Newest Review: ... on your exam scores. I find this a little worrying, as some people can loose their nerve during exams, and knowing that the exam is th... more
New GCSE Maths format leaves me cold
Member Name: Rocket-Queen
Advantages: Thsoe who do well are guaranteed good grades
Disadvantages: Disheartening for the likes of me
I'm currently studying GCSE Maths at evening classes, and I have to say I'm shocked at how much they've changed the format since I left school.
The whole class is taught the various modules (Fractions and Decimals, Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry etc.) in turn, and each module is followed by an exam. However, these days there is NO coursework (or homework), so your overall mark is 100% dependent on your exam scores. I find this a little worrying, as some people can loose their nerve during exams, and knowing that the exam is the only thing you're being assessed on makes them even more pressured. Surely the old way of giving out coursework to be marked makes more sense? Because that way, not only is some of the exam pressure off, but also you get to see how you are progressing via the teachers' comments and scores.
What really disturbs me about this new format, though, is this: once you've had the first two exams, they then average out your grades from these and give you an 'overall average' grade. Then the class is split into two groups. Those who average at a B or above go into 'Higher Level', while those who average C and below go into 'Foundation Level'. I have been put into Foundation. There are then two more exams, but despite my grades in these two, I can never get above a 'C' grade overall in my GCSE. Even if I get two 'A's in these next two exams, I simply cannot hope to acheive anything but a 'C'. Likewise, all the Higher students are guaranteed a B or above, no matter how they do in the final two exams. I find this terribly unfair, as it takes away all hope and confidence in the Foundation level students like myself.
I think the days when we were judged by how well we did on all exams, plus coursework, were much fairer. Of course, I would not be so annoyed if I'd gotten into the Higher level, but that's not really the point.
Summary: Unfair system dictates your grades for you