GCSE Day! To Thread - Forum Home

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17 messages


23 Aug 00 - 07:55 PM (#283578)
Subject: GCSE Day!
From: P05139

OK, for 16 year olds all over Britain, the dreaded day has arrived! How did other Mudcats cope? If you're not in Britain, what are the exams at 16 called and how did you do/cope/whatever?!

23 Aug 00 - 08:09 PM (#283587)
Subject: RE: GCSE Day!
From: rabbitrunning

In Massachusetts we have the MCAS in 4th, 8th, and 10th grade. And if you don't pass the 10th grade ones, you don't get your diploma. Period.

And it takes a week to take the *&^%$# things.

Every time.

23 Aug 00 - 08:11 PM (#283590)
Subject: RE: GCSE Day!
From: Mbo

Good luck Firecat! Don't worry, I'm sure you did a whoopup job!

23 Aug 00 - 08:23 PM (#283595)
Subject: RE: GCSE Day!
From: P05139

Thanks Mbo!

rabbitrunning, how old are you in the grades you mentioned, because over here we have year groups. I have just left Year 11, which is 15/16 year olds.

23 Aug 00 - 09:07 PM (#283632)
Subject: RE: GCSE Day!
From: Celtic-End Singer

"for 16 year olds all over Britain". As I understand it, only English and Welsh students sit GCSE's. In Scotland we do Standard Grades. Without withing to be pendantic or troublesome their are few things in life which get me so angry as English people who use the word "Britain" when they mean "England".

23 Aug 00 - 09:18 PM (#283641)
Subject: RE: GCSE Day!
From: P05139

Oops! Sorry! I honestly didn't know that. Thanks for pointing it out!

23 Aug 00 - 09:23 PM (#283651)
Subject: RE: GCSE Day!
From: Lox

Now Now kids, No need to be nasty! A million years ago, the words "Scotland", "England" and "Britain" meant nothing, and in another million years they will be equally irrelevant.

If you're 16 too, then how did you do? (simple question)

If you're older than that, then what are you doing picking on teenagers.

23 Aug 00 - 09:32 PM (#283658)
Subject: RE: GCSE Day!
From: Celtic-End Singer

Hey Firecat! It's cool man, don't stress.

It actually illustrates the fact that one of the main reasons Scottish people have a tendency to get pissed off with English people is not because English people set out to deliberately annoy us, it's just that they often seem totally ignorant of any society other than their own. The fact is there is more than one legal system in the UK, there is more than one educational system, there is more than one Royal family (Although Queen Elizabeth the first of Scotland (The second of England) might well argue), there is more than one "national" football team, there is more than one "capital", there is more than one set of crown jewels, there is more than one "national press" and there is more than one parliament.

Stay lucky,
Celtic-End Singer

23 Aug 00 - 11:01 PM (#283714)
Subject: RE: GCSE Day!
From: Wotcha

As a parent of a "pupil" in an English school, I take some interest in what has happened to the English education system over the years. Some random thoughts for our US Mudcatters.

What used to be called "O" Level (Ordinary) exams have now been devalued (in some respects) to the lesser GCSE. A former C Grade at O level is now an A Grade under GCSEs. Parents are a lot more involved in the new system and results include project work and rely less on written exams.

Americans have nothing like it on a national scale and, sorry Mass., will never have to endure the mass agony of their English/Welsh counterparts. It takes a couple of months to get results (so a week is pretty good in Mass). Good O Levels used to be able to get kids into American colleges (at 16 years of age) 2 decades ago.

The next level of education for the English/Welsh is the A Level where a 16 year old decides his/her academic future for the next 2 years by specializing in (usually) 3 subjects in either arts or sciences. O Levels/GCSEs are a point where kids figure out whether they have an academic future or not. An A Level subject pass can earn 18 year olds anywhere from 9-12 credits per subject at some American universities ... or at least they could 20 years ago ...

