Easier exams in private schools counted in the same way as harder state school exams

(121 Posts)
greentheme23 Sun 25-Aug-19 03:11:23

I'm shocked by this


Yet another example of money triumphing over talent and hard work!

OP’s posts: |
Xenia Sun 25-Aug-19 08:39:43

Just my luck that my children's private schools pick harder exams rather than the other way round so as to test and stretch the childrenmore. It was the same in my private school too years ago - the school picked the hardest O level board as it was more challenging.

titchy Sun 25-Aug-19 10:01:42

Oh FFS it's just the Guardian flashing the chips on its shoulders again. Universities don't use GCSEs or iGCSEs to determine admissions - they only look at Level 3 qualifications. What a stupid article.

Propertyfaux Sun 25-Aug-19 10:04:30

It could also lead to disadvantage, DS friend has struggled with her A levels after leaving private education. The results look good on paper but at some point they need to do the same exams as their peers.

ArthurtheCatsHumanSlave Sun 25-Aug-19 14:15:56

This is hilarious. You have actually fallen for it.

Where was all the angst when for the last, what, 10 years, state school GCSE's, with all the coursework element, were easier than the harder iGCSE's which had none. There was a reason private schools choose iGCSE's, and that was because they were more rigorous.

greentheme23 Sun 25-Aug-19 14:18:01

I think some people forget that kids need English and Maths at C equivalent GCSE to get into Uni so no they are not discounted at that stage

OP’s posts: |
ZandathePanda Sun 25-Aug-19 14:23:06

iGCSEs have the advantage of not being comparable so it is difficult to compare private with state. Which is handy for private schools when bright stare school pupils do as well. Unfortunately for them this falls down at A Level.


ZandathePanda Sun 25-Aug-19 14:23:23

State not stare

titchy Sun 25-Aug-19 14:23:31

And how many children at private school only manage to scrape a C grade in M and E iGSCE, yet go on to achieve good grade A levels?

Pinktulipsarethebest Sun 25-Aug-19 14:25:57

IGCSEs aren't easier.

milliefiori Sun 25-Aug-19 14:35:10

Hmm. My DC are at private school and I tutor mainly state school kids. They all did AQA and Excel exams. Maybe these boards set easier papers for the private school pupils? hmm

noblegiraffe Sun 25-Aug-19 14:49:07

Kids going to uni this year have only sat reformed GCSEs in English and maths. Even if the exams are ‘harder’ and ‘more rigorous’, the pass rates were pegged so that exactly the same proportion got grade 4+ as got C+ the previous year, and 7+ as got A+.

One could therefore argue that it’s exactly as hard to get a certain grade on the ‘gold standard’ GCSE as it was on the old GCSE which was seen as comparable to IGCSEs as back then IGCSEs counted in the league tables.

I think the real complaint is about some unis requiring a 6 in GCSE or a B in IGCSE which is actually a problem as a high 5 is equivalent to a B but wouldn’t count. However the article doesn’t mention this and it’s only a short-term problem as IGCSEs now have switched to number grades too.

HugoSpritz Sun 25-Aug-19 14:59:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Drabarni Sun 25-Aug-19 15:02:22

Friend of family a teacher of GCSE English took my dc for some lessons over holidays. She said the igcse that dd is doing is far more detailed than her AQA English

Aragog Sun 25-Aug-19 15:13:46

Every single year!!! Same comments. No real basis hmm

IGCSEs aren't easier. They're similar but different with a different syllabus. Just like some GCSE boards have different syllabus.

Dd has done both - new style 9-1 GCSE and IGCSE for both.

The Government have their own reasons for not liking them, by it's not to do with difficulty.

DD's maths tutor (confidence issues in last few months) is a state secondary teacher teaching GCSE and she was doing IGCSE. He - and other state school teachers who have looked at both - said they're just different. He found topics in DDs papers which were more complex on hers and vice Versa. Dd did mocks and practise papers using both systems - as not that much available due to the exams being new - and got similar grades in both.

Aragog Sun 25-Aug-19 15:15:34

IGCSE English and maths were numbers last year; think the rest are numbers this year. They were one year behind the GCSEs in transferring over iirr.

Namenic Sun 25-Aug-19 15:20:57

A bit controversial here but why have different qualifications and exam boards? Surely in terms of qualification equality/fairness it makes most sense to have the same exam?

I did AQA and OCR in v similar subjects 15yrs ago. OCR was harder as papers had 3 mini essay questions of 9 or 18 marks. AQA was easier with multiple short 2-8 questions.

It is way worse at a level as now you also have IB and Pre-U thrown in there too. BTECs I think are in slightly different subjects, so I get that.

stucknoue Sun 25-Aug-19 15:33:09

Universities base their offers on a levels not GCSEs, only Oxford and Cambridge, perhaps imperial are even vaguely interested in GCSEs, they just look at predicted a levels

Cleopatrai Sun 25-Aug-19 16:00:27

IGCSES aren’t easier.

ElizabethBennetismybestfriend Sun 25-Aug-19 16:01:11

I am involved in both IGCSE and GCSE and in my subject IGCSE is much easier. There are also Foundation and Higher papers for IGCSE which are not allowed at GCSE.

boys3 Sun 25-Aug-19 16:05:38

I'm shocked by this

If you are referring to the complete absence of even the most basic journalistic standards then I'd have to agree.

That said the Sunday Times has had a good go in matching it with their front page "Oxbridge penalises private pupils"

Brexitised Britain in action I'm afraid.

Brexitise - verb, derivation unknown, to spout ill informed nonsense The tautology is off course a deliberate used of irony

fromwesttoeast Sun 25-Aug-19 16:31:58

Cambridge board IGCSE English used to be easier - which is why some state schools used it for low ability sets (before reforms put a stop to this).
Cambridge have just updated the spec and it’s much more comparable to tne GCSE now.

RedHelenB Sun 25-Aug-19 17:17:34

Actually for things like dentistry gcses do count. My dd needed at least 5 A* to apply to Cardiff for example so yes it would favour private schools in that case.

noblegiraffe Sun 25-Aug-19 17:19:54

If it was asking for A*s then it would have accepted 8-9 in numbered GCSEs which actually favours state pupils as an 8 also covers a high A grade.

RevealingIfYouMightBeStalked Sun 25-Aug-19 17:39:55

Oh, my bleeding heart grin

In around 2015, as an experiment, my DS1's school, a top performing comp, did an experiment, as they were toying with IGCSEs. I acknowledge they only did Maths as English would have meant 2 different lots of books.

So with parental permission, DC were entered for both IGCSE and AQA GCSE. The school, being a comp, had to make sure the cohort reflected the school cohort, less able to stellar.

The results were, frankly, shocking, particularly at the pass/fail boundary, and at the A/A* boundary.

The DC statistically did considerably better at IGCSE.

The reason the school didn't than adopt it was because League Tables weren't counting IGCSEs any more. As much as anything because they are not 'nationally moderated'.

Times change. Things move on.

The all-new GCSEs are harder than IGCSEs. So I imagine most private schools will stick with the latter.

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