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Culio
22nd Aug 2008, 22:21
Hey guys,

If you're like me, and you got your GCSE results yesterday, be brave and post them here! :D

And if you haven't done GCSEs, but another exam course, go ahead and post them here ;)

Even if you didn't get your GCSE results this year, maybe you did them 5 years ago (or whatever), then please, post them too!

I might as well set the ball rolling:

Geography: A*
French: A*
Biology: A*
Physics: A
Chemistry: A
German: A
English Literature: A
English Language: A
Maths: A
Statistics: A
Music: A

So yeah, I did a lot better than people thought I would, and I had a lot to celebrate about last night :P

Post away!

C.

VFE
22nd Aug 2008, 22:29
Great marks Culio. I first took my GCSE's in 1994 and got the following grades...

Geography: E
French: E
Biology: E
Physics: E
Chemistry: E
German: E
English Literature: E
English Language: E
Maths: E
Music: E
Building Stuff: Ungraded

Decided to see if I could better them in 2008 and low and behold.......

Geography: A*
French: A*
Biology: A*
Physics: A*
Chemistry: A*
German: A*
English Literature: A*
English Language: A*
Maths: A*
Statistics: A*
Music: A*
Media Studies: A***

Amazing ennit!!

VFE. :}

DX Wombat
22nd Aug 2008, 22:38
Well done son! :D :D :D :D :D
You too Culio. :ok:

frostbite
22nd Aug 2008, 22:45
Ahem..... Your English didn't cover 'Lo and behold' then.

Congrats to you both anyway.

(frostbite with just 11+ and C&G Amateur Radio & Electronics to his credit)

usedtofly
22nd Aug 2008, 23:06
Well I may be stupid but............................

At least I sit in the front left seat :E

Seriously tho, well done dudes :ok: ( I really am too ashamed of my results to put them out here in cyberspace)

:)

VFE
22nd Aug 2008, 23:20
Apologies here but one seems to have led you all astray. My post was merely a jibe at the lowering of examination standards - I was drawing a parrallell as to what my results might be today, 14 years later.

It's a right pissser when yer gotta explain yer jokes ennit! :(

VFE.

DX Wombat
22nd Aug 2008, 23:25
one seems to have led you all astray.Not at all dear, one enjoys a harmless wind-up like this one and is always happy to help it continue. :ok: :) Mummy.

Whirlygig
22nd Aug 2008, 23:28
What's a GCSE? Is that like a CSE?

1981 and the results for my O Levels

Music A
Art A
English Lit A
English Lang B
Maths A
Physics A
History B
Chemistry B
Technical drawing B
German C (quite proud of that!!)

And a CSE grade 1 for Art.

Well done Culio and all those who passed!

It does present a problem to employers though as it's hard to differentiate between candidates for trainee positions! However Culio, you seem to be able to spell and although I, personally, don't agree with your use of the Oxford comma, your CV would probably get past me!

I hope you go on to better things!

Cheers

Whirls

Culio
22nd Aug 2008, 23:30
Screw the Oxford comma :P

Cron
23rd Aug 2008, 02:01
After my BSc my GCSE's were a fading memory. After my MSc they were a very distant memory. After my Phd they are almost forgotten. Doing a D.Lit at the moment - now what were those exams I took as a lad called?

Regards

Cron

sisemen
23rd Aug 2008, 02:59
When I did my GCEs there was no such thing as grades - pass or fail it was. 'Twere a crool world in them days.

The one thing that I did learn later in life though was that no matter how impressive a list of school qualifications that an individual possessed they still had to be put through a remedial English course when they pitched up at the RAF College wanting to be steely eyed fighter pilots. :(

stue
23rd Aug 2008, 10:04
Managed to spell the word FUDGE with mine.

Sums it all up really......

