Ofqual, the exams watchdog, has released a report saying they can confirm that science and geography GCSEs have gotten easier in the past ten years.
According to Ofqual the standards of schools have slipped and students are facing simpler and simpler questions, including multiple choice, when they sit their final exams.
Over the past ten years many schools have focussed on getting their lowest performing students through their GCSEs which is why the GCSE course has appeared to be getting easier. Ofqual have said that this attitude is not giving the best students any chance to showcase their knowledge.
It is also beginning to affect the A-level results as students who do not receive as challenging GCSEs are much further behind when they begin their AS-levels. “I certainly felt behind when I started Biology AS-level. We did 21st Century Science at GCSE and it just wasn’t good enough. You didn’t actually need much science knowledge to do well, which is pretty ridiculous,” said one former A-level student.
Less coursework for geography GCSEs has meant that students have lost their safety net when they enter their exams and it is believed that this is the point when the exams began to slip.
Ofqual are determined to reinstate the confidence that we once had in GCSEs, not just science and geography and will be harshly reviewing all GCSEs over the next few months.