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Are exams getting easier?

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/10319979.stm

I've been thinking about this recently seeing as brat is taking part of his GCSE's. Now, his dad being older than me took O levels, straight forward 100% exam at the end of the 5th year secondary school (now called year 11).
Me being slightly younger took GCSE's. When I took the GCSE's they were made up of course work and the end of year exam.

However now the brat is doing course work, but takes exams during the year, so the exams are broken down into sections, not requiring as much revision (not that he does any) for example, he's just done an exam on crime and punishment for history.

Any thoughts/views on this?

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The answer is probably, but the ones taking them wouldn't know it.

Additionally you have probably got slightly wiser in age, making reading the modern exam more of a 'refresher' rather than something new.

The main problem is the examination board can't make exams hard as annual school statistics would suffer. Second issue is how coursework can be improved by the use of the internet, not only for the answers, but for 'cribbing' among children. Of course this supercedes calculators, log books and slide-rules for the science subjects, making calculations a breeze. Typing/emailing and printing has made neat and legible handwriting more or less a thing of the past.

If you have kept any of your old exercise books it might be worth double checking your work against what your young one is doing in a particular subject or three.

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I just hate the whole system ......my lad got 92% on his years work handed in so far ...but his final result will come down to him being sat in a seat for 240 minutes trying to recall a whole years work .....which in real life is never expected of you .
Its just wrong ..... :thumbdown:




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it's not so much that the exams are getting easier but that the course content is lighter.

exams can only test on what is on the NC and if that depth of content is not present then children cannot be tested on it.

i took o and a levels too (giving my age away here) and you certainly had to revise everything from year 10 and 11 and years 12 and 13 respectively.

even at that time there were complaints that it wasn't a fair system for the kids who performed badly under exam conditions.

so they tried to even out the testing by way of introducing the concept of coursework and a modular system in the guise of the gcse.
this was supposed to make it fairer for the kids so that those who worked hard throughout the year(s) had a bank of marks under their belts prior to the exams and thus reducing the pressure on them when the time came for the final course exam(s).

i do believe that these new BTech courses have no final exams---it is a totally modular course.
the introduction of such courses to schools was inevitable because most university courses are also modular in nature.

the biggest problem with coursework related courses is that teachers can mark this work themselves and it is not properly moderated. all this is wrapped up in league tables of course.

no matter which way you look at it there is no perfect system when it comes to actually reflecting the real abilities of our children--each has pros and cons.

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Kids are being taught how to pass exams, rather than thinking for themselves. They only teach stuff to get them through the exams, and nothing more.

When I was at school it was no different. For example, history; we only got taught about the two world wars of last century, I had absolutely no interest in such destructive nonsense, I was more into the Incas, Mayans, ancient Egypt, and how this so-called 'civilised' world came to be. However, they had no interest in teaching the kids this, as it was unlikely those questions would come up on an exam sheet. Out of boredom, I ended up skiving most of school, went down to the library to study these, and other subjects I was interested in for myself.

I remember computer studies, we always had 15 minutes 'free time' at the end of the lesson where the kids would sit there playing games. I had no interest, since it was non productive and sat alone teaching myself programming, the teacher never showed any interest, he was more interested in beating the other kids high scores. He never even let me save my work on his precious tapes that he'd kept aside for more games.

One of my main interests, since the age of 9 was (and still is) electronics, yet the school would not teach it. At best there was a small module that ran for 2 weeks within the science lesson, where we were the teacher showed us how to build an oscillator (just the build, not the science or math behind it). I finished mine well ahead of schedule, although the teacher didn't like it when I successfully redesigned his circuit to run more efficiently.

I did really well at music too, yet that lesson only lasted a few weeks, since I "would never need this sort of education in the real world". However, I have been producing and recording professionally for the industry for nearly 20 years, as well as building my own studio equipment.

The point I'm making is that when kids show an interest in something, or if one kid is particularly bright in certain areas, the schools should home in on it, so the child excels in those subjects, and for kids to think for themselves. Rather than holding everyone back to the same level, thus creating a borg-minded society. A bunch of exam results certainly does not reflect true intelligence.

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quite agree. my youngest son was known as the "gadget man" at his primary/junior school, he was always building electronics , i encouraged it and he's doing well for himself now :)

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Richie wrote:Kids are being taught how to pass exams, rather than thinking for themselves. They only teach stuff to get them through the exams, and nothing more.