NRU74
23rd Aug 2008, 10:43
I see that today's Times [p35] quoting the Edexcel Exam Board reports the Pass rate in A Level English this year as 99.1%
Presumably there's now a Bateman Cartoon of 'The boy who failed his A Level English'

...and VFE write out 'parallel' a hundred times.

Sailor Vee
23rd Aug 2008, 12:50
They were graded in numbers when I achieved mine! ;)

(p.s. anything lower than grade 6 was a FAIL and therefore not included, but you aren't allowed to screw up like that now! :E)

1DC
23rd Aug 2008, 13:05
In 1956 i got five grade nines,a seven and a six. Nine was the worst result you could get.The biggest impact was to see my Mother crying and wondering what she had done wrong.Something sank in because i never failed an exam ever again and i managed to eventually make my Mother proud of me..

BombayDuck
23rd Aug 2008, 13:23
What grade does one take the GCSE in? Tenth? Twelfth?

parabellum
23rd Aug 2008, 13:45
The real problems will surface when the people doing the interviewing/employing have only had to achieve such low and manipulated grades themselves, precisely the kind of Utopia that the hard left have been seeking for years.

asiaseen
23rd Aug 2008, 14:17
BDuck, age 15/16 whatever that equates to

mutt
23rd Aug 2008, 15:01
Remembering that this is an international BB, what exactly are the GCSE's and when do you do them? Are they aviation related?


Mutt

NRU74
23rd Aug 2008, 16:25
Mutt,
I do not, in any way, wish to demean Culio's achievements, but ...
These are exams taken in the UK Schools around the age of 15/16 [not aviation related] and the initials stand for General Certificate of Secondary Education.
Broadly speaking they replaced 'O' [Ordinary] Level GCE -General Certificate of Education c 1986.
The difference is [at least for BOFs such as me] is that passing a GCE was relatively difficult, but failing a GCSE appears to be relatively rare.
The so called 'Gold Standard' is the 'A' [Advanced] Level GCE- but as you will see from my earlier post 99.1% 'passed' A Level English.
There are,of course, various grades from A* to G etc and Culio has achieved very good grades.
But, as in any exam with pass rates as high as this, doubts have to be cast on whether the values of some of the grades are approaching the value of the paper on which the Certificates are printed.

tony draper
23rd Aug 2008, 16:35
I was the best fighter in me class. :E

Standard Noise
23rd Aug 2008, 16:52
Stop it Whirls, yer making me feel young!:E

Did 'O' levels meself, infinitely superior to the modern day equivalent, none of this old coursework nonsense, just straight exams. Would be interesting to put today's lot through an 'O' level or two just to see how they cope.

Overdrive
23rd Aug 2008, 18:57
These are exams taken in the UK Schools around the age of 15/16 [not aviation related] and the initials stand for General Certificate of Secondary Education.
Broadly speaking they replaced 'O' [Ordinary] Level GCE -General Certificate of Education c 1986.
The difference is [at least for BOFs such as me] is that passing a GCE was relatively difficult, but failing a GCSE appears to be relatively rare



GCSEs also replaced the CSE, Cert. of Secondary Education that ran alongside the GCE, a syllabus of reduced difficulty, graded in numbers as opposed to letters. 5 or above was a CSE pass, and a grade 1 was regarded as approximately equivalent to a C in GCE.

In my time at school in the 'seventies, pupils at grammar schools took GCE as standard, but could change to CSE as an alternative or take it alongside if they were "struggling". At regular secondary schools CSE was the standard I believe, but better pupils could take GCE if they were doing well.

Forkandles
23rd Aug 2008, 19:11
True Overdrive, the GCSE replaced 'O' levels, CSEs and the 16+, the first year of taking in 1988. I was in the last year to take 'O' levels in '87 and the bastards made them really hard that year just because they knew how easy the new 'continual asessment' shite would be.

