Surely she will end up sitting 30 odd exams?

(61 Posts)
MoominmammasHandbag Fri 25-Jan-13 21:40:46

The other night we went to my DC3s GCSE choices evening. We discovered that, by the time she sits her exams, new government guidelines will dictate that she has to sit them all at the end of 2 years rather than spreading them out over that time.
Fair enough I thought, that's how mine were 30 odd years ago and fortunately DD is bright and capable of intensive studying. But when I counted things up I realised she will have 9 for triple science, 4 for history, 4 for Latin etc. She will be doing 11 GCSEs. How on earth will they fit in all the exams?

GinandJag Fri 25-Jan-13 21:54:12

What sums did you do to get to these figures?

MoominmammasHandbag Fri 25-Jan-13 22:01:48

Well every subject seems to be 3 or 4 and she's doing 11 subjects.

casma Fri 25-Jan-13 22:03:43

DD did her GCSEs last year and sat 25 exams in June (not including art) as her school didn't do module exams. It does mean that more than one exam a day is the norm, but it is doable - just very hard work!

MoominmammasHandbag Fri 25-Jan-13 22:08:58

My two older kids have done Music, RE, Maths and some English and Science modules a year or even two years early in the past. And other random bits I can't remember. i just think this lumping it all together at the end thing hasn't been thought through.

goinggetstough Fri 25-Jan-13 22:14:29

Do remember that these exams are not very long. I believe the GCSE science exams are 45 mins each.....
I expect the end result will be that DCs take less subjects. No university asks for 11, 12 or 13 GCSEs. So hopefully the numbers taken, will be more sensible.

littleducks Fri 25-Jan-13 22:14:53

I think thats how I did it, often two exams a day. Sometimes exams would 'clash' and we would have to go into seclusion for a break before sitting an exam that most people in the country had just sat.

It wasnt that big a deal

lubeybooby Fri 25-Jan-13 22:16:26

There are only 3 or 4 exams for subjects at the moment because they are broken down into modules

if it goes back to the old system like I did as a teen, it will just be one exam per subject.

NewFerry Fri 25-Jan-13 22:19:28

I agree. At A level, DS would have to learn and revise 12 separate text books, each with 1.5 hour exam, for his maths and further maths exams.

DS1 at uni, has module exams every 6 months.

Colleagues at work taking professional IT exams take them in modules

I am studying accountancy exams, again they are taken at the end of each module

I feel very sad for the new students (inc my dd) who will have to work under this new system

prettydaisies Fri 25-Jan-13 22:20:50

Mine do/ did them all at the end of Y11 because they don't do modules. The language ones are quite short and listening and speaking are very early. Mine only had 2 science exams per subject - so 6 altogether, 2 maths papers etc. they did have some clashes, but I don't think they ever had more than 2 in a day.

MoominmammasHandbag Fri 25-Jan-13 22:21:11

But years ago when we did our exams at the end of two years we did one exam for each subject. I did 8 O levels, I did 8 exams ( well maybe an extra spoken one for French).

prettydaisies Fri 25-Jan-13 22:23:27

Not all universities have 2 sets of exams per year. Where my DH works there is only one exam session in may/June ( and resits in the summer!).

MoominmammasHandbag Fri 25-Jan-13 22:24:13

Lubeybooby they seem to be doing modules but sitting them all at the end, so a half arsed mixture of the worst of two systems.

Kathy420 Fri 25-Jan-13 22:55:54

Go back to statistics class [40 years ago for you?] and you'll realise that you're not very accurate. You need to consider each individual GCSE course for the amount of exams. E.g. I had 3 maths exams but for RS I had one.

glaurung Sat 26-Jan-13 00:02:23

dd did 11 subjects last year, 3 had a single exam, 6 had 2 exams and only 2 had 3 exams, so that was just 21 exams. It could easily have been 20 if she'd done linear maths rather than modular which would have taken maths from 3 to 2.

