Are mock exams results an accurate indicator of real exam results?

With the recent changes to GCSEs and A-levels, coursework and controlled assessment now has little or no effect on final examination grades.

Exams are shifting back to the older format of more essay-type questions and fewer multiple choice or shorter questions.

Now that coursework no longer contributes to final grades, students can only achieve good grades by successfully completing their exams, and mock exams can help define how they progress towards their real exams.

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What can students do if they fail their GCSEs?

Whilst the pictures in the news on GCSE results day are mainly of teens jumping up and down in happiness, there is a significant proportion of students hovering in the background who might have failed what they considered to be key elements of their GCSEs.

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Is there a gender or regional bias in exam marking?

Exam marking reliability is an issue that crops up regularly as analysts try to decipher the intricacies of exam results and what they mean for attainment and exam difficulty.

This has been complicated in recent years by the alterations to the GCSE system that have altered the way league tables are compiled and therefore make it harder for comparisons to be made.

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What are linear exams?

The past decade has put pupils, teachers, parents and carers through the ringer. It seems that not a term has gone by without some big announcement of planned change.

Budgets have shrunk, the curriculum has been shaken up and literacy has been placed under the spotlight.

So, for today’s subject we’re going to be digging into the topic of linear exams – explaining what they are, why the change was made and, most importantly of all, what it means for students and teachers alike.

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New GCSE grading: has it made a difference to student outcomes?

Prior to the first round of GCSE results in 2017, much was said and speculated about how the new GCSE grading system would impact students.

From A* to U, to 9 to U – the changes seemed simple enough, but what they truly meant for students, teachers and parents ranged from being slightly concerning, to outright disturbing.

So, one year on, the question is whether, and how, the new grading system has affected student outcomes.

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