This is quite possibly the most accurate thing someone has said about modern school exams. Though this phenomenon is nothing new - I remember teachers saying directly to the pupils almost word for word and this was back in 1999. I remember one teacher saying to us "OK, well we can't really teach you the whole syllabus - so we'll just teach you about what's coming up in the exam."

I don't know if this is through the lack of resources or sheer laziness on the school's part - but one thing's for sure. They aren't cheating the exam boards - only the kids who have to sit through the exams.

And the really sad thing with it all is that the children taking the exams have worked damned hard for their qualifications will grow up and be told that they are worthless and they now have more hoops in the form of a wallet pounding University course to jump through before landing themselves a job. (and enough debt to cripple a small country.)

I guess I'm just angry that all these children have worked hard for 12 - 16 years for nothing. (maybe even less than nothing.)

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robinnia wrote:it's not so much that the exams are getting easier but that the course content is lighter.

........



I would agree with this.

as regards coursework, i just recently found out about a thing we have up here called "active learning", where the teachers teach the brightest kids how to do something, then bugger off and those kids are left to teach the rest of the class...

my teenage niece said the only thing she failed in her exam s were the bits which had been done through Active Learning.

and then we have GLOW - you'd think it was an acronym, but its not - our children and young people across scotland shall be lighting up Learning through Glow and building Glow communities online...and "Glow is not a separate development from Curriculum for Excellence but a core element of support in driving it forward...." blah blah blah

This new Curriculum for Excellence which is being introduced up here...its crazily scary in its airy-fairiness. I hope they just scrap it as a victim of The Cuts.



ps - Richie, one of my kids loves electronics and music. Hes discovered his grandads electric piano can record,and is writing music on it. He records one hand, and then plays the other hand along . Hes learning the violin, but sees that more as schoolwork, wheras this keyboard thing is his own thing, if you see.

he wants to be a bomb disposal expert when he grows up. :eek4: well, he's only eleven, but some guys dont grow out of it!

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Whirliegig wrote:
robinnia wrote:it's not so much that the exams are getting easier but that the course content is lighter.

........



I would agree with this.

as regards coursework, i just recently found out about a thing we have up here called "active learning", where the teachers teach the brightest kids how to do something, then bugger off and those kids are left to teach the rest of the class...

my teenage niece said the only thing she failed in her exam s were the bits which had been done through Active Learning.

and then we have GLOW - you'd think it was an acronym, but its not - our children and young people across scotland shall be lighting up Learning through Glow and building Glow communities online...and "Glow is not a separate development from Curriculum for Excellence but a core element of support in driving it forward...." blah blah blah

This new Curriculum for Excellence which is being introduced up here...its crazily scary in its airy-fairiness. I hope they just scrap it as a victim of The Cuts.



ps - Richie, one of my kids loves electronics and music. Hes discovered his grandads electric piano can record,and is writing music on it. He records one hand, and then plays the other hand along . Hes learning the violin, but sees that more as schoolwork, wheras this keyboard thing is his own thing, if you see.

he wants to be a bomb disposal expert when he grows up. :eek4: well, he's only eleven, but some guys dont grow out of it!

steer him well clear of that whirls xxxxxxxx

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wotsit2 wrote:
Whirliegig wrote: Hes learning the violin, but sees that more as schoolwork, wheras this keyboard thing is his own thing, if you see.

he wants to be a bomb disposal expert when he grows up. :eek4: well, he's only eleven, but some guys dont grow out of it!

steer him well clear of that whirls xxxxxxxx


Seconded, a keyboard isn't the best thing to chuck at them.

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Channel Hopper wrote:
wotsit2 wrote:
Whirliegig wrote: Hes learning the violin, but sees that more as schoolwork, wheras this keyboard thing is his own thing, if you see.

he wants to be a bomb disposal expert when he grows up. :eek4: well, he's only eleven, but some guys dont grow out of it!

steer him well clear of that whirls xxxxxxxx


Seconded, a keyboard isn't the best thing to chuck at them.


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Richie wrote:
Channel Hopper wrote:
wotsit2 wrote:
Whirliegig wrote: Hes learning the violin, but sees that more as schoolwork, wheras this keyboard thing is his own thing, if you see.

he wants to be a bomb disposal expert when he grows up. :eek4: well, he's only eleven, but some guys dont grow out of it!

steer him well clear of that whirls xxxxxxxx


Seconded, a keyboard isn't the best thing to chuck at them.


x100000000



:D . Dont think grandad would be best pleased either ! His prized piano!


don't worry wots Im not encouraging him down the bomb disposal route. :thumb:

Ive often thought , since hes been quite small, that hes the sort of kid who when he hits his teens would disappear into his bedroom, downloading bomb making instructions from the internet. At the moment he practices making explosions with a chemistry set, and has any number of circuit boards, interesting batteries, and electrical things lying around, and in pockets.