She did some early, so only had 14 exams in the summer, but even if she'd done them all linearly it's nowhere near 30! Your dd's school has obviously chosen syllabuses that have more exams than necessary, but this usually means the exams are shorter, so can be timetabled back to back (so eg two history papers one after the other) and it effectively reduces the total number. I'm sure some of the science papers will be done back to back for example and it will all work out fine.

prh47bridge Sat 26-Jan-13 01:40:52

You may have only done one exam for each subject. I certainly did more when I took my O levels. Woodwork was 3 exams, as was Music. English Language was 4. I can't remember the rest of them.

As another poster has pointed out, many of the exams are quite short. In my case all 3 Music papers were on another afternoon and the 3 woodwork papers on another. I can't remember how the English Language papers were arranged for certain but I'm fairly sure 3 of those were in one afternoon.

sashh Sat 26-Jan-13 06:30:45

Back in the days of O Level exams were 2.5 hours, now they are much shorter.

Two 2.5 hour exams in one day wasn't unusual.

I did 11 subjects, one was drama which only had 1 written paper and a practical. One was art so no exam.

Every other subject had two exams each so that was 25 in total (double science is three subjects but two gcses.)

It was fine. Most exams were well spaced out even if on the same day. And the timetables are published in advance.

To be honest, two separate 1 hour exams is better than 1 two hour exam. Less daunting.

BlueyDragon Sat 26-Jan-13 06:47:16

When I did my GCSEs before the turn of the Millennium there were multiple exams per subject at the end of the two years, spread over an exam period of about 6 weeks including the half term break. Some exams were shorter than others and some were practicals for science and languages. I suspect that's what they'll go back to. The number of exams may well be quite high.

There's so little detail on this idea yet but what should happen is that the learning is broken up into modules but those modules build on each other so skills/facts learnt in one support the others. Then you get an examination of your overall knowledge of your subject at the end. But who knows? Whilst I think the cries of "How will they cope?" are misplaced - they will cope and be just fine - there is so much buggering around with children's education that it's not surprising standards are seen as slipping because no-one knows what on earth will happen next. It's experimenting with children's futures and I think it's sad.

There are still universities who examine almost wholly at the end. I did 8 3 hour exams in 9 days for my finals, a paper a day and one day off, and that's still the system now. Very stressful but survivable.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Sat 26-Jan-13 06:55:22

My oxford finals were 8 exams over 4 days to determine my whole degree! It certainly didn't suit the way my memory works. Most subject's exams were at least spread over a few weeks.

mumzy Sat 26-Jan-13 08:08:46

I remember at Olevels taken in June, it was one written exam per subject ( I did 9 Olevels) and one practical exam in French. They were taken over 2 weeks and we all survived, at 16 you do have a phenomen memory and stamina. We did mocks in rhe winter before with same regime to give us a practice run.

notcitrus Sat 26-Jan-13 08:44:44

I was the second year of GCSEs and yes we did have about 30 or more 'exams', but as orals and practicals were done early, and lots of them were only an hour or 90 min, you could have 3 in a day easily - and they were spread over about 6 weeks. Really not stressful compared to 2x3 hours per A-level, or Finals which was 21 hours in 3.5 consecutive days.

creamteas Sat 26-Jan-13 08:53:05

The problem at the minute is the sudden change. O levels, IGCSE etc are designed for linear assessment, GCSE designed around modular assessment. Both linear and modular assessment have advantages and disadvantages.

Gove's announcement did not allow time for the curriculum of GCSE to be redesigned, he just moved the exam timing.

So for the next few year, students will still be taking modular GCSE, but just sitting all the modules at the end. This is because he is too stupid to realise that the timing of the exams is not the same as curriculum design.

meditrina Sat 26-Jan-13 08:54:11

I did O levels, and it was really, really rare for one candidate to sit more than 8 or 9.

This is part of the reason why. And it raises a slight grin when I remember a commentator saying recently that getting 12-14 GCSEs showed how much cleverer and/or better taught the current generation was. I doubt that's an argument anyone will try to make again as an O level type exam system reasserts itself.

meditrina Sat 26-Jan-13 08:55:24

When I did O levels BTW, there were at least two papers per subject, plus leaks and practicals in some subjects.

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