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Education- exams too easy we are told

  SparkyJack 11:55 03 Apr 2012

In this mornings barch of Funnites that litter my In box, fit ony for instant deletion in the main, was the following.

Having read it through it occurred to me the one reason why the State education system seems to be in a state of decline is that Mr Goves advisors were once among Mrs Thatchers INCOMPREHENSIBLE'S

It can only get worse



My daughter and I went to the McDonald's drive-through check-out window to pay our bill and I gave the clerk a £5 note. Our total bill was £4.20, so I also handed her a 20 pence piece. She said, 'You gave me too much money.' I said, 'Yes I know, but this way you can just give me £1 back.' She sighed and went to get the Manager who asked me to repeat my request. I did so, and he handed me back the 20 pence and said 'We're sorry but we do not do that kind of thing'. The clerk then proceeded to give me back 80 pence in change. Do not confuse the clerks at MacDonald's !!


We had to have the garage door repaired. The GARADOR repairman told us that one of our problems was that we did not have a 'large' enough motor on the opener. I thought for a moment, and said that we had the largest one GARADOR made at that time, a 1/2 horsepower. He shook his head and said, 'Lady, you need a 1/4 horsepower.' I responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4 and he said, 'NOOO, it's not. Four is larger than two....' We haven't used Garador repair since. Happened in Moor Park, near Watford .


I live in a semi-rural area. We recently had a new neighbour call the Highways Department to request the removal of the 'DEER CROSSING' sign From our road. The reason: 'Too many deer are being hit by cars on this stretch of road! I don't think this is a good place for them to be crossing, any-more'. Story from Potters Bar, Hertfordshire.


My daughter went to a local Kentucky Fried Chicken and ordered a Taco. She asked the person behind the couiT C AN ONLY GET WORSEnter for 'minimal lettuce.' He said he was sorry, but they only had Iceberg Lettuce. From South Oxhey, Hertfordshire.


I was at the airport, checking in at the gate, when an airport employee asked: 'Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?' To which I replied, 'If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?' He smiled knowingly and nodded: 'ThatiT C AN ONLY GET WORSE's why we ask'. Happened at Luton Airport


The traffic light on the corner buzzes when the lights turn red and it Is safe to cross the road. I was crossing with an intellectually challenged friend of mine. She asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red. Appalled, she responded: 'What on earth are blind people doing driving?!' She is a Local County Council employee in Harrow, Middlesex. (And she's NOT blonde)


When my husband and I arrived at our local Ford dealer to pick up our car, we were told the keys had been accidentally locked in it. We went to the Service Department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver's door. As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door-handle and discovered that it was unlocked. 'Hey', I announced to the Fitter/Mechanic, 'it’s open!' His reply: 'I know.. I already did that side.' This was at the Ford dealership in St Albans, Hertfordshire.

  lotvic 12:56 03 Apr 2012

Made me chuckle, have also come across same type of 'idiot sightings' in my daily dealings with others, shop assistants etc.

I see you've still got that 'text gets inserted randomly' problem "iT C AN ONLY GET WORSE" let's hope it doesn't :) lol

  lotvic 15:02 03 Apr 2012

fourm member, yes I agree it is very wrong of you. We are not all blessed with 20/20 vision and 100% physical abilities. Your time will come.

SparkyJack, Yesterday I was asked to fill the rainwater butt up with the hosepipe because later this week there is a hosepipe ban - it was a serious request, they had already transferred the rainwater contents to another container via a bucket. I actually started doing it before I realised... I think I get the prize for No:8

It took me some time to get them to understand why I was rofl.

  SparkyJack 17:17 03 Apr 2012

Oh dear - It Got Worse

Message to me Read after tryping [ Yes I meant that - most of what I write is tripe - geddit?] before hitting 'Send'

  Forum Editor 19:51 03 Apr 2012

Pasting slabs of text of this kind from other sources always seems rather pointless to me. I'm not sure what it is you're trying to say - this kind of stuff is usually fictitious anyway.

  wee eddie 23:28 03 Apr 2012

I am not in a position to say whether Exams today are getting easier, or not.

