popular A-level Maths exam board.
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    (Original post by Tha Realest)
    He got rejected for doing AQA Maths seriously ?? Why ?? ... Is it because the Edexcel is the most popular A-level Maths exam board.
    You're telling me, I have no idea! It's generally accepted that edexcel is harder though right? At school we used to hate it, but then eat up anything by OCR and AQA. Don't even get me onto the WJEC, the language exams for that could have been done after 6 months of study...
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    (Original post by christanmu)
    You're telling me, I have no idea! It's generally accepted that edexcel is harder though right? At school we used to hate it, but then eat up anything by OCR and AQA. Don't even get me onto the WJEC, the language exams for that could have been done after 6 months of study...
    Well I would of thought that Edexcel being the most popular would be the easiest , but at the end of the day ; difficulty is subjective ...

    Oh WJEC lol :^_^:
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    (Original post by christanmu)
    You're telling me, I have no idea! It's generally accepted that edexcel is harder though right? At school we used to hate it, but then eat up anything by OCR and AQA. Don't even get me onto the WJEC, the language exams for that could have been done after 6 months of study...
    I'd say edexcel is a bit more challenging than perhaps OCR and AQA (in some cases) but the difference is however, is that for edexcel there are soo much resources to help, which definitely makes it much easier
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    In terms of Science AQA does seem very easy to other boards such as OCR and Edexcel.
 
 
 
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