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Pass Threshold Change Means GCSE Woe

Tuesday August 28 2012



A CHANGE to the pass level threshold for GCSE English has seen a drop in Barnsley students achieving a C grade in the subject.

A spokeswoman for Barnsley Council said that results had fallen nationally and it had also had a significant impact in Barnsley.

She said: "A number of students have narrowly failed to secure a pass at 'C' level, which in turn has had a negative impact on their overall score for 5 A* - C including English and mathematics."

There was an increase in the number of students achieving passes in mathematics and the overall percentage of pupils achieving five A* - C grades, including English and maths, had also improved.

Were you affected by the threshold changes? What does that mean for your college aspirations?

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Reply Posted by Dawnc on Tuesday August 28 2012 at 19:16
I personally think its a disgrace this has been allowed to happen, moving the boundaries for the grades when students had already put the work in for the past two years, any movement of the grading system should only be allowed on students which haven't started working for the exams so they know from the start what they need to achieve from the off.Those poor students which hoped they could keep up the work they were achieving to get a C pass. Then to find they had been marked a D .I really feel for those students SHAME ON YOU EXAM BOARD THIS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED.

Reply Posted by Alan on Thursday August 30 2012 at 08:53
If they studied hard enough for the duration of their School time then maybe they wouldn't be on the C/D grade threshold and have a decent result

Reply Posted by Thomas on Thursday August 30 2012 at 09:08
I Agree with Alan, when it gets to A levels, the grade boundaries change constantly, right up until the results are given to the student, depending on the average scores of students throughout the country, and as far as i was aware, this was the same for GCSE's, although before this happened no one seemed to be aware of this.

This should be a reality check for the students, they can't just go through life just trying to achieve the bare minimum, expecting to get what they need that way. And with all these people complaining, there would be just as many people complaining if the grade boundaries got switched the other way and everyone was saying GCSE's and exams are getting too easy.

Reply Posted by C-lar on Thursday August 30 2012 at 09:34
Agreed with Alan - if you put the work in to get as high a grade as possible, then it would not be an issue. If you are aiming to get a C grade then there's something seriously wrong there. Yes, some people are not as "bright" as others and so may have expected a C grade, but this just proves you cannot rest on your laurels - you need to put the work in!

How do the students know they could expect a C grade? You cannot "expect" a C grade, you do the exam and you get marked. Sometimes you get better than you thought, sometimes worse. Seems like it's passing the buck to blame exam authoroties when it's basically the student themselves who haven't done enough to secure the grade they needed.

Reply Posted by C-lar on Thursday August 30 2012 at 09:35
Oh and in response to Dawns first post - the student KNOWS they need to achieve as high a grade as possible, not just aim for the easiest. That's part of the reason why this countrys young are in the state they are.

Reply Posted by Ss on Thursday August 30 2012 at 09:56
Its a while since i did my Gcse and dont know if its the same in english but we were entered into papers based on ability the higher ones having no grade if you didnt get a C. So if thats the case then i think this is a bit mean. But i do think exams had got easier, I was one of a handful who left school with 10 a-c grades but it seems that the majority do now. Why just english though? Why not all papers?

Reply Posted by Connor on Thursday August 30 2012 at 10:07
@Alan - I got Marks above C and even a B in english coursework and yet still I've ended up with a D in English, surely there's something wrong there? I should have ended up with a C surely? But yet I haven't.

Reply Posted by leanne on Thursday August 30 2012 at 10:21
Have you ever stopped to think that the people who were aiming for a C were not just trying to acheive the bare minimum? They were putting in the hard work they needed to secure a C grade pass. Yes we all know that English is one of the easiest exams but thats not to say that all students find getting a grade C easy. Everyone is different. If people were told they needed 59% (whatever it may have been) to achieve a C, then they should have got the C grade, regardless.

Reply Posted by Alan on Thursday August 30 2012 at 10:52
@connor - when you are getting a C grade in your exam you will run the risk of having a bad day in the exam or a harsh examiner. These along with other factors could loose you the 1 or 2 marks that could push you the wrong side of the boundary. Anyone who is on the margin, I'm sure, can contest the marking and get it remarked and hope for the best. If not there's always resits next year