Unhappy with cancelled exams and easier exams.

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numnum1111
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Wherever I look, I see people are so happy with the idea of exams being cancelled, and were so happy when they said that exams will be easier this year. Am I the only person not happy with this? Teacher predictions were so annoying because teachers just handed students the grades that they wanted, there were schools in which everyone got A/A* whereas normally the same schools get mainly Bs/Cs. When sitting exams, you feel like all your work culminated to that moment, not with teacher assessed grades. Plus, I feel like students who would normally do quite badly, because they just do last minute revision, will do better in these easier exams, as there is less content so they can do last minute revision. Am I the only one who feels this way about COVID exams?
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raaasahh
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(Original post by numnum1111)
Wherever I look, I see people are so happy with the idea of exams being cancelled, and were so happy when they said that exams will be easier this year. Am I the only person not happy with this? Teacher predictions were so annoying because teachers just handed students the grades that they wanted, there were schools in which everyone got A/A* whereas normally the same schools get mainly Bs/Cs. When sitting exams, you feel like all your work culminated to that moment, not with teacher assessed grades. Plus, I feel like students who would normally do quite badly, because they just do last minute revision, will do better in these easier exams, as there is less content so they can do last minute revision. Am I the only one who feels this way about COVID exams?
It was a mixed feeling for me as well as I was in yr 11 last year, we were all happy due to the stress being released off of us but then quickly realised there was no immediate solution to having no exams. The thing about the teacher crossed my mine too because I’m not oblivious to favouritism towards certain students but I’m trusting in the fact that they have the work of the students to back up their predicted grade. I feel like with the teacher assessed grades you don’t get the same satisfaction of receiving the level as you would from a test, it just comes across like any other in class exams.
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Aethomson
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Idk what year you’re in but teachers are definitely not allowed to just hand out grades that students want. External exams may have been cancelled but exams weren’t. This year, to get your grade you need to back it all up with evidence so all the work you did isn’t for nothing, it’s for the internal exams you sat that determine your grade. All these papers get sent to examining bodies and they decide whether the grade awarded is correct based on the standard of evidence. I don’t agree that COVID exams were easier or relieved stress, in my opinion it was worse than a normal year. I sat more exams that I normally would have. If anything these grades are probably harder to get due to the increased volume of exams, limited teaching time, limited revision time (no study leave as many exams started in April) and lack of online support from schools (many students having missed different sections of learning).
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numnum1111
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(Original post by raaasahh)
It was a mixed feeling for me as well as I was in yr 11 last year, we were all happy due to the stress being released off of us but then quickly realised there was no immediate solution to having no exams. The thing about the teacher crossed my mine too because I’m not oblivious to favouritism towards certain students but I’m trusting in the fact that they have the work of the students to back up their predicted grade. I feel like with the teacher assessed grades you don’t get the same satisfaction of receiving the level as you would from a test, it just comes across like any other in class exams.
Yes, with exams, you get the satisfaction of knowing that it all boiled down to those few hours in the exam hall, rather than Teacher assessed grades where it feels less intense.
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numnum1111
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(Original post by Aethomson)
Idk what year you’re in but teachers are definitely not allowed to just hand out grades that students want. External exams may have been cancelled but exams weren’t. This year, to get your grade you need to back it all up with evidence so all the work you did isn’t for nothing, it’s for the internal exams you sat that determine your grade. All these papers get sent to examining bodies and they decide whether the grade awarded is correct based on the standard of evidence. I don’t agree that COVID exams were easier or relieved stress, in my opinion it was worse than a normal year. I sat more exams that I normally would have. If anything these grades are probably harder to get due to the increased volume of exams, limited teaching time, limited revision time (no study leave as many exams started in April) and lack of online support from schools (many students having missed different sections of learning).
Yes, I'm talking about 2020 grades when I say teachers were handing out grades -- I'm going into year 13 now -- however, even this year there were schools which told their students what was going to be in the assessments, and all the students would do really well. One school near mine went through sample answers to the English assessments, then gave the students the paper to do in timed conditions. I understand that your school did it properly, I'm just saying that there were many schools that didn't, and instead used this as an opportunity to improve there own grade profile, therefore, there were massive inconsistencies generated.
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RegisteredBMS
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The teachers are required to back up their decisions. All students progress is tracked from the moment they enter High School. They use Progress 8 Score's which indicate where a pupil "should" end up at the end of High School. A student who ends up with a Progress 8 score of 0 ended up exactly where they were expected to.