I managed to scrape 7 'O' levels at B or better and a Grade 3 CSE. It's a good job I buckled down in later years and now am just able to afford a pot to piss in. :E

G-CPTN
23rd Aug 2008, 19:15
GCE O levels were primarily taken by grammar school pupils (ie students who had satisfactorily passed the 11plus or grading exam that determined their fate according to academic achievement). The residue were doomed to attend secondary 'modern' schools where the likes of plumbers and carpenters were the probable graduates, rather than progressing to higher education establishments such as universities. Exceptional modern school pupils could attend night schools for extended learning.
The grammar school / modern school system was useful for determining the position in society according to the class system by sorting the 'working class' from white collar workers at an early age and educating them accordingly. Nowadays, since the introduction of so-called 'comprehensive' schools (combining all pupils in one amorphous 'society'), students are left confused, believing that they have a right to a university education resulting in a degree whilst the artisans that provided the basis of civilisation fail to materialise.
The result is that educational standards have had to be reduced (GCEs downgraded to CSEs and called GCSEs) in order not to offend those previously incapable of academic learning. Degrees likewise have been made easier with subjects such as 'media studies' replacing pure topics such as ancient Greek.
You even need a degree to become a nurse these days . . .

603DX
23rd Aug 2008, 23:10
G-CPTN:

Your rather blunt uncompromising exposure of "the elephant in the room" seems to have brought things to a (temporary?) halt .....

G-CPTN
23rd Aug 2008, 23:29
I merely report things as I believe them to be . . .

On reflection, I believe that many pupils that found themselves in the modern-school system nevertheless decided to 'make something' of their lives and become entrepreneurs and establish their own business (plumbing or carpentry) and felt that they had been successful, whereas grammar school pupils considered such activity as manual rather than intellectual work.
I'm not certain how comprehensive school pupils see themselves . . .

There was definitely a diversity between grammar-school and modern-school pupils and they rarely mixed after parting after leaving primary school, even though our schools were on adjacent sites, they were reached by different routes that didn't have a common component.

Rightbase
23rd Aug 2008, 23:39
I merely report things as I believe them to be . . .

And as they have to be, if the government is to succeed in persuading more than half of the population to go to university in order to get an above average salary....

:ugh:

MAINJAFAD
24th Aug 2008, 02:36
Bit of a long one this, but my memories and recollections of GSEs and CSEs from the early 1980s. 11 Plus had gone before I left Primary school.

GCSEs also replaced the CSE, Cert. of Secondary Education that ran alongside the GCE, a syllabus of reduced difficulty, graded in numbers as opposed to letters. 5 or above was a CSE pass, and a grade 1 was regarded as approximately equivalent to a C in GCE.

In my time at school in the 'seventies, pupils at grammar schools took GCE as standard, but could change to CSE as an alternative or take it alongside if they were "struggling". At regular secondary schools CSE was the standard I believe, but better pupils could take GCE if they were doing well.

If I remember correctly, GSEs were aimed at the top 20-25% of the student population, CSEs for the rest. Grammar schools aimed at GSEs, Secondary Moderns at CSEs. In the case of Comprehensive schools, if they were anything like the one I attended, the top 40-70 students from the 3rd year exams were streamed into GSEs for the subjects they were good at, while the rest did CSEs. The school also did a set of 4th Year Exams, and if you were in the top stream and made a hash of a subject in one of those exams, and your course work was poor, you ended up doing the CSE course for that subject (as happened to me in Maths and Geography (not helped by the fact that the teachers in both subjects didnt like me)).

The one big problem with GSEs as far as my knowledge of them goes, was that the O level had a floating grading system. What happened was the exam board would take all of the marked papers, any below a fixed low point would be classified as ungraded. The five remaining grade cutoff points (A to E) were based on a percentage of graded papers (top 20% of students got an A grade, next 20% B and so on (actual breakdown of the percentages are a guess on my part). Hence the exam score for a pass C grade was dependant on the numbers of students that had taken the exam at the time and how well they had done. If a lot of students who had done the exams got high scores, the pass/fail C/D grade cut-off point got higher. Where this was most noticeable, was if you did the re-sit exams (Some boards did theirs in following November, The board my school used did theirs in the following January). Because there where less students doing the exam, the C/D grade cut-off point could be much higher than it would normally be in the June exams (which a teacher once told me was an exam score of somewhere between 45-55%).

