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Are GCSE’s getting harder?

That’s a rather open question! And to be honest, I’m not going to give a full analysis here, and certainly not across all subjects!

But I have noticed in recent GCSE exams, more is being asked of the student than just applying the maths they have learnt in the class room.

All exams still have a number of what I call ‘Book Questions’ – ones where the student who has studied their coursework well should be able to answer – Solve an equation, read information from a graph.

There are also ‘Problem solving’ questions – Work out the numbers for a specific situation. These do require planning the work and  sometimes drawing knowledge from different parts of the syllabus. Though more challenging, questions like this have appeared on exams for years.

The more challenging questions I have noticed on recent exams ask for a critical input from the student. These questions reward more than just book learning – Really being at ease with the subject is needed.

This is a question from the higher paper and two things to note – Its question 26 so its from the later part of the exam, and its only worth 2 marks.

This means there shouldn’t be a lot of work involved, but its aimed at the more able student.  Leaving those two things with you, I’ll give a solution tomorrow!





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