Why are GCSEs dismissed as simple?

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Purplemonkeys
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Despite the latest GCSE reforms that have seen the GCSE grades turn to 9-1, instead of A*-G,and the syllabuses being made tougher (some even taken from AS or A level) with more of a focus on memorization, I feel like on TSR and sometimes by articles that GCSEs are quite simple (if you need evidence I'll show some). What are your opinions on this? Feel free to counter this and give your opinions but please no major disagreement, hatred or trolling. Thank you x
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🦁Road to A** 🦁
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(Original post by Purplemonkeys)
Despite the latest GCSE reforms that have seen the GCSE grades turn to 9-1, instead of A*-G,and the syllabuses being made tougher (some even taken from AS or A level) with more of a focus on memorization, I feel like on TSR and sometimes by articles that GCSEs are quite simple (if you need evidence I'll show some). What are your opinions on this? Feel free to counter this and give your opinions but please no major disagreement, hatred or trolling. Thank you x
Obviously it isn’t the easiest thing in the world but I revised last minute (almost literally) and managed to pass.I always failed Re and thought I’d get my predicted grade which is 3 (I even failed my mocks like literally) and at the end of I got a 9 boi a 9.Ok this was the first year but if I can pass so can everyone
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student2six
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Because they are...
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ollie.w
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GCSE's are regarded as simple because they are the last exams that are completely compulsory. Students who continue to A level are making a choice to do so, and therefore generally have a better experience of education in the past (found GCSE's easier perhaps than others). Therefore I think that the people who say GCSEs are simple are those A level students who want to show off to younger students / scare them about the next stage of education. Often though it is those who actually didn't do to well at GCSE who say how simple it is, because they are self concious about their own grades so they belittle the system. Just do your best, if you are coming up to GCSE's because if you do well then people will respect you no matter their views on GCSES
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Purplemonkeys
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(Original post by student2six)
Because they are...
Where's your evidentiary information or at least anecdotes or just a cocking argument to back up your point? 'Bcause they are' does simplt not make for a compelling point. If be happy to pack up my point. Please back up yours before you make a statement like that. Thankyou
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Beth_H
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Probably because many of the people commenting have already done A-levels/degrees etc., and so when they look back at their GCSEs, they seem simple in comparison.
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Purplemonkeys
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(Original post by 🦁Road to A** 🦁)
Obviously it isn’t the easiest thing in the world but I revised last minute (almost literally) and managed to pass.I always failed Re and thought I’d get my predicted grade which is 3 (I even failed my mocks like literally) and at the end of I got a 9 boi a 9.Ok this was the first year but if I can pass so can everyone
Congratulations but even so this isn't representative of everyone, though admittedly your anecdote could be viewed as somewhat inspiration. However, this simply encourages a lack of work. Marking for subjects such as religious education is often subjective and you may have been fortutious enough to perform well in the examination, it does not represent work ethic. Arguably, work ethic and difficulty are very different and difficulty is subjective, however the general view is that they are simple but if that is the case then why is it that students fail? Several factors obviously need to be taken into consideration, such as poor teaching and extenuating circumstances but the difficulty has been increased so much that grade boundaries have been lowered in subjects such as Mathematics: surely this proves the difficulty level of GCSEs?
Not to mention in some cases this is vice versa due to circumstances, performance on the day and a laid back attitude towards revision due to overconfidence.
However congratulations all the same! What were your other grades, if you don't mind me asking?
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student2six
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(Original post by Purplemonkeys)
Where's your evidentiary information or at least anecdotes or just a cocking argument to back up your point? 'Bcause they are' does simplt not make for a compelling point. If be happy to pack up my point. Please back up yours before you make a statement like that. Thankyou
I do not wish to sound condescending but you’re trying too hard here. I mean, it’s almost a non-argument.

My “evidentiary information” 😅 alright, pick up an A Level paper in any subject and see how well you do. I’d be surprised if you (or anyone fresh out of GCSE) received a grade.

It is well known that A Level (second half of AS Level onwards) content is not only a tier above GCSE content (most professional employment orgs look at A Level results over GCSEs), but also vastly more intense. It is basically a pre-requisite for A Levels that you are able to study independently without constant guidance from your teacher.

I got fairly good grades at GCSE - mainly Bs with the odd A in English Lit & Lang and A* in history without any revision and I took the same mindset into A Levels and failed miserably the first time.

You might think studying 3/4 subjects will reduce the workload compared to GCSE but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
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Purplemonkeys
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(Original post by Beth_H)
Probably because many of the people commenting have already done A-levels/degrees etc., and so when they look back at their GCSEs, they seem simple in comparison.
That makes sense as comparatively rhey would he, otherwise they wouldn't be a qualification taken as such a young age, however they are not up to date on new GCSEs and what it is like and occasionally lack empathy as some (though this doesn't represent all) adults don't appreciate how competitive it is for youth now, and also difficult (presumably due to an increase in world thus country population) and the impacts on students due to this, despite the fact that they were once adolescents too.
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username2858058
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Eveything has been dumbed down, from gcses to degrees

We have newbs coming out with 1st class degrees

Thats why the job market is the way it is
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Tichey
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You can pretty much cover the content of any gcse within a few days on your own. That’s really why. Most people will tell you they revised last minute and it’s probably true, most still get good grades because with GCSE’s you’re able to revise last minute and do well. Whereas with a levels of you do the same you realise how much trouble you’re in.
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A02ft1
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People calling them simple are doing so retrospectively, and they’re right to a limited extent.

