Badly Well Done

As I have been marking Year 11 mock GCSE exams, I have been amazed at how well they have done and how poorly, at the same time. The same students, I mean.

For the most part, the students are getting the marks I expected. However, the grade banding that was used last summer for this exam is unbelievable. I only takes 31 marks out of 43 to get an A. 72%. 22 marks or 51% to get a C. And the exam itself couldn’t get any easier. (I say that and the exam board will prove me wrong.)

As much as I want my students to do well, it almost pains me to put B’s and C’s on papers that just a couple of years ago would have been D’s and E’s. I have been putting B’s on papers where I could honestly say the student demonstrated very little comprehension of what he or she learned last year. But I know that’s what the exam board gave similar sets of answers this summer.

Soon we shall have students with completely empty brains processed through a queue and stamped “Grade A” on their foreheads, then sent out into the world of work or dole.

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