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to think that you need to get more than 50% to PASS something?

(76 Posts)
prettybird Thu 25-Aug-11 11:13:22

The reports of the GCSE results and of the 5 year old who "passed" GCSE Maths with an F reminded me of this. All she has proven is that she has covered some of the curriculum and got the majority of the exam wrong hmm

I know I'm being a grumpy old woman - but is it any wonder that employers perceive that exams are being "dumbed down"? angrysad

StrandedBear Thu 25-Aug-11 11:15:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

coccyx Thu 25-Aug-11 11:15:51

YANBU. can you actually fail a GCSE

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Thu 25-Aug-11 11:17:49

I know. It's all part of this whole Must Not Allow Anyone To Fail At Anything Ever culture we've got growing here grin

However, in the real world (and having been an employer) if someone came to me with a fist full of F grades - that's a fail.

It's only called a pass, with d, e, f, g....z... to make them feel better. But in the world of work - anything below a C is a fail.

Which isn't to say that it matters, if the person presents well and you feel has the skills you need or you could teach them.

But an f 'pass'.. it's not.

stoatie Thu 25-Aug-11 11:20:36

Most degrees have a pass rate of 40%

I have spent ages discussing with my eldest 2 children that whilst D E F are considered a pass, reality, in the world of work etc only A B C are counted - not a point their school seems to have stressed

usualsuspect Thu 25-Aug-11 11:21:05

I feel sorry for the kids that get Cs or Ds and are written off as failures these days

Not everyone can achieve 10 A*s

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Thu 25-Aug-11 11:22:01

No. You are not a failure if you are not academic. You have failed an exam. That's a totally different thing.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Thu 25-Aug-11 11:23:13

imo that should read. It's just my opinion, not the law or anything blush

prettybird Thu 25-Aug-11 11:24:53

My nephew got an F for his Higher. All his friends congratulated him on "passing" - it took dh to tell him that it is - as far as employers are concerned - a fail (for which SIL was grateful - nephew does actually respect his uncle).

What I am happy about is that exams are now marked according to "reference" criteria, as opposed to a standard distribution. When I was in NZ briefly in my teens, the complain was that 50% of the kids automatically failed. It wouldn't have been an issue for me, but it did seem unfair.

hocuspontas Thu 25-Aug-11 11:25:35

I've been telling everyone that an 'F' is a fail! Is a 'G' a pass as well?

ChairOfTheBored Thu 25-Aug-11 11:25:51

YAB a bit U.

Like others have said, and 'F' is not a good pass, but it is a pass. But employers will only really look at the A-C grades as acceptable.

Most professional exams I've seen have a pass mark of 50%, with merit and distinction marks requiring a higher score.

It was a big change in thinking for me following my degree, where the aim was always 70%, to get used to 'only' having to get 50%...

Booboostoo Thu 25-Aug-11 11:27:38

The pass rate entirely depends on the subject. When assessing the resusciation skills of medical students, for example, you need an 100% pass rate as you don't achieve much if you only know 30% of a resuscitation technique. Other topics differ. The solution is for people who rely on the results to assess the abilities of candidates to understand the topic, the exam and the meaning of the result.

prettybird Thu 25-Aug-11 11:28:31

TheMagnificentBathykolpian - I actually agree with you - not everyone is academic - nephew is a case in point (he's definitely going to be a late blossomer). But instead of encouraging kids in other areas, this gives them a false sense of achievement - and makes the disappointment when employers are disdainful of their "qualifications" all the greater.

noblegiraffe Thu 25-Aug-11 11:34:28

But GCSE was meant to replace O Levels and the exams that the less academic pupils sat (CSEs?). A C or above was meant to be equivalent to an O Level pass. To label anything below C as a fail would be exactly the same as forcing all the kids under the old system to sit O Level and label the majority of them as failures as they wouldn't be able to pass it.

If they've got a D or whatever, they have still got a GCSE. Not a great one, but it is at least some indication of their ability in the subject. And it is still possible to fail completely and not get a GCSE at all.

ghostofstalbans Thu 25-Aug-11 11:35:49

i'm feeling sorry for your nephew pretty grin poor kid

noblegiraffe Thu 25-Aug-11 11:36:10

hocuspontas, below an E is a fail at A-level (you can't get Fs or Gs at A-level) but at GCSE, an F or a G is still a GCSE grade.

prettybird Thu 25-Aug-11 11:37:04

Sorry, nephew got a D for his Higher - it was the wee girl who I thought got an F (turned out it was an E but even so). I think it's great that she has been challenged with her Maths - and by all accounts wasn't pressurised - but it still wasn't a pass

hocuspontas Thu 25-Aug-11 11:38:34

Thanks! I knew something was F for Fail.

prettybird Thu 25-Aug-11 11:38:39

Nephew would like to be a chef - and would probably be good at it smile

lazylula Thu 25-Aug-11 11:39:35

I actually think YABU! Surely it should be the fact that the work has gone in to get whatever grade. A person who got an F may well have put as much if not more effort into studying as a person getting an A but just is not a natural academic. I would be very unhappy with anyone telling my dc that they had failed as they had got an F if I knew they had studied hard. Talk about making people feel worthless.

prettybird Thu 25-Aug-11 11:54:24

Effort is good - but does not mean a pass (in nephew's case, he knows he didn't really put the effort required in).

Would you want a driving examiner to say: I can see you've put the effort in, so I'll give you a pass?

But noblegiraffe has a point that I hadn't considered: that this is a consequence of having integrated the two exam systems in England so is a record of the fact that the curriculum has been followed even if it hasn't been passed per se.

Marymaryalittlecontrary Thu 25-Aug-11 12:03:27

I can't see the point of putting little children in for GCSEs. Most of the time they get a C or lower, after months of work and revision that there is no need for at their age. They might as well be allowed to take the exams at 16 with all their friends, when they will sail through them and get A*s. A 5 year old would not have known what a GCSE was if her parents werent the ones wanting the attention.

acsec Thu 25-Aug-11 12:08:43

When I did GCSE exams we couldn't believe that people who were getting F's and G's were calling it a pass! Looking back now, after doing A Levels (not AS, actual A Levels) a degree and a Post Grad GCSEs are imo not difficult, you are spoon fed the info you need and should be able to get marks above an F.

lazylula Thu 25-Aug-11 12:09:41

Driving examination is very different though. If the attitude of ' oh well if you get less than a 'c' you are a failure is quite honestly going to put many off of even trying, then they may well miss out on the fact they do better than they think they will. It is an intergration of 2 exam systems and yes a to c is considered an o'level so there is a difference but I do not see the need to say you get a to c or you fail. Incidently, when I did my GCSE maths, the exam was set at 3 levels, higher, intermedite and lower. If you sat the higher you sat papers 1 and 2 and the lowest grade for a pass was a C I think (may have been D, I can not quite remember, it was a good few years ago now), below that you failed. Intermedite level you sat papers 2 and 3 and the highest you could get was a C, I am not sure what the lowest was and not sure what results you could get on the lower papers, so if the system is the same, quite possibly the child in the OP may have got near the top of the papers he or she sat and may then sit the next level paper next year.

TrillianAstra Thu 25-Aug-11 12:15:52

YABU, because "pass" means "fulfil the examiners' requirements for passing", not "score high enough that prettybird thinks you deserve to pass".

Y would NBU if you thought that the pass mark should be above 50%, or if you wanted it to be made clear that getting an F doesn't really count.

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