In the case of CSEs grading was fixed. 75% score and above Grade 1, 74-65% Grade 2 and so on down to the unclassified U grade.

The main difference between the CSE and GSE courses was content and method of assessment (which I cover in a minute, along with how I fell foul of the moving GSE pass mark). For example in Maths, in the 5th year, the best CSE students at my school got the chance to do a dinner time GSE Top up course with mainly covered Calculus. The CSE course didnt touch Calculus period, Which was the only major difference in content that I can remember. As for the exams, the CSE exam paper was more practically based, plus of course, a standard of course work over the year was included as part of the grading (cant remember the breakdown, could have been 60/40 in favour of the exam).

Thanks to doing that top up course, I did both exams in the 5th year (though had to pay to do the O level myself). Got the Grade 1 CSE, and humm, just happened passed the O level with a B grade as well.

Did 'O' levels myself, infinitely superior to the modern day equivalent, none of this old coursework nonsense, just straight exams. Would be interesting to put today's lot through an 'O' level or two just to see how they cope.

Having done both CSE's and GSE's a few years before GCSE's replaced them, I have mixed feelings on that statement. In the case of CSE's final grading was based on a mixture of 1-2 years worth of coursework (mostly homework), final exams and usually a project of some kind. GSE's, straight exams, and sometimes a project, dependent on subject. I say that, as the O level computer studies course at my school had a project was part of the exam, the entrants had to do 6 programs, plus documentation which would do certain practical functions from a list issued by the exam board. (Didnt do it myself, did the 16+ course in a year while in the sixth form, and got a grade 1 in it).

The CSE English course when I did it, consisted of 45% of the grade based on course work, which had both English language and English literature elements to it and 45% based on two exams, one an essay and the other a written comprehension paper. The final 10% of the grade was an oral presentation, in which you had to stand up in front of the rest of the class and do a 10 minute talk (I did the British nuclear deterrent, with handouts). Hated the subject and the teacher, did bugger all homework, though wasnt that good at the subject anyway (spelling and handwriting were terrible), and ended up with a Grade 3.

Another example of the CSE, Geography, 40 % based on standard of course work, 40 % written single exam, 20 % from a project (remember, no Internet or computers in those days, cut and paste was photocopied maps and photos with many a trip to the local library with a note pad and pen to do a thing called real research!!!!). Got a Grade 1 in that subject as well.

I only got 3 Grade 1 CSEs (plus a couple of 2s and a couple of 3s). The other Grade 1 was Art, but I picked the CSE course for that because I could draw, paint, make what I wanted to (i.e. things that flew mostly), instead of drawing pot plants!!! Plus 2 O-levels (aforementioned Maths and Physics with Chemistry).

Did a year into the sixth form to upgrade the CSEs to GSEs. Paid out of my pocket to do the English Language O level with the re-sits from the previous year (English Language and English Literature being separate qualifications done by the GSE board my school used). Two exams, an essay and a vote for Joe multi-choice comprehension paper. Thought I did OK on the comprehension paper and did the best essay Ive ever written.

The exam Invigilator (who was the head of English department and my tutor) had a quick look though all of the papers before sending them off. A couple of days later he pulls me to one side with a big smile on his face and tells me that it was the best work hed ever seen by me, the best essay of all of the students who had done that paper and I was looking at an A Grade for sure.

Well he was right on two counts, because when the results came. I did get the highest grade of any student from that school, a D grade fail, everybody else got Es and Us.

Did the GSE English again in the summer (school paid for it this time), essay not a patch of the January paper and thought I had blown it on the Vote of Joe. Very surprised when the results came though the letterbox and I found that I had got B Grade. (That moving pass mark system in action).

