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  • FIRST POST
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 17th Apr 17, 10:37 PM
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    Cakeguts
    This is just plain wierd.
    • #1
    • 17th Apr 17, 10:37 PM
    This is just plain wierd. 17th Apr 17 at 10:37 PM
    I see today that teachers are complaining that they don't understand the marking system of the new GCSEs. I don't understand their problem. If a child gets 40% in an exam they still get 40% if the mark is called an A* or a 4. It is only the grade name that has changed. So what is the problem? Why is that so difficult to understand? They say that they are worried about the grade boundaries but that doesn't make any difference to the 40% scenario either. If a child is getting stressed by the change of a name of a grade where is that communication of stress coming from? Even if the number of marks awarded is halved for all candidates compared to the old GCSEs it still means that the child will get a mark that is in the right place in comparison to the other candidates. The only change is the name of the grade. I have no idea why that is a) stressful or b) difficult to understand.
Page 1
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 18th Apr 17, 12:48 AM
    • 4,579 Posts
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    marliepanda
    • #2
    • 18th Apr 17, 12:48 AM
    • #2
    • 18th Apr 17, 12:48 AM
    I see today that teachers are complaining that they don't understand the marking system of the new GCSEs. I don't understand their problem. If a child gets 40% in an exam they still get 40% if the mark is called an A* or a 4. It is only the grade name that has changed. So what is the problem? Why is that so difficult to understand? They say that they are worried about the grade boundaries but that doesn't make any difference to the 40% scenario either. If a child is getting stressed by the change of a name of a grade where is that communication of stress coming from? Even if the number of marks awarded is halved for all candidates compared to the old GCSEs it still means that the child will get a mark that is in the right place in comparison to the other candidates. The only change is the name of the grade. I have no idea why that is a) stressful or b) difficult to understand.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    Because they haven't told people what the actual boundaries are yet.

    So it's a case of 'you have got 40%, and erm, yeah, no idea what that actually is'

    That's the problem. They haven't just changed the name. They've changed it and given no indication on how that grade is to be achieved now.
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    • Feebie
    • By Feebie 18th Apr 17, 8:24 AM
    • 56 Posts
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    Feebie
    • #3
    • 18th Apr 17, 8:24 AM
    • #3
    • 18th Apr 17, 8:24 AM
    As above. All students have target grades - I am judged on both how many achieve / exceed these grades and how accurate my predictions are . It is incredibly difficult to accurately predict grades without boundaries.

    It also does also matter if 40% is a 4 or a 9. If it is a 9, it will inevitably lead to there being very few marks between each grade which doesn't effectively discriminate between candidates' abilities.

    Eta. Students' post 16 choices are dependent on grades received so it is important to be able to predict these accurately to give appropriate careers guidance.
    Last edited by Feebie; 18-04-2017 at 8:30 AM.
    • peachyprice
    • By peachyprice 18th Apr 17, 8:38 AM
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    peachyprice
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 17, 8:38 AM
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 17, 8:38 AM
    OP, you seem to have the same problems as teachers then, i.e you don't understand the new system.

    They have not simply renamed the grades from letters to numbers, there is not a direct correlation, some numbers fall between two letter grades and it still hasn't been decided where the boundaries for the grades will be, except possibly for maths because they were going to use the PPE data but as far as I know haven't passed that on to schools. Then there are the grades of 5, which could be a C or a B and 8 which could be an A or an A*, until the results are out this year teachers are in the dark.

    Teachers can no longer be confident that expected grades can be achieved therefore this year pupils have been pushed like crazy because schools have no idea what their new grades are going to be, so even A grade students could come out worse off in the subjects that are using the new system. And no doubt, next year when it's rolled out over all subjects it will be even worse.
    Last edited by peachyprice; 18-04-2017 at 8:41 AM.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 18th Apr 17, 5:14 PM
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    Cakeguts
    • #5
    • 18th Apr 17, 5:14 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Apr 17, 5:14 PM
    Perhaps they are going back to the old fairer system where they used percentages to work out the grades? So the top X% get a 9 the next X% get an 8 and so on. It is much easier to work out what grade someone will get from this system because you would be able to tell from the students you were teaching which ones were likely to be in the top 1% and it also means that if there are easier or harder papers the ratios between the grades don't alter. It also calibrates the system so you don't get some years where more people got A*s because the marking got more lenient or the exams were easier. It would also be fairer because exam boards wouldn't be able to "cheat" to get more customers by more lenient marking because only the top X% of marks would ever get a 9 grade.

    With this much fairer system some years there were only two or three marks between A level grades but at least everyone knew that the marking was calibrated so that students knew where they stood compared to other students rather than nearly everyone getting an A.
    Last edited by Cakeguts; 18-04-2017 at 5:40 PM.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 18th Apr 17, 5:17 PM
    • 2,655 Posts
    • 3,627 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    • #6
    • 18th Apr 17, 5:17 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Apr 17, 5:17 PM
    OP, you seem to have the same problems as teachers then, i.e you don't understand the new system.

    They have not simply renamed the grades from letters to numbers, there is not a direct correlation, some numbers fall between two letter grades and it still hasn't been decided where the boundaries for the grades will be, except possibly for maths because they were going to use the PPE data but as far as I know haven't passed that on to schools. Then there are the grades of 5, which could be a C or a B and 8 which could be an A or an A*, until the results are out this year teachers are in the dark.

