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GCSE Results

(18 Posts)
Lemontea Tue 01-Sep-09 20:59:04

To start off - I'm really not trying to irritate anyone here, but I'm confused about some of the results I saw on TV this year.

On BBC, when they were doing the opening of results live on air, most of the kids had done 15, 16 or 17 GCSE's (and getting A and A*s).

When I did my GCSE's (94) the most we could do was 10 GCSE's in one year (then the 5th or Year 11).

So how are children doing so many subjects now? Are they taking them over 2 years? I don't see how that many subjects can be covered in school.

Pineneedles Tue 01-Sep-09 21:10:31

Are you sure about that?! Sounds highly unlikely - well, unlikely in any "bog standard" comprehensive grin

abouteve Tue 01-Sep-09 21:15:25

They seem to do two modules for each subject and course work is also marked, some take a few modules in year 10 then the bulk at the end of year 11.

It's not the same as when we took them which was one exam at end of year 11 after the two year course.

However, most take about 10 or 11, not 17.

laneyjay Tue 01-Sep-09 21:17:41

I teach at a secondary school where 15 is quite normal and some of our GCSE students sit AS levels too. Our pupils sit up to 5 GCSE's in Y10 and some pupils take the odd exam in year 9. Many schools also push their gifted and talented students to take extra GCSE's with tuition before and after the school day, we had French lesons starting at 7.30am. Some subjects also have double or triple award e.g triple science is 3 grades on its own!

Lemontea Tue 01-Sep-09 21:19:55

Seriously - 3 kids opening results on TV had 16 and 17 results. That is why I was confused.

TBH, don't even want to get into a debate about whether exams are easier now or not (as I've no idea if thay are or not). however I was very confused about the HUGE amount of exams passed.

They obviously picked the smart kids to appear on TV then eh??? No 'oh crap, I buggered up everything except home ec' on live TVwink

abouteve Tue 01-Sep-09 21:21:14

Oh I was going by how it works in our school, obviously it's different in others. What is the point in doing so many. When we were at school 6 or 7 was the norm.

We have triple science and the business studies is worth 2 but dd is still only sitting 11 in total.

Lemontea Tue 01-Sep-09 21:23:51

God laneyjay. Is that what is expected now?

How many A levels is 'normal' now?

Most people did 3 when I was in school (I did 4 - polish halo). Although TBF AS levels were hardly ever taken in my school, so I guess they are much more common now, more like a Scottish system Higher grade?

abouteve Tue 01-Sep-09 21:26:19

Four seems to be the norm for A levels, then of course there are the AS levels after one year.

Lemontea Tue 01-Sep-09 21:31:23

So you do an AS in (say History) after 1 year. OK, then what? Do you do another year in History to get an A level, or do another subject completely the next year?

I'm confused.

Although no reason to be. My DC are 3 and 1 grin so loooooong time away for me to take a huge interest.

abouteve Tue 01-Sep-09 22:00:05

Yes two years for the one course with the exam split over two years. I think, perhaps someone else can confirm it. Only one year to go until A levels start for us.

margotfonteyn Tue 01-Sep-09 22:14:28

laneyjane, in which sort of secondary school do you teach? 15 GCSEs seems rather a lot of GCSEs to take considering only some of your pupils go on to take AS levels. Why do they take so many GCSEs???? What subject do you teach?

Most pupils don't take 17 GCSEs. That sounds extraordinary. Most take 10 -12 I would think. My DCs at/were at a grammar school where they only take 10.

juuule Wed 02-Sep-09 08:47:18

Are these actual GCSEs or are they GNVQ or BTEC?
A GNVQ or BTEC qualification is equivalent to 4 GCSEs so is it possible some of the students saying they have 16 GCSEs may have taken these other qualifications and not individual GCSEs.
I know that happens at my children's school.

ShrinkingViolet Wed 02-Sep-09 08:52:33

DD has 13.5 GCSEs - did a couple in Y10, but some of the ones in year 11 were coursework-only (IT became two GCSEs for example). Also, it's possible to claim that a short course GCSE (like DDs RE one) "counts" in your totals as 1 rather than as 0.5. That would bump up the numbers.

LaineyW Thu 03-Sep-09 15:31:09

Our school offers media studies to some pupils in Y9 and also accelerated science, which gives you two GCSEs in Y10 if you pass. You can then choose whether or not to do AS science in Y11.

Agree with juuule, some BTEC qualifications are said to be equivalent to 4 GCSEs (DD's art was counted as a double option too with lots of timetabled lessons) so she has come out with the equivalent of 14 GCSEs and an AS level at the end of Y11.

V glad I'm not 16 any more, although I'm green with envy that she's going to a fab sixth form college and doing combined English Lang and Lit, Psychology, Human Biology and Business Studies. Lucky cow.

LadySharrow Sun 06-Sep-09 12:00:21

AS levels - the 'norm' is still 4 AS levels in the lower sixth and then taking 3 on to A2 in the upper sixth. Some brighter students take 5 and then go on to 4, or take 4 and keep all 4 on.

When you hear talk of students routinely taking 5, the 5th is often General Studies or Critical Thinking, which take little or no teaching time. Still worth doing but not to be mistaken for a 'normal' curriculum subject like Psychology or Politics

Judy1234 Sun 06-Sep-09 12:45:37

The best academic private schools tend to limit the number they let you take as they want to give you time for sports, music, hobbies. I think that's a better way to go than all this silly cramming much of it in ridiculous subjects no good private school woudl touch with a barge pole with words likes studies in their titles. It's just a shame many parents aren't aware what subjects are better than others and what is needed.

They need to know that for many employers post university and indeed many universities not all A levels are equal. Stick with proper A levels and you cannot go far wrong unless you're too thick to pass physics, french, history, english lit of course.

abouteve Mon 07-Sep-09 12:45:22

Ha, I can see how this works now. DD is doing business studies, it was her only soft option, equivalent to 2 GCSE's now been told the course finishes in January so the class have to decide to do one of two extra another courses equivalent to 2 again. Too much imo.

NormalMum Mon 07-Sep-09 14:35:49

My son got his GCSE results on the same day as the TV article showing students with 17 GCSEs. In fairness, in some exams, eg French, there are 4 separate marks listed for the different elements of the GCSE. I think its more likely that these students simply counted up the number of marks they saw, rather than the actual one mark for that GCSE

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