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Antithesis is used in writing or speech either as a proposition that contrasts with or reverses some previously mentioned Antithesis can be defined as "a figure of.

This does not make what is being tested easier or harder but it does much more clearly tell the student what they have to do and allows the examiners to judge it more fairly.

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MPs have also argued that exam boards are competing on making their syllabuses more 'accessible', creating a "race to the bottom". This conclusion was formed on the basis that schools under pressure to achieve the highest possible grades for their students have an incentive to choose syllabuses they perceive to be easier; and exam boards competing for income from schools have an incentive to meet this demand.

Ofqual says that since it has been using an approach of working with each exam board which ensures that significant unexplained year-on-year increases in higher grades awarded do not happen—an approach it credits as being responsible for the recent levelling off in the percentage of higher grades awarded to students.

Decreasing opportunities for resits won't necessarily make the exams more rigorous. The government has argued that the ability to enter exams early and potentially re-take at a later stage harms performance and focuses teaching too much on exam preparation. Analysis by the Department for Education showed that candidates who enter early perform worse compared to students who do not, even when resits are taken into account.

In the government announced that only a student's first entry to a GCSE examination will count in their school's performance tables. While the changes do not rule out pupils continuing to resit exams, the changes are intended to discourage this from happening. Students will be expected to meet the same standards and the tests will be of the same difficulty, but are likely to be given fewer opportunities to demonstrate what they can achieve.

We don't know what impact this might have on longer-term retention of information or analytical skills, potentially those who re-sat might have retained the material better—we simply don't know.

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We don't yet know what impact the shift away from assessing science practical skills or speaking skills in English towards written exams will have on the teaching and acquisition of these skills. The changes should make the GCSE results easier to examine reliably, but they might do this to the detriment of those skills—which pupils still need to acquire —but which are harder to assess. When former Education Secretary Michael Gove announced the next steps to reform of GCSEs and A levels he said the reforms would "make these qualifications more ambitious" and would "set higher expectations".

Ofqual has said that the new grade set will provide a better distinction between students of similar abilities. One of the explanations for Poland's improved standings in the international rankings is due to its focus on reducing underachievement so rather than raising standards the changes could reduce England's PISA ranking. One of the major changes and one of the most controversial is the ' uncoupling' of AS from A level.

As a result of the separation of the AS level grade from the A level grade, students studying for A level will now go straight into doing so after their GCSEs. Students can still study AS level courses, and these are intended to be taught alongside A level students where possible,but how easy this will be for teachers in practice remains to be seen. There is also debate about how universities will use the new results when making offers and how this will affect students.

As students make applications before they have their A level results, universities have traditionally used AS results as a more unbiased predictor than the schools' predicted grades. Some have argued that not having information on pupil ability provided from AS-levels will make it harder to select students for university places, and will particularly affect 'late developers' who perform better at AS-level than might have been expected from their GCSE results. We don't really know if this will be the case in practice. What universities have agreed is that students will not be advantaged or disadvantaged if they choose to take AS levels or A levels.

Apply Now Course Pricing. Unless you are in mainstream education, with regular, teacher-led classroom sessions, you can no longer take the GCSE English exam. You just need to take a final written examination which is a rigorous test of your reading and writing skills. Up till , coursework could be produced at home and did not need to be supervised. As a result, it was felt that many candidates were being helped by relatives, friends or even teachers. The rules for controlled assessment are an attempt to make such cheating impossible. But there are no special rules for distance learners and it is not possible for our tutors to offer the necessary supervision.

It is recognised by the government, by employers, by sixth-form colleges, by teacher training establishments, indeed everywhere, both in the UK and abroad.


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To gain the top marks in IGCSE English , accurate spelling, grammar and syntax are vital, as well as strong essay-construction skills. As a teen she attended Brighton and Hove High School, an independent girls' day school.

In fact, she got eight, one in every exam she sat. Later, Hatt won a place at Merton College at Oxford, where she studied chemistry. Her academic record to graduation was flawless. After she had started working, though, she failed some professional exams at the first attempt. Two further factors are striking about Hatt's experience. The first was that the importance of her academic track record in her identity diminished over time, in particular as her career developed and she had children she has two, aged 5 and 3.

