Petitions against new GCSE exams attract tens of thousands of signatures

The TES is reporting that exams should not test a student’s memory for formulas or quotes. Two petitions against this year’s reformed GCSEs have attracted more than 130,000 signatures. 

One petition, which already has more than 71,000 signatures, has called for GCSE students to be allowed a formula sheet in their maths exams. 

And the second petition, which has attracted more than 60,000 signatures, says the government should authorise open book examinations for the English Literature GCSE.

Both petitions say that GCSE students should not be expected to memorise formulas and quotes during their exams this year.   

This summer will be the first time that students sit the tougher GCSEs in English and maths – which will be graded from 9 to 1, rather than A* to G.

Referring to formulas in the maths GCSE, the creator of the petition writes: “If the government can recite them back to us then of course we can use a sheet but for now it’s unfair.”

Meanwhile, the petition against closed book exams for the English GCSE says: “Exams shouldn’t be a test on the student’s memory, but how we interpret texts.” 

More at: Petitions against new GCSE exams attract tens of thousands of signatures

Do you agree with these petitions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie

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  1. Anonymous

    I agree formulas should be provided, it’s how they use them that’s important. There is enough pressure on young people for these new exams already without having to remember formulas too .

  2. There appear to be only about 10 formulae they need to know. Among these are things they should all know anyway: area of circle, Pythagoras etc. That leaves only about 3 difficult ones. Too much fuss?

    • Samantha Smith - Youth MP

      As a student currently studying for the 2018 GCSE examinations, I can safely say that there are far more than 10 formulas to memorise. Taking Maths for example, there over 30 formulae that I have within my revision notes to memorise thus far, and I am only in Year 10. And, in the case of Physics, thus far there are in excess of 20 formulae that I will be expected to memorise. By Year 11, there will be over 75 formulae from all three Sciences and Maths to commit to memory, plus 15 poems, two plays and one novella, and all of the other information needed for other subjects. The pressure this puts on students combined with the other ways in which the government have tightened exams is exponential in comparison to previous years and cannot simply be brushed off as students ‘not working hard enough’ or ‘not having the right attitude towards education’.

    • Misha

      You don’t UNDERSTAND! As a year 10 student myself under the new GCSE curriculum I have to manage to learn over 50 formulae in physics, the same in chemistry, over 20 formulas and equations in maths, practically all of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and then complete an essay for an analysis on something we don’t even know, 15 poems, not to mention 10 units of psychology which include A LOT of case studies and I have to have enough time to complete homework, coursework for art, eat healthily, exercise, get enough sleep, maintain a social life and actually have fun because I’m only 15 and I will never be able to have the freedom I have now

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