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Saturday, 29 August 2009

Post-GCSE results: The Breakdown

I guess the 27th August 2009 was a very memorable day for many teenagers in the UK. It was a day for celebrating all the hard work that students put in. The UK government expects a minimum of 5 A*-C grades from 16 year-olds, although technically, any grades from A*-G is considered a pass.

There was (as I had predicted), an improvement on comparison to last year's results. It was reported that 21.6% of all exam papers were graded as an A*/A. This lead to media outlets speculating that the exams have gotten easier (once again). In my opinion, there is no such thing as an easy A*. What has happened is that both teachers and students have gotten to know the GCSE exams better and so much so that we are able to 'predict' exams just by looking at past questions. Also, as more emphasis is put on achieving ONLY the best, students and teachers feel pressurised to work and study harder.

Although there had been a rise on the national front, not many public schools are reporting improvements as had last year. Full results are yet to be released but schools such as King's School Canterbury are reporting less A*s than last year -"This year’s GCSE and IGCSE results were not quite last year’s bumper crop"- (Quoted here). However it is VERY important to remember that although results may have slipped, the actual results are still VERY impressive. For example, Tonbridge School may have slipped but it still has a very impressive 48% A*. The following is a list of well known schools that have either improved or achieved less A* grades:

King's School Canterbury DOWN
Tonbridge School DOWN
Marlborough College DOWN
St. Pauls DOWN
Dulwich College UNKNOWN
Sherborne School UNKNOWN
University College School UP
Westminster School UNKNOWN
Eton College UNKNOWN
As many schools on the Eton Group refuse to submit their results on the non-compulsory league tables, I have made a league table of the schools listed above. However, it is very important that you understand that this could be inaccurate. It is only for your guidance only. As many schools have not yet released stats on their website, on some schools I have used past results and pre-existing expectations.
1. Westminster School
2. St. Pauls
3. Eton College
4. Tonbridge School
5. Dulwich College
6. King's School Canterbury
7. University College School
8. Sherbourne School
9. Marlborough College
not 100% accurate
However A-level results were on the rise (in general) this year in public schools. I predict that it will continue to rise in public schools next year as well however decline in 2011. We will have to wait and see!
Overall, this year has been a little disappointing for public schools. Although no-one can say that the public schools did badly at all. I guess public schools hit an all-time high last year at GCSE and will hit a peak next year for A-levels.
As for me, my grades only consisted of A*s and As, so I'm happy.

Monday, 24 August 2009

27th August is looming aka GCSE results day

Only a couple of days left now! For over 500000 students in the UK 27th August 2009 will be a very important day. It is the day that 8/9 years of compulsory education is summed up into some letters.

We can also expect the media to heavily criticise the hard work of the students as we get better grades. They just think that exams are getting easier and not that the teachers are teaching better or the students are working harder. nope not at all.

For example in the Daily Express today, there was an article that criticised the questions of some exams. The article quoted a question in a Chemistry exam paper:

Many people use recreational drugs.

Give one example of:
a) a legal recreation drug
b) an illegal recreational drug

Some recreational drugs are addictive
a) Give one example of a recreational drug that is very
b) Explain how the action of a drug makes a person become addicted to it.

Not all GCSE exams are like that. The article doesn't even state what of paper it was. It was probably the opening question in a foundation chemistry paper. The easiest possible question.

So, next time you read such an article don't believe all of it.

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