With the exception of the re-sit English exam, I almost literally walked with very little effort all of the 5 O levels that I did in the sixth form with Cs and Bs (the Bs, I got in subjects that I got the very low grade CSEs in!!!), Plus did the Histroy 'O' level course in a year (B for that one too).

The moral of the story is beside work harder earlier in school, was it was actually harder to get a grade 1 CSE, than it was to get a C grade 'O' level, not only was course and project work taken into account, you had to pass the exams by at least 50% to stand any chance of reaching that 75% mark Grade 1, unless you had got 100% in everything else. (I seem to remember that the average grade for the CSE was Grade 4!!!!, however knowing the number of people I know who left school with bugger all in the way of qualifications, that would not surprise me at all).

However I would agree, GCSEs have got to be easier if 46.7% of the total pupils in the UK can get the 5 at C grade including Maths and English (figures from BBC news web site). I cannot find the overall O level pass / CSE grade 1 figures for the years that I did them. But figures for 1982 as regards Maths and the Science subjects (the first two of my O levels) were 28.22 percent of the school leavers (5th year) got an O level pass or CSE grade 1 for Maths (which can only the maximum figure, if the sciences are not taken into account, they would drag the total down a bit). My figure is averaged from both male and female percentage taken from this question in Hansard (http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1988/jan/19/o-level-examination-results) from 1988. The pass/grade 1 figures for English at the time were a bit higher if the figures from the late 1970's are anything to go on (around 30 percent).

BombayDuck
24th Aug 2008, 07:57
Age 15/16 is 10th grade (or "standard" as we call it).

So, my results:

English (medium of instruction): 80/100
Marathi (supposedly my native tongue): 69/100 :O
Hindi (national language): 43/100 :{ (I sucked at it!)
Maths: 143/150 (Algebra: 72, Geometry 71)
Science: 137/150 (can't recall the split)
Social Studies (History+Civics and Geography+Economics): 118/150

35% in any subject is counted as a "pass".

Also got an A in Art, General Knowledge, a B in Moral Studies and a C in Computers (because my notebook was incomplete... bare, more like!).

This was - OH MY GOD! Has it really been THAT long? - ten years ago. My total percentage was something like 78%, and I was not even in the top 30 in my school, let alone the university. Around 100,000 students appear for the exam each year from Mumbai City alone. Last year 23,000 students scored above 75%.

blue monday
24th Aug 2008, 08:26
GCSE's are taken in yr 11 BombayDuck. (here in the UK). GCSE's have in no doubt't got easier over the years, the percentage mark required to get the higher grades has steadily decrease, so much so that the government brought out the A* grade for the highest achievers, the Government in there wisdom have denied exams are now easier and say the standard of teaching has improved thans to their policies (who believes that).The industry certainly o not believ this either as a decae ago they knew who the top performers were now every man and his dog has A.B & C grades. When a did GCSEs 16 yrs ago you needed 75% for a C, now i believe its around 55%, so why haven't my C's been upgaded to B's????

As for degrees getting easier i believe that is the case also as an exmple i offer you an Oxford Graduate - she has just got a 2.1 BA at oxford but as the stanserd at oxford is that high after a year they automatically get a masters where as a graduate from a lesser university will need to take another years study to gain their masters.

Chicken Leg
24th Aug 2008, 13:22
My daughter has just got an 'A', a 'B' and seven 'C's'. As she is not a 'naturally gifted' acacemic, and in spite of what some the above 'Harder in my day' posters think, we are extremely proud of her. She worked hard and passed the exams that were put in front of her.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
24th Aug 2008, 13:43
The five remaining grade cutoff points (A to E) were based on a percentage of graded papers (top 20% of students got an A grade, next 20% B and so on (actual breakdown of the percentages are a guess on my part). Hence the exam score for a pass C grade was dependant on the numbers of students that had taken the exam at the time and how well they had doneWhat was your grade in maths then? If the marks were assigned as you say they were, the number of students taking the exam is irrelevant. The only contributing factor is the relationship of the individual mark to the overall grade distribution.