Right now, though, hes been sidetracked by Coldplay.

It's coming yet for a' that, that Man to Man, the world o'er, shall brothers be for a' that. (Robert Burns)

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Whirliegig wrote:Right now, though, hes been sidetracked by Coldplay.


Better, the insurgents would surrender if he played the stuff from his snatch wagon.

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Whirliegig wrote:
Richie wrote:
Channel Hopper wrote:
wotsit2 wrote:
Whirliegig wrote: Hes learning the violin, but sees that more as schoolwork, wheras this keyboard thing is his own thing, if you see.

he wants to be a bomb disposal expert when he grows up. :eek4: well, he's only eleven, but some guys dont grow out of it!

steer him well clear of that whirls xxxxxxxx


Seconded, a keyboard isn't the best thing to chuck at them.


x100000000



:D . Dont think grandad would be best pleased either ! His prized piano!


don't worry wots Im not encouraging him down the bomb disposal route. :thumb:

Ive often thought , since hes been quite small, that hes the sort of kid who when he hits his teens would disappear into his bedroom, downloading bomb making instructions from the internet. At the moment he practices making explosions with a chemistry set, and has any number of circuit boards, interesting batteries, and electrical things lying around, and in pockets.

Right now, though, hes been sidetracked by Coldplay.

when i joined up whirls EOD was just part of my trade. i didn't volunteer for bomb disposal i was posted to it , i had no choice

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I agree with Guns I think there is more emphasis on coursework etc (I did my GSCE's in 1998, then GNVQ which was a lot of coursework AFAIK, then A Level from 2000-02) :)
The only A's I got in GCSE (rest were 7 C's and 1 D) were French and Spanish but I really liked them and was interested in the subject so found them very easy :)
I dont think they have got easier necessarily.

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Channel Hopper wrote:
Whirliegig wrote:Right now, though, hes been sidetracked by Coldplay.


Better, the insurgents would surrender if he played the stuff from his snatch wagon.


I think Mossad/CIA/etc rather like Coldplay. :)

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Richie wrote:
Channel Hopper wrote:
wotsit2 wrote:
Whirliegig wrote: Hes learning the violin, but sees that more as schoolwork, wheras this keyboard thing is his own thing, if you see.

he wants to be a bomb disposal expert when he grows up. :eek4: well, he's only eleven, but some guys dont grow out of it!

steer him well clear of that whirls xxxxxxxx


Seconded, a keyboard isn't the best thing to chuck at them.


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grimtales1 wrote:I agree with Guns I think there is more emphasis on coursework etc (I did my GSCE's in 1998, then GNVQ which was a lot of coursework AFAIK, then A Level from 2000-02) :)
The only A's I got in GCSE (rest were 7 C's and 1 D) were French and Spanish but I really liked them and was interested in the subject so found them very easy :)
I dont think they have got easier necessarily.


I pretty much failed my GCSEs first time around. I got D and E grades mostly. (I even got a "U" for my English first time around, too.)

Iz coz I's well fik at de tyme, yeah like dem peepol on Jezza Kyle.

I guess I come a long way since I was 16, though sadly - not far enough in my opinion.

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PMSL WHATS GCSE'S AND O LEVELS :confused: Dont know what Eff your talking about never eard of em :rofl: :rofl:


Actually our school just didnt have facilities for O levels etc, so well all pissed off at 15. :rofl: :yippee: :yippee: I would love to have tried me hand at Enlish Literature and History though. :(



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Dolls wrote:PMSL WHATS GCSE'S AND O LEVELS :confused: Dont know what Eff your talking about never eard of em :rofl: :rofl:


Actually our school just didnt have facilities for O levels etc, so well all pissed off at 15. :rofl: :yippee: :yippee: I would love to have tried me hand at Enlish Literature and History though. :(


Dolls love ....its about bits of paper you get for being brainwashed .....and you probably are more informed that most University Graduates ... :D :squeeze:

I have told my son I don't give a shit what his results are ....most are based on indoctrination in to a corrupt culture anyway :thumb:




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