    Teachers can no longer be confident that expected grades can be achieved therefore this year pupils have been pushed like crazy because schools have no idea what their new grades are going to be, so even A grade students could come out worse off in the subjects that are using the new system. And no doubt, next year when it's rolled out over all subjects it will be even worse.
    Originally posted by peachyprice
    I don't know how teachers could tell which were A grade students and which were not when the marking was so lenient that everyone got an A grade. It doesn't help students to know where they stand if half the class gets an A grade.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 18th Apr 17, 5:24 PM
    • 2,655 Posts
    • 3,627 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 17, 5:24 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 17, 5:24 PM
    Because they haven't told people what the actual boundaries are yet.

    So it's a case of 'you have got 40%, and erm, yeah, no idea what that actually is'

    That's the problem. They haven't just changed the name. They've changed it and given no indication on how that grade is to be achieved now.
    Originally posted by marliepanda

    It doesn't matter because the ratio between the actual marks won't change. So if someone gets 40% you would expect them to get a lower grade than someone who get 50% and if the universities or anyone else are worried they can ask for those marks. What they are called is just an easy reference.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 18th Apr 17, 5:30 PM
    • 2,655 Posts
    • 3,627 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 17, 5:30 PM
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 17, 5:30 PM
    OP, you seem to have the same problems as teachers then, i.e you don't understand the new system.

    They have not simply renamed the grades from letters to numbers, there is not a direct correlation, some numbers fall between two letter grades and it still hasn't been decided where the boundaries for the grades will be, except possibly for maths because they were going to use the PPE data but as far as I know haven't passed that on to schools. Then there are the grades of 5, which could be a C or a B and 8 which could be an A or an A*, until the results are out this year teachers are in the dark.

    Teachers can no longer be confident that expected grades can be achieved therefore this year pupils have been pushed like crazy because schools have no idea what their new grades are going to be, so even A grade students could come out worse off in the subjects that are using the new system. And no doubt, next year when it's rolled out over all subjects it will be even worse.
    Originally posted by peachyprice
    The grades are a label given to a range of percentages of marks in an exam. The actual marks that the students get in relation to other students taking the same exam will be the same regardless of what label they are given so the grade boundaries don't actually matter.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 18th Apr 17, 5:39 PM
    • 2,655 Posts
    • 3,627 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    • #9
    • 18th Apr 17, 5:39 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Apr 17, 5:39 PM

    It also does also matter if 40% is a 4 or a 9. If it is a 9, it will inevitably lead to there being very few marks between each grade which doesn't effectively discriminate between candidates' abilities.

    .
    Originally posted by Feebie
    If there are very few marks between each grade you would have the same system as you have got now. Where more people get As and A*s than get Bs and Cs. So anything will be better than that?
    • peachyprice
    • By peachyprice 18th Apr 17, 7:34 PM
    • 18,359 Posts
    • 42,098 Thanks
    peachyprice
    The grades are a label given to a range of percentages of marks in an exam. The actual marks that the students get in relation to other students taking the same exam will be the same regardless of what label they are given so the grade boundaries don't actually matter.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    Yes, it does matter.

    GCSE grades are used for FE entry level requirements. Sixth forms and colleges have already decided what levels are needed for places this year, if a level 6 is harder to achieve than a B because the boundaries are set higher there will be a lot of students who won't be going to their chosen school/college.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 18th Apr 17, 9:40 PM
    • 2,655 Posts
    • 3,627 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    Yes, it does matter.

    GCSE grades are used for FE entry level requirements. Sixth forms and colleges have already decided what levels are needed for places this year, if a level 6 is harder to achieve than a B because the boundaries are set higher there will be a lot of students who won't be going to their chosen school/college.
    Originally posted by peachyprice
    But if every school has the same problem then the 6th form and colleges who don't adjust will not fill their courses because many of the students will not meet the criteria. Perhaps the 6th forms and colleges want to reduce the number of people attending and this is a good chance to do it?

    The point is that if the local 6th form sets a level 6 as an entry requirement and the boundaries are set higher so that only a very small number of students get the requirement will the 6th form close down that year and not run any courses? The local college as well? All over the UK?
    Last edited by Cakeguts; 18-04-2017 at 9:49 PM.
    • peachyprice
    • By peachyprice 18th Apr 17, 10:14 PM
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    peachyprice
    No, they won't shut down, they'll just cancel courses that don't have enough eligible candidates. 6th forms and colleges are under absolutely no obligation to run an advertised course and can cancel then right up to the start of term.


    You can attempt to bicker about this as much as you like as is your usual MO but it's obvious you have no idea about the new grade system, how FE works, the impact this is having on students or the impact this is having on teaching staff, otherwise you wouldn't be coming up with silly comments like above.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
    • daytona0
    • By daytona0 18th Apr 17, 10:36 PM
    • 2,237 Posts
    • 2,656 Thanks
    daytona0
    Aww, they removed my picture! Gone are the days of light-hearted replies!

    I wonder if a ban is to follow.... Usually is when a mod removes one of my posts
    • paddyrg
    • By paddyrg 19th Apr 17, 8:35 AM
    • 13,011 Posts
    • 11,081 Thanks
    paddyrg
    In the above example, I guess a few marginal courses may be in this position, or if applications are made before results (like UCAS) then the colleges have the option to adjust entry requirements to fill a class if there's interest. Colleges may not be obliged to run any particular course, but it is in their interest to do so - they have buildings and staff and infrastructure in place to run courses, they won't simply decide to close shop if they can offer education to someone needing it. Supply will find a way to meet demand.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 19th Apr 17, 9:06 AM
    • 18,134 Posts
    • 13,838 Thanks
    agrinnall
    Aww, they removed my picture! Gone are the days of light-hearted replies!

    I wonder if a ban is to follow.... Usually is when a mod removes one of my posts
    Originally posted by daytona0
    I thanked you for it, and agree with your sentiment about the removal, some people have a very limited sensayuma!
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