Comparing GCSE’s to A Levels, an undergrad degree, and a postgraduate degree, yes, GCSEs are very simple comparatively.

That said, I remember my GCSEs being very hard and daunting at the time. When people call them simple, credit should be given to the context that GCSE students are usually taking their first official qualifications and that they are juggling multiple subjects (often >10).
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username3934898
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much easier than the next exams you take and the new challenges you face and so forth
if anyone of any ability can pass then it's "simple"
some of the questions on papers are like multiple choice or require one word
like in biology a question could literally be what is the nucleus
and anyone i mean anyone who has attended lessons or read the textbook or made notes or remembers learning this can answer it
yes not all exams are like this but even in an english gcse the examiners will try to give you marks. for gcses examiners are our friends they'll always award marks for things (not saying they're biased but they try to help)
16 is fine. compare it to the rest of the world. everyone has problems. just gotta find ways to combat them without blaming the education system.
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Mature79
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Where to start with a question like this.
As many have said they are easy compared with higher level exams so we all remember them as being easy compared to what we're doing now.
The fact the media keeps reporting that they are dumbing down. Some in the media qualified under GCE's or O levels. When I took GCSEs we had no internet, think of all the extra resources available to students now. I'm not saying they are easier but as grades have increased what is the general public suppose to think, go out to any town centre and your hardly surrounded by geniuses. It may be anecdotal but I saw two teens getting on a bus and they couldn't work out the bus fare ( 2 × £2.40). Unfortunately this leaves people with the impression that youngsters have qualifications and yet are stupid therefore the qualifications are worthless.
The thing is this is generational and one day you'll be the same ( in my day we had to work hard for our qualifications, you kids nowadays etc etc), even if it's not true.
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Beth_H
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(Original post by Purplemonkeys)
That makes sense as comparatively rhey would he, otherwise they wouldn't be a qualification taken as such a young age, however they are not up to date on new GCSEs and what it is like and occasionally lack empathy as some (though this doesn't represent all) adults don't appreciate how competitive it is for youth now, and also difficult (presumably due to an increase in world thus country population) and the impacts on students due to this, despite the fact that they were once adolescents too.
I think perhaps the hardest thing about GCSEs - which possibly fewer people appreciate once they're a few years past them - is the sheer volume of them. I had something like 24 exams at GCSE, compared to about 7 at A-level and 5 at the end of my first year at uni (although obviously the later exams were longer). It takes a bit of stamina!
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username2858058
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(Original post by Beth_H)
I think perhaps the hardest thing about GCSEs - which possibly fewer people appreciate once they're a few years past them - is the sheer volume of them. I had something like 24 exams at GCSE, compared to about 7 at A-level and 5 at the end of my first year at uni (although obviously the later exams were longer). It takes a bit of stamina!
I did a degree that is very content-heavy

one module could equal 5 gcses. And the detail needed is huge
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Purplemonkeys
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(Original post by faith 101)
Eveything has been dumbed down, from gcses to degrees

We have newbs coming out with 1st class degrees

Thats why the job market is the way it is
What do you mean by 'the way it is' ?
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username2858058
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(Original post by Purplemonkeys)
What do you mean by 'the way it is' ?
Very competitive because the qualifications are not doing their job in distinguishing people. 75% leave university with at least a 2:1. This is simply too high.
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Beth_H
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(Original post by faith 101)
I did a degree that is very content-heavy

one module could equal 5 gcses. And the detail needed is huge
I certainly wasn't trying to claim that GCSEs are comparable to degree-level exams - the point is that the perceived difficulty of a qualification shouldn't just be informed by the level of content.
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Purplemonkeys
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(Original post by faith 101)
I did a degree that is very content-heavy

one module could equal 5 gcses. And the detail needed is huge
I suppose it'd vary between GCSEs and degrees, for example one drama degree module (if that's how drama works at university level-I'm not too sure; also I'm not dumbing down a drama degree but using it as an example of something see as less of a so-called 'traditional' subject) probably wouldn't be equivalent of double science, history, an MFL/ English Literature and geography as they are all very content heavy. However I cannot speak from experience but subjectively as a 16 year old it would be a struggle-but they'd manage that at undergraduate level age 18-21 by going through that difficulty level to gain those initial qualifications. Basically, what I'm attempting to convey is the fact that I agree with you about the mass of content but to someone aged 15 of 16 (maybe even 14 if a GCSE was to be taken early) it is often difficult to get to grips with, although this is very much subjective.
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