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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?

Yellowtip Sun 27-Jan-13 18:37:09

It's not a question of 'needing' them though Moomin so much as giving a broadly based education prior to sixth form. That makes sense to me. I really don't see the issue as being how few subjects can one get away with to get to a decent uni or job. That said, ten would probably still do, or eight but with a much broader syllabus.

Yellowtip Sun 27-Jan-13 18:33:33

English is the exception though really.

gillviola Sun 27-Jan-13 17:35:24

GCSE English Lang is currently 2 hours 15mins - not what you would call a short exam.

MoominmammasHandbag Sun 27-Jan-13 17:34:15

DDs school is not massively academic but 11 GCSEs is the standard number they take. She has actually been put under loads of pressure to do music as an extra GCSE with a luchtime and twilight session. The school were most put out when I said "no". Who needs 12 GCSEs for goodness sake?

Yellowtip Sun 27-Jan-13 14:41:01

lljkk exams are always a test of endurance, amongst other things.

I'd be fine with my DC doing nine or ten Happymum though that would narrow their options at a very young age (especially at our school, which starts the GCSE courses in Y9). The sport/ music/ bumming about argument is fine, with the caveat that all the students at the DC school seem to manage sport/ music/ bumming about on top of eleven or twelve linear GCSEs.

AwkwardPenguin Sun 27-Jan-13 13:53:07

My dd is sitting igcses which have no modules/coursework. She is doing 12 and this will add up to roughly 30 exams too. Not too abnormal I don't think

lljkk Sun 27-Jan-13 12:31:35

It's quite a test of endurance

and that's what education should be about, I guess?

Stupid system.

Happymum22 Sun 27-Jan-13 12:06:53

At DCs very academic schools they advised most to take 9 GCSEs, 10 if you really wanted to but definately no more.
They stressed the work for the extra subject and then revision time of a whole extra subject was better spent relaxing or doing sport/music/whatever else.
DS did 9 and is at London medical school, DDs did 9 too and are at Bristol and Durham.
Many of their peers are at Oxbridge and did 9.

Also, yes DC had around 25 exams each in the summer as the school did not do modules. It was fine, by the time exams come they want to get them done and most are only 45 mins- 1.5 hrs so its not like they are in exams solidly all day.
I hope they do change it to one or two exams per subject as it seems excessive but who knows.

creamteas Sun 27-Jan-13 12:01:04

Books Not all DC will need to drop subjects. But when terminal exams were standard for all, many DC with SEN did not take exams, and this move will prevent them doing so again. Not because of their intellectual ability, because their disability.

In the case of my own DS, he is very unlikely to be able to manage this many exams in such a short space of time. If he is entered for all the subjects he is studying for it carries a high risk that he would not complete them leading to failed marks. Consequently, he will probably be entered for selected subjects, so he can pace himself. IMO that is not just a problem, it is grossly unfair and has potential consequence for his future life.

NewFerry Sun 27-Jan-13 10:36:59

At DCs school, the current year 11s are taking 9 science exams in the summer.

Loshad Sun 27-Jan-13 10:20:55

GinandJag, only if you are going down the core, additional and further additional route. We are staying with triple.

BooksandaCuppa Sun 27-Jan-13 09:58:33

I don't get the problem. We always had about 25/30 exams for 10 GCSEs in 'my' day - taken over about 3-4 weeks. Same for A levels - 3 x 3 hour exams per subject (and some students had 3 in one day - 9 hours of exams!!).

Why does it mean they have to go down to 8 subjects?

GinandJag Sun 27-Jan-13 08:26:36

You have to remember that three of the science exams can be taken at the end of Year 10.

babytrasher Sat 26-Jan-13 21:33:01

Creamteas I am an SEN Teacher, and have had many talks with parents, colleagues, other professionals etc about exactly this point.

My own conclusion is that the new system is an improvement because it will benefit the vast majority of students by providing a more level playing field; and because it will also benefit our type of student by revaluing context.

The current system has fixed targets but allows very flexible approaches to them, which renders context virtually meaningless. By fixing the approaches schools are allowed to take towards these fixed targets, all of a sudden context becomes a significant factor.

Come publication of the 2014 GCSE League Tables in Jan 2015, you will see no alteration in the head of the beast (the point scores of the best schools), but its tail will get a f*ck of a lot longer: all of a sudden, people will see that, given the context of their totally dysfunctional lives, a lot of our students have actually done a lot better than the local main-streamers! grin

MoominmammasHandbag Sat 26-Jan-13 15:59:36

She will have 3 for Maths, 4 for History, 4 for Latin, at least 2 for everything else. The school seems to prefer the modular approach to the linear. I have her options booklet right in front of me. But I hope, as you say, they will run the short exams concurrently.

roisin Sat 26-Jan-13 15:38:10

How do you get to 29?
Apart from Science, I don't know of any subject with more than two exams.
And many that have two, have two short exams that are run straight after each other.
(See my list above. ds1 - yr11 this year, all linear, 13 exam sittings for 10 GCSEs. 18 exams, if you count two 1hr exams run concurrently as two.)

MoominmammasHandbag Sat 26-Jan-13 15:04:01

Well I have counted up and I reckon DD will have 29 exams for 11 GCSEs (one of which is Art). I still think that is quite excessive. As creamteas says, I don't think the changes have been thought through at all. I just hope they are sensible with the exam timetable and group tigether exams for the same subject.

creamteas Sat 26-Jan-13 13:38:12

little that might be true, but Gove is not ending modular assessment or coursework. He has just removed the right to sit the exams at different times. If we were moving to linear assessment, then I'm sure the assessment would (or at least should be) designed to allow children with SEN to participate. But, for the time being, this is not what is happening.

roisin Sat 26-Jan-13 13:13:45

Fallenmadonna: yes, they do the mod1 for science at the end of yr10; then mod2&3 at the end of yr11.

What I meant was some schools do mod1 end of yr9, then re-take to improve grade, then do mod2 in jan yr10, then re-take ... etc. so by the end of the course they may have taken 5 or 6 exams per subject, instead of 3.

littleducks Sat 26-Jan-13 12:34:02

But to be fair for some children dont fare well with coursework or modular exams, whichever system you choose it will suit some and cause others problems.

creamteas Sat 26-Jan-13 12:25:12

Yellow but that is the point, they can't be considered differently, especially if there is only 1 exam board per subject. The insistence on terminal exams for all, means that lots of children are effectively excluded.

hardboiled Sat 26-Jan-13 12:02:28

Well my DS is about to start secondary and I think it will be a loss if instead of taking 12 GCSEs he takes 8, because it's a much narrower curriculum at an age in which the system should be forming rounded individuals and leaving options open. It will mean there will be very few things left to choose from once he takes the core subjects which are around 6 or 7 depending on the school, and of course the subjects to be left out will be the arts, music, drama, etc.

Yellowtip Sat 26-Jan-13 10:47:44

Obviously those with special needs have to be considered differently creamteas but OP's DD doesn't appear to be in that category. The 25 or so exams are staggered over a period from mid-May to the latter part of June, with half-term in the middle. The timetable is relatively spread out. It should be do-able for most I'd have thought, particularly if only 9 or 10 subjects are taken.

TheFallenMadonna Sat 26-Jan-13 10:14:39

So they do the modular nonsense for Science then roisin.

NotADragonOfSoup Sat 26-Jan-13 10:04:22

I did more than one paper at different sittings for all the O levels I took. This will surely be no different.

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