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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:31 pm 
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Why the need to study 11 GCSEs ?

I don't think it's controversial to say that Maths, English Language and Literature, at least one science subject and at least one language, plus at least one Humanity should be studied for GCSE, but how many other subjects are needed for a decent basic education ? And how many more than eight or nine subjects before the grades drop at the expense of additional GCSEs ?

Do universities only look at the top eight grades ? If so, what's the point of being forced to take additional subjects ? Why should you be expected to study a subject you don't enjoy with the concomitant fear that you'll be the only kid getting a "B" grade in your class ? If you're not into science, why be forced to take Physics, Chemistry and Biology ? Surely one of the three would suffice ?

(PSHCE, Enterprise Education, RE, PE and ICT are also studied but not examined).

I ask these questions as a Pate's parent, but assume it's the same at other Grammars.

Any thoughts ?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
"In my day..." (cue New World Symphony)

We did 8 O levels, but were expected to pass them all. I did Extra Science which meant Biology and Physics with Chemistry no 3 science option available. The other girls did General Science. I still managed to work for 11 years as a lab technician and then a degree in Chemistry with my inferior science O levels!

I suppose we just go with what is teh norm these days, but I do wonder how many GSCEs or whatever my grandchildren will have to sit..


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:55 pm 
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My gut instinct would be, the minimum required to progress to the next level of study. So whatever it takes to get your place at 6th form. Out of interest I looked at my degree course current entry requirements (Cardiff, science based, a while back) and there was no mention of GCSE grades (just English/maths if these were not held at A level). I then googled reqirements for Oxbridge and found this on the Cambridge site:

GCSEs

With the exception of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, there are no GCSE (or equivalent) requirements for entry to Cambridge.

GCSE results are looked at as a performance indicator, but within the context of the school/college performance.

It is generally expected that applicants will have achieved high grades in subjects relevant to their chosen course, and most students who apply have at least four or five As or A*s at GCSE. However, there are always exceptions and one of the strengths of the Cambridge admissions system is its ability to assess all applicants individually.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:14 pm 
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One theory is that GCSEs are so easy these days that any less than ten or eleven would leave Grammar school pupils unstretched.

I have no idea about how GCSEs are perceived by university admission tutors , but I'd imagine it's the A-levels that count, and unless you do something egregiously bad in your GCSEs they're not bothered. Presumably if you're applying to Russell Group universities you will be expected to have at least eight, mostly at A grade. But what's better: 8 straight A*/A or 11 with A/B ?

Appreciate this thread isn't strictly 11+ related, but hope it's of interest.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:35 pm 
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Posts: 660
.


Last edited by Glos_Mum on Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:36 pm 
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Indeed - minimum seems a good idea - do well in those you take and don't worry about the rest.

My DD has a Cambridge offer with a lot less GcSE's than some of her friends who attended various other GS's in Glos. the ones she did she got great grades in but they really care about three things - AS grades and UMS points, interview to assess teach ability and potential.......... And that is it. So no, GcSE's don't play a huge part. Lots of her mates had 11 GCSE A* and didn't get Oxford or Cambridge offers.........

:D


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:38 pm 
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..


Last edited by Glos_Mum on Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:46 pm 
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Thank you Glosmum - now to get the grades to meet the offer...... :?

Sure she'll be fine but she loves her second choice anyway.......

The whole process so stressful -if I can ever be of any help re Cambridge interviews or personal statements feel free to ask away..........


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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Quote:
I really am not keen that he has to take RE when he does not have an ounce of interest in the subject


Our GS takes the view that as they have to study it anyway they may as well get a GCSE in it...


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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With courses going linear I think 10 or 11 GCSEs is plenty.


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