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Sign this petition to allow copies of books to be taken into GCSEs this year watch

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    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/200299

    Last year, lots of students struggled with GCSE English Literature as it was a closed book exam. Because of this many failed. How can they expect us to remember quotes from 15 poems, plus how to analyse them, plus remembering the whole plot, themes, characters and quotes from another book.
    • Political Ambassador
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    The clever succeed, the dumb fail. Capitalism.

    Get a grip of life.
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    No WaY.
    dO nOt Be FoOlEd DoNt SiGn ThIs PeTiTiOn
    It Is SiLlY - wHaT pArT oF LeArN dOnT yOu UnDeRstAnD.
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    I agree and not because I find it hard. I find it pointless. English Lit isn't a test of how well you can remember quotes. It's about how you interpret what the texts are about.
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    I aM aLsO dOiNg My GcSE eXaMs ThIs YeAr.
    I hAvE jUsT mEmOrIzEd aLl 15 PoEmS.
    I tHiNk tHe WhOle taSk oF gCsE is tO cOmpLetE tHe sPeC, sIt ThE eXaM + gEt A gOoD GraDe If yOu CaNt Do ThE taSk DoN't ExPecT tHe GoV to ChAngE it FoR yOu.
    YoU aRenT SpEciAl.
    U dOn'T eVeN HaVe To MeMoriZe tHe PoEms!
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    (Original post by Hali7)
    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/200299

    Last year, lots of students struggled with GCSE English Literature as it was a closed book exam. Because of this many failed. How can they expect us to remember quotes from 15 poems, plus how to analyse them, plus remembering the whole plot, themes, characters and quotes from another book.
    They've already responded to the petition and are debating it in parliament next month.
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    (Original post by ax12)
    They've already responded to the petition and are debating it in parliament next month.
    More people showing their support wouldn't hurt.
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    Nah, I managed it last year. You'll get what you worked for.

    Also, what you said about lots of people failing is false, the same proportion of people passed as the ammount that did the old spec.
    • Community Assistant
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    This doesn't solve the problem, it just creates different problems. If you are allowed to take the English Lit material into an exam then you can take your own book, complete with your own notes. That means you can cheat. Getting every students book checked would be a logistical nightmare and take hours. If you expect the school to supply a book for you, to guarantee that it hasn't been written in, then you've just added a massive cost to the exam. If you allow students to take their books, complete with notes then you might as well do away with the exam altogether and just do some coursework.

    Remembering 15 poems and the outline of a book is not difficult. Anyone that reads regularly can probably give a detailed outline of dozens of books. The problem is not your capacity to remember, it's that you aren't invested in the material. If you don't find the material interesting then you aren't likely to remember much.

    Students look at this from a perspective of "this is too hard, how can we make it easier" without considering the drawbacks to the alternatives. Any solution that involves taking your own book or being provided with a book comes with drawbacks.

    Reading the extra details on the petition:
    It is important to know how to do all that is asked in the exams, but when in life will you ever have to remember lots of information about lots of texts, then be expected to recall it perfectly under pressured conditions, on top of loads of other stresses, then write about it for strangers to judge whether or not you are worthy of a good grade or not.
    It's pretty clear that this has been written by students. At a basic level, most of what you learn is not going to be used in your everyday life, nor are exams a practical way of determining life skills. But in case it wasn't already obvious, education is not set up in a way that promotes real life skills.

    And of course, they ask "is it fair". Of course it's fair, all students have to do the same thing. Funnily enough, life isn't fair. You have to put in work, things aren't handed to you on a plate. When I did A Level Psychology, I had to remember 15 studies in great deal for my first year and 50+ studies in minor detail for my second, along with all the other stuff for both exams. If you think 15 poems and a book is hard you're going to struggle later in life.
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    (Original post by Acsel)
    This doesn't solve the problem, it just creates different problems. If you are allowed to take the English Lit material into an exam then you can take your own book, complete with your own notes. That means you can cheat. Getting every students book checked would be a logistical nightmare and take hours. If you expect the school to supply a book for you, to guarantee that it hasn't been written in, then you've just added a massive cost to the exam. If you allow students to take their books, complete with notes then you might as well do away with the exam altogether and just do some coursework.