The second issue related to university applications. Hatt applied to Oxford to read chemistry, rather than medicine, in which she was more interested, because chemistry is easier to get in for. Last year chemistry had 3. In retrospect, Hatt felt, this decision to put "Oxford above course" was "possibly a mistake. Sixteen years on, he works for Cella Energy, a tech firm in Oxfordshire.

I asked Lovell how much of his identity is - and has been - based on his academic record. Socially, things were not completely straightforward for Lovell at school. However, he was prepared to cut his own trail. I knew I didn't fit into the usual categories. He gained an offer, only to miss the grade required in an "S-level" exam Cambridge wished him to sit alongside his A-levels.

Thornden was, in Hill's words, "very middle class". Still, he experienced hostility. On one occasion, a PE teacher in a gym class shouted, "You think you're so clever; Newton's law, that's not going to help you now mate. His GCSE results were a lonely victory: "I was pleased, but I didn't have anyone to celebrate the achievement with, other than my parents. I wanted someone to tell, but who to tell? Some of them might have got Cs and Bs?

Barton Peveril Sixth Form College was an improvement, but it was Oxford, where he went to read mathematics, which proved the real social revelation. After Oxford and a post-graduate year teaching Hill took a job as a management consultant. Hill quit consultancy after two years and returned to academia. The long shadow of attainable perfection at 16 can be troublesome. Dweck said high achievers tend to fall into two categories. For the first type, the maintenance of their track record can become overwhelmingly important.


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In Dweck's words, they "limit their future aspiration to curate their perfectionism". Her second category refers to those with a "growth mindset". These individuals have high standards, but they are not crippled by fear of failure. They tend to do much better in the long term. Parental actions play a role in deciding which camp individuals fall into. Children who are praised for results achieved are more likely to become obsessed with the maintenance of their records, while those who are praised for 'process,' for taking on a hard task and having a go, are more likely to fall into the second, ultimately more successful category.

Later, Bell studied languages at the University of Durham.

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Following work placements abroad and a stint with Bloomberg in London she spent about two years managing a veterinary practice in South Wales before beginning an MBA at Cardiff University, where she is currently ranked top of her class. Social life was not totally straightforward either for Bell at school. In her early years she "was probably considered a swot" and "had to have quite a thick skin," a situation not aided by the glasses she wore at the time.

Music and sport meant her achievements were not confined to the academic realm, and she remains close to friends from that time.

His path to his current line of work in fact began in his GCSE year, when he and a friend began organising club nights, primarily for students from a range of public schools. Companies like Nintendo and MTV offered sponsorship. These firms' interest in youth trends led to the birth of their business, which O'Donovan ran through his time at university. While at school O'Donovan did not experience the ostracisation that other high achieving GCSE students felt, possibly because he was at an extremely sporty establishment where he played for the first team for rugby. However, the exams are wholly removed from his current world.

Now 20, Chen arrived in the UK from China when she was She attended St Paul's Girls' School, the fiercely academic independent establishment in Hammersmith.

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At St Paul's she recalled a pressure-cooker atmosphere. Chen remembers the school authorities maintaining that GCSEs played a large role in university entrance. Eventually Chen sought professional help and medication to manage her anxiety. In retrospect she believes GCSEs played a role in fomenting her difficulties. Chen is now studying physics at Imperial College in London. She spoke about the problems trying to "curate" her exam record caused her.

The role performed by the GCSE in university admissions is disputed. In May this year the Department of Education published an analysis examining the relative merits of AS-levels, which the government had announced plans to abolish, and GCSEs as tools to predict whether a student would go on to achieve a degree or better at university.

GCSE exams to be replaced by EBacc | Education | The Guardian

Not everyone agrees. Notably, Cambridge University has spoken out in favour of the retention of the AS-level, based on findings from an internal research unit that runs regression studies on its students to find the best leading indicators for finals performance. We rely on AS," added Sheila Kiggins, a spokeswoman for the university. The average last year was 8.

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