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Archive for May, 2013

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about the farcical situation regarding the pass mark for Edexcel’s maths IGCSE. As the historical grade boundaries are readily available on its website, I didn’t expect too many views.

In the past two weeks this blog has received over 300 views from 34 countries: Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Norway, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, United States and, of course, the UK. Question is: why?

WordPress gives the search engine terms people typed in to find this blog via google (which is where most views have come from). These make interesting reading:

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is 30% a passing grade in maths gcse

These are just a taster; there are many, many more of a similar nature.

If this information is readily available on Edexcel’s website, why read my blog? Because it’s the first entry on google, above even Edexcel’s own website entry!

The grade boundaries aren’t exactly buried but they’re not publicised either. If you were Edexcel would you really want to flag up the fact that in January 2013 a grade C for Maths was just 25%? In the same exam sitting you’d have needed 48% in Biology, 46% in Chemistry, 47% in English Language, Literature or Physics and 53% in Economics. That’s almost double the Maths mark for every other subject.

Why hasn’t this been written about in the main press? Why hasn’t there been a feature in the Times Ed Supplement or the Guardian education section? I’ve emailed both of these along with various other papers. I have 26 years’ experience as a journalist with over 1000 published articles yet I couldn’t even get a response from any of the papers. Why won’t anyone touch this?

With the English Baccalaureate well and truly buried, courtesy of students at non-state schools not having to take the original five subjects resulting in such schools achieving low scores in the EBacc grading, it may only be a matter of time before IGCSE exams are available in state schools. Let’s hope the powers that be sort out the nonsensical maths situation by then.

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