    Remembering 15 poems and the outline of a book is not difficult. Anyone that reads regularly can probably give a detailed outline of dozens of books. The problem is not your capacity to remember, it's that you aren't invested in the material. If you don't find the material interesting then you aren't likely to remember much.

    Students look at this from a perspective of "this is too hard, how can we make it easier" without considering the drawbacks to the alternatives. Any solution that involves taking your own book or being provided with a book comes with drawbacks.

    Reading the extra details on the petition:


    It's pretty clear that this has been written by students. At a basic level, most of what you learn is not going to be used in your everyday life, nor are exams a practical way of determining life skills. But in case it wasn't already obvious, education is not set up in a way that promotes real life skills.

    And of course, they ask "is it fair". Of course it's fair, all students have to do the same thing. Funnily enough, life isn't fair. You have to put in work, things aren't handed to you on a plate. When I did A Level Psychology, I had to remember 15 studies in great deal for my first year and 50+ studies in minor detail for my second, along with all the other stuff for both exams. If you think 15 poems and a book is hard you're going to struggle later in life.

    When I did my GCSEs in English, you got all the books in the exam so I see no reason at all why students now can't get the books in the exam like I did.

    The idea that education doesn't promote real life skills is nonsense. Why then are employers so keen on educational qualifications?

    English Literature is a very well respected subject that provides a lot of real life skills. It teaches you to analyse the information that you recieve and to produce arguments based on that.

    I think we severely underestimate how much we need the skills that English Literature offers because we come across lots of information regularly and need to pull it apart to work out what is meant by that information, what does the information really represent and building a debate on your opinions on that information etc. You probably use the skills from English Literature every single day you hardly read something and think nothing about it.

    Its not about the context that's necessarily important in education but the real life skills that are taught are applicable to a much wider range of contexts.
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    If you think 15 poems and a book is a lot to remember you will struggle a lot if you chose to continue your education beyond GCSEs level.
    You are not a child anymore, it is time to start putting some real work into your life. It will only get harder from now on.
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    (Original post by Nottie)
    If you think 15 poems and a book is a lot to remember you will struggle a lot if you chose to continue your education beyond GCSEs level.
    You are not a child anymore, it is time to start putting some real work into your life. It will only get harder from now on.
    Since when has it been 15 poems and a book?
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    (Original post by Dalek1099)
    When I did my GCSEs in English, you got all the books in the exam so I see no reason at all why students now can't get the books in the exam like I did.
    I don't have an answer to that, however it doesn't change the fact that if you were to suddenly decide to give all students a copy of the reading material it gets expensive. The gov source here listed 2.2 million secondary school students in academies and free schools, which accounted for just under 70% of all students in secondary school level education. So that means something like 3 million students in years 7 to 11. If we say an equal number per year that's 600,000 students in year 11 taking their GCSEs each year. I have no idea if that figure is accurate but let's go with it.

    600,000 students, each of which require a copy of this resource. If we say that a school can get a discount for buying books in bulk and get each book for £5 each, that's still £3 million that needs to be found every year to by books. Considering the reading material tends to change fairly often, that means those books get used once and then sold off or recycled. That's a huge waste for a problem that doesn't really exist, not to mention a sizable cost.

    (Original post by Dalek1099)
    The idea that education doesn't promote real life skills is nonsense. Why then are employers so keen on educational qualifications?

    English Literature is a very well respected subject that provides a lot of real life skills. It teaches you to analyse the information that you recieve and to produce arguments based on that.
    I think you've somewhat missed my point here. I quoted the exact text from the petition, whereby students say that what they're doing in exams is not something they'll do in everyday life. Students see things like algebra or an explanation for photosynthesis and think they'll never need this in their everyday life. They are largely correct but they also fail to see the underlying skills they gain. You might not need algebra but ti teaches problem solving. Students think that they won't need to remember a random text in real life without realising that this is not what school is teaching them to do. But it is nonetheless what it grades them on.

