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Educational Exam Grades Go Back In Time

News / November 1, 2013

History often repeats itself, as the saying goes, and this also includes the world of education. Our teaching resources are again met with a significant change this time in the exam pass grading structure of the GCSE. The proposal to revert back to a numerical system to denote the pass grade gives a greater indication of the quality of the pass. This new process takes me back some 30 years to when the number system was previously associated with the then GCE’s.

The change over will induce a degree of confusion as a loose comparison is made between the old alphabetical grade and the new numerical equivalent. But the relationship will not be that straightforward. The old alphabetical grades A-E (six grades) are to be replaced by grades 1-9 (nine grades) Thus the existing A may come in at a grade 3. It is seen as a positive way to give greater emphasis and clarity to top achievers but may be a tad confusing to employers who will have to judge just how good the grade A candidate was. We seem to be in a world of change in education, the majority of which appears to be reintroducing old schemes abandoned 20- 30 years ago. This appears to prove the old maxim of what goes round comes around. In the world of teaching and education the merry-go-round spins incredibly slowly and leaves one wondering what would have been the result if we had done nothing and let the old systems carry on. We may have the opportunity to maybe see the result as the old procedures are reintroduced. Time to dig out the chalk and slate maybe….


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