My Opinion on the New GCSE’s

Hello,

I wanted to write about school and how the current England school system is not beneficial to students.

First of all I am 16 years old and will be sitting the 9-1 GCSE exams in May/June 2018. I will also be in the first year to sit all 9-1 exams instead of just English and Maths like last year. I am attending a Grammar School as well which I think is quite an important factor for some of this.

Now, I have been studying for these exams since I started year 9 in 2015, however in some of my subjects such as Science, Spanish and History I still have not finished the syllabus and it has now been over 2 years. As well as this, I have been I will finish the science syllabus two weeks before the science exams start and that is if we keep to schedule. You can imagine this has meant we have crammed a lot of work in a short space of time, making memorisation impossible.

I say memorisation because I do not believe I am learning anything, I am simply memorising it until the exam and then I can forget about it because at no point will I need to know about Newton’s first Law in the field of work I wish to go into.

I have tried to research in to why this has happened but the main reason is that too many pupils are getting A*s. This baffles me, why are you stopping students from achieving top grades? I understand that it is so that people who don’t appear smart stop getting A*s but this is a problem, if somebody works for a good grade, let them have it. At the end of the day if A*s were easy to get then that doesn’t mean that somebody who can’t read or write will get one. Therefore, I find it difficult to understand as to why this happened.

Speaking from personal experience it has occurred to me that exam style questions are worth more marks because they are essay questions. There is no longer many match up questions or “fill in the missing word” questions, everything seems very essay based. Another thing that is annoying for me personally is the rid of coursework. Now my grade will come directly from what I score in each paper apart from my Art and Drama grades. Considering that working under pressure in an environment such as an exam hall is not good for people with anxiety etc. This is not fair for those who have amazing classwork and are able to succeed but they just can’t work under pressure.

Of course one main change is that there are no books, language dictionaries and no clue what the exam is about. For languages you have 10 minutes of preparation without notes before your speaking exam and during your writing exam you are no longer allowed any notes.

There are also other factors such as stress and the way it impacts students mental health, this is something that so many other people have touched upon.

Anyways these are my thoughts on the situation.

-B

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