===

...and in what way is comprehension of Ancient Greek useful to society? Will it help build bridges, schools or roads?

FlyingOfficerKite
24th Aug 2008, 13:54
I wonder if Culio would have been quite so keen to publish if s/he had achieved E grades?!

Well done, but remember modest people would never Post.

Chicken Leg: Say well done to your daughter from me - she has done well.

Standard Noise
24th Aug 2008, 15:22
G-CPTN, I don't think I would agree with your assumption that
The grammar school/modern school system was useful for determining the position in society according to the class system by sorting the 'working class' from the white collar workers at an early age and educating them accordingly.

Now while I can't speak about the English, Scottish or Welsh systems, in Northern Ireland, we had an 11+ (and still do, but I'm sure the luddites at Stormont will f**k that up as well) and selection for grammar or secondary(modern) school was based success at that exam. One good thing that the grammar schools did however, was use possible family connections where results where marginal. I got an A in my 11+ but had I scored a lower mark, the fact that my brother went to the same school would have helped me gain entry. Most of the guys in my year, including me, were from 'working class' families. But regardless of your background, you were expected to work your ass off to their standards, not your own. It was strict and most of us hated it, but I doubt you'll find anyone who went to my old school who would say that it didn't do them any good. It was a free grammar school education for goodness sake, without any conditions on your background. Just ask the Foss bloke and that other old gouger eastern wiseguy, we were all fashioned by the same penal institution, erm, I mean grammar school.

Our school let in pupils from the local secondary school at the start of each year if they were deemed to be bright enough. I also know guys whose families who were considered to be 'middle class' who failed to get a good enough 11+ grade and wasted their time at a secondary school.
Mind you, I was considered a failure by the school because I didn't go to university or join the forces.

makintw
24th Aug 2008, 15:40
Well one went to a Comp where the top bands did 'O' levels and the riff raff were allowed to do a CSE or two.

So back in the summer of '82 passed 9 'O' levels, be b******d if I can remember the subjects and grades.

Went back to do 'A' levels in '88 and passed 3, chuffed to get an A grade in General Studies. Added another 'O' for a grand total of 10 'O' and 3 'A'.

And all to get into the great University of Life !!

BerksFlyer
24th Aug 2008, 20:32
Broadly speaking they replaced 'O' [Ordinary] Level GCE -General Certificate of Education c 1986.
The difference is [at least for BOFs such as me] is that passing a GCE was relatively difficult, but failing a GCSE appears to be relatively rare.
The so called 'Gold Standard' is the 'A' [Advanced] Level GCE- but as you will see from my earlier post 99.1% 'passed' A Level English.
There are,of course, various grades from A* to G etc and Culio has achieved very good grades.
But, as in any exam with pass rates as high as this, doubts have to be cast on whether the values of some of the grades are approaching the value of the paper on which the Certificates are printed.

For a start, you say 99.1% passed English A levels. As you say, technically any grade from A-E is a pass. Don't know about you, but I'd expect 99.1% of people who got Bs at English GCSE (at majority of schools you need this just to do the A level course) to get atleast an E at A level. Now, the thing here is that no one (employers etc.) counts anything below a C as decent, so surely it would me more beneficial to quote the amount who get A-Cs would it not? Obviously not, and that's why we have the attitude where today's students can not do well because our exams are too easy. And they wonder why, according to the UN, Britain's children are the most unhappy in the world.

At the end of the day, no one cares if you fail to get a C despite the fact it's still a 'pass'.

But, as in any exam with pass rates as high as this, doubts have to be cast on whether the values of some of the grades are approaching the value of the paper on which the Certificates are printed.

Now onto GCSEs...