However, any Examination System that allows more than a couple of percent of the Examinees to get the Top Marks must be failing.

The whole point of a System of Examination is to differentiate between the abilities of the Candidates. Currently the one that we have, does not.

Therefor it is unfit for purpose.

  morddwyd 10:05 04 Apr 2012

I used to set exams (technical, not A level) and the principal is to find out what students know, not what they don't know (that's very easy!).

Our pass mark was 60% and results stayed at a pretty standard level over the years.

The secret is a good analysis of each exam result, for each question.

If every student gets one particular question right over a run of several exams then either the question is too easy, or they are being taught to the exam, not the syllabus. Either way you dump the question

If every student gets one particular question wrong with the same wrong answer then they have either been badly taught, or the teaching material is not reflecting the syllabus.

If there lots of different wrong answers the the question is either confusing or there was a distraction during the lesson (not the exam).

There is a happy medium.

I always used to discard any result where more than half the class got it wrong - that was obviously our fault, not theirs.

I'm not saying that each and very answer to each and every A level question should be analysed in the same way, the cost would be enormous (used to take me two full working days to do a class of 16), but I do wonder if analysis of the results is detailed enough.

  rickf 15:45 04 Apr 2012

On a more serious note exams are getting easier. No doubt about that. I lecture at a rather well known Uni at post graduate level. I am shocked at the increasing number of graduates who can't structure an essay is a way that is coherent. THEY DON'T SEEM TO BE ABLE TO THINK ANYMORE. Last year in this 3 year MSc that I teach, the pass mark has been lowered to 45% for the first and second years. How does that make sense??

Furthermore, for the final Msc essay a 45% mark is often condoned to a pass at 50%. We have been instructed that in order to fail a candidate the final mark would have to be 40%

Increasing a number of candidates do not know how to use a dictionary. I am not joking. They are so used to using their pcs to search for words and spellings that the dictionary has become an alien thing to them. The result is that a lot of essays have American spellings which are then marked down or not depending on the particular reader of the essay. It's a right mess. For once I agree with Gove who is trying to do something about educational standards in the UK.

  john bunyan 16:18 04 Apr 2012


My granddaughter is just 17 ; Last summer she obtained 7 A* GCSE’s in Maths, Eng Language, English Literature, Physics, Biology, History, Chemistry; 3 A’s in Spanish and French plus Additional maths, and a B in Drama. Many of her friends are going on to do 4 A levels, but she has opted to do an International Baccalaureate. She is doing 3 major subjects : English, History and Psychology, along with Maths, Physics and Spanish. These are coupled with other items such as a 4000 word “dissertation”. She is also doing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold award, (done Bronze and silver) I am out of date with University entrance requirements and am curious how this IB is rated with the entrance tutors. Her mum was widowed when she was less than a year old so I have been close to her. The “homework” seems very intense. She is hoping to be able to go to Oxford, but realises the competition is stiff. The fees are another horrendous problem as none of us can help much. If any members with recent tertiary education have any suggestions re anything further she could do it would be appreciated. I wonder why the IB has not been discussed along with the A level issue.

  rickf 17:10 04 Apr 2012

john bunyan, your grandaughter is to be congratulated for opting to do the International Baccalaureate. Overall, it gives her a better all round education in my opinion. It is also more rigourous I think which would prepare her for the work to come at Uni level and more importantly, the confidence of independence of mind in stating her arguments.The Russell Group of universities have been imploring for a more rigourous testing at A levels for a while now and have often been accused of being elitist which is a shame. Nothing wrong in wanting our the next generation to be well and properly educated. I hope your grandaughter gets a place in Oxford when the time comes.

  Toneman 17:23 04 Apr 2012

rigorous ?

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