The system has some pluses and some minuses. The institution of national standards keeps the playing field pretty equal. The US system, governed at the State and local level, by comparison is mighty confusing to the uninitiated (nothing wrong with it necessarily; just different).

Cheers, Brian

23 Aug 00 - 11:07 PM (#283718)
Subject: RE: GCSE Day!
From: Mbo

U.S. system seems complicated!!!?

24 Aug 00 - 12:23 AM (#283756)
Subject: RE: GCSE Day!
From: P05139

Lox, I am 16. If you don't believe me, check Mudcat Birthdays for January. I'll send you a PM about how I did cos I'm going to my Gran's straight after getting the results and I'm not sure if I'll be able to visit the Mudcat.

Celtic-End Singer, my boyfriend is Scottish and I am part Scottish, but he has done English GCSEs!

24 Aug 00 - 07:03 AM (#283892)
Subject: RE: GCSE Day!
From: Gervase

Well, there's one 16-year-old who's pretty chuffed today. My daughter managed seven A-star grades, four A grades and a B (for textile design, which she doesn't like anyway)
I'm pretty chuffed, too! I've got no idea where she gets it from, though...

24 Aug 00 - 07:30 AM (#283900)
Subject: RE: GCSE Day!
From: JulieF

What I want to know is - Is it going to be like this from now on ?

I've sat at work waiting for my daughter to phone, trying hard to concentrate and breaking out into an occasional sweat. And she's only taken English this year.

She's phoned and has a B. That's not bad for a 15 year old with a bit of a spelling problem. ( We used to play I-Spy - Something begining with "K" - give up - Sky )

Roll all the rest of the GCSEs next year, then ASs and then As

Congratulations to all that got what they wanted and to everyone else - remember its never the end of the world, there are always lots ans lots of options.


24 Aug 00 - 10:00 AM (#283964)
Subject: RE: GCSE Day!
From: rabbitrunning

Congrats to those who did well (or have children to boast about) and sympathy to those who didn't do as well as they hoped.
The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests take a solid week to take. Yes, that's five days of nothing but testing, and the results don't appear for about a month. Theoretically, these tests are to test schools as well as students, so the school results end up in the paper and there is much breast-beating and gnashing of teeth when the poor towns and inner city schools do poorly each year.

10th graders are 15/16, 8th graders 13/14 and 4th graders 9/10. Usually the older age by the time the tests are given (April, I think). The tests are supposed to cover everything that they have learned in the previous years. Massachusetts has only just recently gotten a "universal" curriculum established, so the questions are debated hotly.
The US system puts responsibility for education on a local level, and the locals are quite jealous of their perogatives. Town School Boards can choose to reject state or federal education incentives perfectly legally. Most education bills include funding that can be revoked if the local school boards don't comply, but that doesn't stop them if they've got local funds. National standards will just never fly here.
As an aside on the "Britain" thing. I was told -- by an American, mind you -- that the island from John O Groats to Lands End was named "Great Britain", and included Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall, and England. That the United Kingdom was all of the above plus Northern Ireland. So I generally think of "Britain" as an acceptable abbreviation of Great Britain, with a question mark next to Scotland's participation in the statement since I know that the legal system changes at the border, and "England" when I want to more specific.

24 Aug 00 - 10:07 AM (#283966)
Subject: RE: GCSE Day!
From: Skipjack K8

Bejaysus, Gervase, your gel done good. Congratulations to the young lady.


24 Aug 00 - 10:35 AM (#284002)
Subject: RE: GCSE Day!
From: Gervase

...all I hope is that it doesn't go to her head. She's already full of all the reports of how girls are outstripping boys in every subject, and makes her brother's life hell at the best of times.
I like her smart - I don't want a smartarse! Still, she can be forgiven a little crowing.

28 Nov 00 - 09:12 PM (#347975)
Subject: RE: GCSE Day!
From: Jim Dixon

Sorry, I just ran across this old thread and found it interesting -

Celtic-End Singer: I understand everything in your post except the part about there being more than one royal family. Please enlighten an ignorant American.