    The point I was trying to make was to get students thinking about what they are actually learning. School doesn't directly teach students life skills. They are a by product of the methods used to teach students how to get top grades. The intention of the teacher is rarely to teach the life skills. A maths teacher for example is actively trying to teach problem solving skills, nor are students really aware of what they are learning. And because it's not abundantly obvious, students don't realise those subtle skills are there. Education is primarily set up to get you grades and move you through the system. Students that realise what they learn is transferable, even if that wasn't part of the curriculum are the ones that do well in life. Not the ones who get high grades.
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    TBH I got an A* at gcse , and didn’t even quote properly - make it into your won words to make it easier . But remembering 60+ quotes ain’t that hard plus often you only need to analyse few worda
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    My school was not in them best financial position. Must have cost them a fortune to provide books for everybody doing the exam.
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    (Original post by Hali7)
    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/200299

    Last year, lots of students struggled with GCSE English Literature as it was a closed book exam. Because of this many failed. How can they expect us to remember quotes from 15 poems, plus how to analyse them, plus remembering the whole plot, themes, characters and quotes from another book.
    We've been doing that in Wales for years

    Focus and just revise; the new curriculum came in recently, they're not going to change it. Even if your petition somehow reaches 100,000, it'll get swept aside in parliament.

    Also, Y12 is going to be a lot more difficult than this, so you may as well get used to it now
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    I did my English lit last year and I got a 8 and I memorised 0 poems and around 10 quotes in total from the novels/plays. If I could do it, anyone can do it. The ones that failed were the ones that didn’t write their PEEL paragraphs and didn’t write about how successful it is.
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    (Original post by The PoliticalGuy)
    The clever succeed, the dumb fail. Capitalism.

    Get a grip of life.
    a good tests, measures a range of abilities.

    not just 1950s style testing of your memory.

    In the workplace, your success depends on alot more the memorisation
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    (Original post by Kyber Ninja)
    We've been doing that in Wales for years

    Focus and just revise; the new curriculum came in recently, they're not going to change it. Even if your petition somehow reaches 100,000, it'll get swept aside in parliament.

    Also, Y12 is going to be a lot more difficult than this, so you may as well get used to it now
    I'm guessing you didn't actually click on the link. It already has and will be debated, but I doubt very much so that anything will change.
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    (Original post by Acsel)
    I don't have an answer to that, however it doesn't change the fact that if you were to suddenly decide to give all students a copy of the reading material it gets expensive. The gov source here listed 2.2 million secondary school students in academies and free schools, which accounted for just under 70% of all students in secondary school level education. So that means something like 3 million students in years 7 to 11. If we say an equal number per year that's 600,000 students in year 11 taking their GCSEs each year. I have no idea if that figure is accurate but let's go with it.

    600,000 students, each of which require a copy of this resource. If we say that a school can get a discount for buying books in bulk and get each book for £5 each, that's still £3 million that needs to be found every year to by books. Considering the reading material tends to change fairly often, that means those books get used once and then sold off or recycled. That's a huge waste for a problem that doesn't really exist, not to mention a sizable cost.



    I think you've somewhat missed my point here. I quoted the exact text from the petition, whereby students say that what they're doing in exams is not something they'll do in everyday life. Students see things like algebra or an explanation for photosynthesis and think they'll never need this in their everyday life. They are largely correct but they also fail to see the underlying skills they gain. You might not need algebra but ti teaches problem solving. Students think that they won't need to remember a random text in real life without realising that this is not what school is teaching them to do. But it is nonetheless what it grades them on.

    The point I was trying to make was to get students thinking about what they are actually learning. School doesn't directly teach students life skills. They are a by product of the methods used to teach students how to get top grades. The intention of the teacher is rarely to teach the life skills. A maths teacher for example is actively trying to teach problem solving skills, nor are students really aware of what they are learning. And because it's not abundantly obvious, students don't realise those subtle skills are there. Education is primarily set up to get you grades and move you through the system. Students that realise what they learn is transferable, even if that wasn't part of the curriculum are the ones that do well in life. Not the ones who get high grades.
    The students require the books in the first place to read in class so the schools will presumably have to buying the books anyway?

    I think that last part is because the teaching in schools is not good enough in some classes. Teachers should relate what they teach to the real world.

    I think that often students struggle with Maths because its taught too abstractly and they don't actually understand what the topic is about.

    This is something I have learned as I have learnt harder Maths and found that I struggle a lot with it until the lecturers give examples or you do examples.
 
 
 
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