So you want to put the people who achieve A*s and As together with the people who get Es and Fs because these tests are not credible and therefore not a decent judge of how well you've done? Believe me, there is still a world of difference between the good and the bad, and today's good pupils are just as good as they were 50 years ago. The results are far more than worth what they're printed on and still do a good job at distinguishing the good from the bad. I challenge you to find anyone who gets 7-12 A* and A grades who is infact an idiot. 1 or 2 good grades and fair enough, but people who consistently get top grades will be intelligent, I know this from experience.

Put1992
24th Aug 2008, 21:08
GCSE's are taken in yr 11 BombayDuck. (here in the UK). GCSE's have in no doubt't got easier over the years, the percentage mark required to get the higher grades has steadily decrease, so much so that the government brought out the A* grade for the highest achievers, the Government in there wisdom have denied exams are now easier and say the standard of teaching has improved thans to their policies (who believes that).The industry certainly o not believ this either as a decae ago they knew who the top performers were now every man and his dog has A.B & C grades. When a did GCSEs 16 yrs ago you needed 75% for a C, now i believe its around 55%, so why haven't my C's been upgaded to B's???

Out of curiosity, what evidence do people have to make the bold statement that they have got easier? (I wasn't saying you are wrong, simply wanting some cold hard fact!)

G-CPTN
24th Aug 2008, 21:26
YouTube - Peter Cook - The Miner (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Grg5tULy0tY)

Whirlygig
24th Aug 2008, 23:02
Maybe not cold, hard fact ( as levels of difficulty can be subjective) but a book of past papers has been published!

GCSEs v O-levels, let the battle begin - Times Online (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/education/article4275054.ece)

Cheers

Whirls

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
24th Aug 2008, 23:11
Yet according to Louise Kenway, Brighton Colleges deputy headmistress, who marked the O-level tests they sportingly sat for us on Wednesday, only two of the five pupils achieved a pass mark in the two-hour O-level maths paper; the rest failed. yeah but...

Let's face it, O level maths was a piece of piss really. All you had to do was (a) have half a brain and (b) get hold of about four years worth of past papers and go through them a couple of times. There'd alwayd be a ladder against a wall problem, a projectile problem and a train leaves a station problem. All you had to do was actually do a few of them and there's really only a limited number of ways they can ask the question.

So if today's youth don't have the chance to study for the exam it'll seem hard to them.

Poor babies :E

BerksFlyer
24th Aug 2008, 23:22
Let's face it, O level maths was a piece of piss really. All you had to do was (a) have half a brain and (b) get hold of about four years worth of past papers and go through them a couple of times. There'd alwayd be a ladder against a wall problem, a projectile problem and a train leaves a station problem. All you had to do was actually do a few of them and there's really only a limited number of ways they can ask the question.


I've got a feeling it actually is a case of past papers and teaching. Nowadays, we do past paper after past paper getting used to the exams. Teachers focus on exam technique just as much as knowledge and months before the exams we start hammering past papers. Whether it was like that or not 30 years ago I don't know.

G-CPTN
25th Aug 2008, 01:33
Past papers is the solution (as is doing crossword puzzles from a particular newspaper) so you get to know the style.
I recall being faced with the common entrance exam without having had any tutoring. Despite being in the upper percentile it was all unknown to me.

asiaseen
25th Aug 2008, 01:38
...hammering past papers. Whether it was like that or not 30 years ago I don't know.

It was like that 50+ years ago and for A level too

Ralph the Bong
25th Aug 2008, 03:05
Ha! Pussies the lot of ya!

In my day it was called The Higher School Certificate. 100% of the years assessment crammed into 1 x 3 hr paper for each subject.

Must pass at least 4 subjects with score of at least 50%.

Must pass the subject English.

Pass mark was determined by failing 33% of cadidates and establishing that point on the curve as 50%.

603DX
25th Aug 2008, 13:00
The function of school exams has been progressively modified and expanded, since I was educated. Moving as we appear to have done, away from the concept of gloomy failure because it cruelly bruises young egos, we have entered the sunny uplands of virtually guaranteed success. Pretty well everyone can now bask in the warm glow that paper-certified success can bring.

