Friday, 3 September 2010

A-level and GCSE results

I was lucky enough to get my fat face again on the inside pages of the Bracknell Standard. For What Does Bracknell Think?

This week's question was - With record A-level results recorded in Bracknell last week and record GCSE results predicted for tomorrow, are exams getting too easy? Also, with more pupils going after fewer university places, should more pupils be encouraged to leave school to pursue a career rather than doing A-levels.

My Answer published in last weeks paper was;

I doubt exams are any easier today, however I suspect teaching maybe targeted much more at passing exams then they used to be. This could partly explain the increased pass rate. We too often knock young people when many young people are hard working and certainly better behaved then I was. Every generation does this.

As someone who didn't go to university I do hold it as a personal regret for missing out on the experience rather then the learning. I felt that, myself and my parents could not afford the cost even back then. I don't feel it's held me back. For that reason I would like to see much more skills learning like the kind of hands on courses which are available at Bracknell and Wokingham college.

Your not a failure if you don't go to university its not for everyone.


  1. I have taught Science for the last 14 years

    the exams are much easier compared to O levels of the past.

    Children that are barely literate can obtain C grades now.

    If you need convincing, just compare the Science GCSE syllabus and exam questions of today with those of 1985

  2. After I left uni, a friend of mine became a Maths teacher. I asked him a couple of years later (about 2003) whether he thought GCSEs were easier than they used to be. He couldn't have been more animatedly adamant that they were, even within the two years he had been a teacher. I wanted to do some tutoring to pick up some spare cash, so flicked through a Maths GCSE practise paper book in WH Smith. I reckon I could have got 100% doing it in my head without a calculator.

    Now, nearly a decade after graduating with a mediocre degree, I need to recruit every year or so, or take on a temp to help us. I am constantly staggered by the low levels of arithmetic and grammar of those half a decade younger than me. And we're talking about part-qualified and qualified accountants here. In theory, these job-hunters ought to be in the top, say, ten percent of graduates.

  3. OK so it looks like GCSEs could be easier after all. I think im going to have a look through these study books myself.