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Articles on GCSEs

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Avoid bedroom study, which could lead to distracting photo montage creation. mRallie

How to get teenagers to revise for exams during the holidays

Revising for exams is a necessary evil. Ever since written university exams were first set in England by the Cambridge chemist William Farrish in about 1792, students have struggled to revise. And with…
Prepare children to think. mezzoblue

Why there should be a philosophy GCSE

Our world is built on ideas. We have ideas about how science should be conducted, how a liberal society should defend itself, how discussion is better than conflict, how far toleration should be extended…
What role do genes have to play? Student test by wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

How genes can influence children’s exam results

The idea that children can inherit the ability to get good results at school can spark heated debate. But, put simply, all this means is that children differ in how easy and enjoyable they find learning…
What if want a chance to get an A*? David Davies/PA Archive

Tiered GCSE papers that cap ambition should be abolished

Children’s access to high grades at GCSE is determined by our examination system, which assigns grade limits in some subjects. Known as tiering, this means that some 16-year-olds sit a foundation GCSE…
Let’s wait a year before we do this. David Jones/PA Archive

Shift from sitting GCSEs a year early wins guarded support

The number of students entered for a GCSE exam a year early plummeted by 40% this summer. Before 2014, the number of students taking their exams in Year 10 rather than Year 11, particularly in English…

We try to fix too many social problems through exams

This year’s GCSE results day is predicted to be “chaos” if recent exam reforms cause large fluctuations in students’ grades. Exam boards, teachers and teacher unions are talking of “nervousness”, “turbulence…
Gove: Shutting the door on education. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Gove’s revolution leaves behind a fast-food education system

In what must surely be seen as a significant demotion, secretary of state for education, Michael Gove, has been moved to become chief whip in David Cameron’s cabinet reshuffle. Given he is such a big fan…
Don’t blame the timetable. non-partizan

Explainer: what is the maths behind an exam timetable?

Sweaty-palmed and reciting facts over and over in their heads, the hordes of university and school students sitting down to exams this month will have precious little time to think about how their exam…
There’s more to history than kings and queens. wallg

School history exams shouldn’t just be a test of Britishness

The government has recently announced changes to the content of GCSE and A level history exams in England. As in previous reforms to the history curriculum, the documents set out the proportion of British…
Can fear lead to failure? Niall Carson/PA Archive

Scare tactics on failing exams can lead to lower grades

Teachers play a fundamental role in enthusing students about their subjects and helping them prepare effectively for important examinations, such as GCSEs. They can motivate students. But, despite their…
Maybe I’ll get a better mark if I answer in Mandarin. David Davies/PA

Reforms based on PISA tests alone won’t fix GCSE standards

With the creeping rise of exam results over the past few decades, many have questioned whether standards are really as high as they were in the past. More worrying still is whether pupils in the UK can…

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