The AQA GCSE has changed, and now, so has the textbook. Brand new for this year, 2013 students have the competitive edge with this brilliant book, full of worked examples, and tips straight from senior examiners on how to raise your grade in the Language Exam.
Exams are about as useful as placing a number of objects on a table, closing your eyes and getting a friend to move them a bit and then trying to guess what has changed. In what profession are you going to be required to remember bits of information which are then not available to you and then required to repeat it all in a timescale of a few hours?
Michael Gove seems to think that the GCSE is too easy, and that we should wind back to the good ol' days of O Levels, and the CSEs, remember? But lets have a proper look at what the GCSE does, in comparison to O Level/CSE.
The statistic seems to have gone unnoticed. Is it that universities and colleges are not concerned about catering to the needs of those wanting to study part-time who are mainly adult learners? Or is it that the hike in tuition fees means that for many adult learners education is simply out of reach?
I have to confess that I haven't completely mastered the art of hiding my Attention Deficit as I constantly fidget and am disruptive during long lectures but I do know how I cope with getting my work done to a similar standard as my classmates.
What this proposal really shows is that the matter of achievement is associated only with the acquirement of the higher grades and not when a student is awarded with a grade that corresponds with their potential and effort.
Many commentators have observed that the proposals seem at best an impractical use of resources and at worst deeply patronising. The complications of implementing the policy seem to make it a difficult one to advocate; is a child defined as poor if they attend a poor school or come from a poor family?
It would be a lie to suggest that nothing changes. I no longer throw extended, highly emotional screaming matches at being forced to eat sprouts, like I did when I was 12. Or wet the bed, like I did when I was 12. But fundamentally, it doesn't feel so different. I for one prefer a Tracey Beaker omnibus and ice cream to paying bills.
So this is it. Finally, after almost two years of mocks and modules and in some cases re-sits, I am finally entering the murky couple of months of GCSEs.
In what has been labelled as a step to encourage those from poorer backgrounds to attempt to attain places at highly ranked universities; it seems to me that the Conservative Government are effectively saying congratulations for achieving something that has been made considerably easier for the wealthy.