That's fine by me, why shouldn't tender youth enjoy the enhanced feelings of self-worth and confidence that a fistful of certificates, diplomas, etc can provide? I was fortunate enough to benefit from the selective system in the fifties, simply because my IQ happened to be high enough - but no more merit was involved than, say, having dark hair or brown eyes, it was totally beyond my control.

So why shouldn't a greater proportion of the population nowadays gain the undoubted advantage of feeling successful and validated? Clearly, goalposts have been moved to achieve this desirable outcome, but so what? "Dumbing-down" has positive advantages, surely it's better to have a lowered bar, than a large embittered "chip-on-the-shoulder" section of society who never forget or forgive their early branding as failures?

There is, of course, one rather important caveat to this rosy situation. Those professions for which very high academic standards are essential should never, ever, have those requirements relaxed. We are all aware of which ones - those directly concerning health, science, safety, security, and so on. As long as only those with the the very best minds and highest abilities continue to be recruited into these fields, what harm does a little ego-massage do? You know it makes sense ........

Say again s l o w l y
25th Aug 2008, 14:31
Pah who cares. Well done young fella.

As for me. 9 A* 2 A's.

A few other qualifications since then and it's most annoying that no-one seems to give a toss about my GCSE marks anymore. I must be getting old!

Jimmy Macintosh
25th Aug 2008, 17:31
The GCSE's just get you to the next step, mine were forgotten about as soon as I graduated from Uni. A-levels were forgotten about as soon as I had a years experience after graduating.

Difficulty is relative, I never sat my exams over more than one session so had no idea whether they had got any easier. I do remember that I was in the second/third year of GCSE's so our practice papers also included o levels. They were complete bastards compared to my GCSE's. The educational philospohy had changed between the two different testing systems.

Though this doesn't matter any more, one person at school was the most intelligent guy I've ever met. During the year, on project work, they graded him to standards two years above our year so he could continually be challenged (he still got A's) but his GCSE's were all A's. The A* lowers this achievement. They can do whatever they want to the difficulty but they should have moved the curve not invent a new grade.

BerksFlyer
25th Aug 2008, 20:31
Though this doesn't matter any more, one person at school was the most intelligent guy I've ever met. During the year, on project work, they graded him to standards two years above our year so he could continually be challenged (he still got A's) but his GCSE's were all A's. The A* lowers this achievement. They can do whatever they want to the difficulty but they should have moved the curve not invent a new grade.

I agree... and now they're introducing the A* for A levels despite the fact universities have said they'll ignore the new grade and count As and A*s the same.

VFE
25th Aug 2008, 20:43
DX Wombat,

Knew I could rely on my PPruNe Mummy for help! :) ;) :}

VFE.

Beatriz Fontana
25th Aug 2008, 22:14
say again s l o w l y,

I'm with you there. You bust a gut for your GCSEs, and when you get your A Levels then the old ones don't count. You get your degree and, aye aye, your As count for nothing. And then, just when you thought your degree meant something, you get the Masters and behold, what degree did you do again?

Doctorate next, then :)

airborne_artist
26th Aug 2008, 10:00
No. 1 daughter is very bright and got 8 x A* and 3 x A at GCSE. Then she discovered boys, parties etc. and although she attended, did very little work in 1st year of 6th form, and got A, C, D, D in AS levels. Did lots of work and re-takes in 2nd year, and managed A, B, B, admittedly in Biology, Physics and Chemistry.

No. 2 daughter is very capable, but struggles with some subjects that No. 1 finds easy. She got 6 x A*, 3 x A and 2 x B at GCSE. Got on with her work in sixth form, despite boyfriend, though not a party-goer. Got 4 x A at AS in Maths, Biology, Physics and Geography.

Moral - being bright isn't everything. You still have to do the work.