GCSE core subjects will be tougher in 2013

by Sara

In December 2011, we published a post about UK exam boards under investigation. As a consequence of this investigation, Ofqual (department that regulates qualifications and exams in England and Northern Ireland) have made it clear to exam boards that GCSE exams in English literature, maths, history and geography must be made harder to ensure that students cover the whole curriculum.

Ofqual warned yesterday it "cannot accredit qualifications that do not reach the required standards".

The Department for Education revealed that 90% of the answers in one of the most popular GCSE English literature exams are on the same three novels - Of Mice and Men, Lord of the Flies and to Kill a Mockingbird.

Last years excellent exam results below suggest that GCSE exams were just too easy.

The Education Secretary, Michael Gove warned that more students will fail their GCSEs and A-Levels when the exam system is given a radical overhaul. Mr. Gove believes that making GCSE and A-levels more difficult will lead to higher standards and restore confidence in the system.

Students will be encouraged to gain at least a C in English and maths and to study science and a foreign language.

Ofqual confirmed that GCSE geography would be improved for first teaching this September, maths from this November and history and English literature papers changing from September 2013.

Teaching unions disagree with Mr. Gove's claim suggesting that the exam system is failing. Some teachers fear a risk that changes to exams and syllabuses are being carried out for the sake of appearances and manipulating the figures, rather than with the students' educational needs in mind.

We would be very interested to hear your comments.