If a school has a higher than usual volume of students who achieved Progress 8 scores greater than 0 then flags will be raised, which is why the teachers are required to keep evidence of why they've assigned a certain grade to a student. Progress 8 is a more applicable measure.
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Aethomson
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(Original post by numnum1111)
Yes, I'm talking about 2020 grades when I say teachers were handing out grades -- I'm going into year 13 now -- however, even this year there were schools which told their students what was going to be in the assessments, and all the students would do really well. One school near mine went through sample answers to the English assessments, then gave the students the paper to do in timed conditions. I understand that your school did it properly, I'm just saying that there were many schools that didn't, and instead used this as an opportunity to improve there own grade profile, therefore, there were massive inconsistencies generated.
I see where you’re coming from and the 2020 grades were a bit less rigorous, but as the user above stated, they check with progress reports too, so if it was like 2 or 3 grades different to the predicted, it would be looked into by the awarding body.
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Anon???
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I totally agree - my school basically just adjusted grade boundaries so certain students met certain grades! They could as good or bad as they liked - and school just moved the boundaries to suit 🚮🗑

This effectively makes what ever “evidence” they need appear!
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RegisteredBMS
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(Original post by Anon???)
I totally agree - my school basically just adjusted grade boundaries so certain students met certain grades! They could as good or bad as they liked - and school just moved the boundaries to suit 🚮🗑

This effectively makes what ever “evidence” they need appear!
The grade boundaries aren't set by schools. Also, even if they could adjust them, it wouldn't benefit selective students. Finally, this doesn't make evidence appear. I'm not sure you quite comprehend the depth of evidence that is actually required.
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numnum1111
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I understand what you are saying about last year. I'm more concerned with how people generally feel, for example, when exams were cancelled back in 2020, I was gutted because it felt like all the effort I had put in was going to waste, especially with Computer Science where, in 2019, 3% of students got a 9, but in 2020 10% did. Also, next year they will say that students will be told what topics are on exams beforehand. One of the purposes of the A level and GCSE reforms was to try and limit the extent to which people could cram and still do well; they wanted to encourage people to be consistently revising throughout the year, as they should. I understand that students have lost learning time to lockdowns, but I think many people exaggerate how bad online school was, using it as a scapegoat for there own complacency. I know of several students who turned on the TV and let online school run in the background, and several more who just didn't attend -- treating it like an extended holiday. Should it not be expected that these students will naturally perform less well in exams, rather than making adjustments and finding excuses for them? A level students are expected to put a lot of time into independent study anyway, so teachers giving online guidance, and then students going away and learning from the textbook shouldn't be such a stretch. Should it? So doesn't telling people which topics to revise for before an exam contradict these purposes?
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Aethomson
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(Original post by numnum1111)
I understand what you are saying about last year. I'm more concerned with how people generally feel, for example, when exams were cancelled back in 2020, I was gutted because it felt like all the effort I had put in was going to waste, especially with Computer Science where, in 2019, 3% of students got a 9, but in 2020 10% did. Also, next year they will say that students will be told what topics are on exams beforehand. One of the purposes of the A level and GCSE reforms was to try and limit the extent to which people could cram and still do well; they wanted to encourage people to be consistently revising throughout the year, as they should. I understand that students have lost learning time to lockdowns, but I think many people exaggerate how bad online school was, using it as a scapegoat for there own complacency. I know of several students who turned on the TV and let online school run in the background, and several more who just didn't attend -- treating it like an extended holiday. Should it not be expected that these students will naturally perform less well in exams, rather than making adjustments and finding excuses for them? A level students are expected to put a lot of time into independent study anyway, so teachers giving online guidance, and then students going away and learning from the textbook shouldn't be such a stretch. Should it? So doesn't telling people which topics to revise for before an exam contradict these purposes?
Those kids will perform worse. Measures will not be put in place to accommodate a couple kids because as said previously all of the evidence goes to the awarding body and they get the final say, even if that means overruling the teacher. Kids that revised all year, as they should have, will still succeed and the amount of kids getting what grades doesn’t matter. The only grade you should be concerned about is your own. Just because online school was easy for you or others doesn’t mean it was that way for everyone. I found it extremely difficult to do school online. Anecdotal evidence isn’t valid when trying to argue a point, however, I do see where you’re coming from.
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