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Education News: As children went back to school last week with record numbers having gained five or more GCSEs, the old question of ‘are exams getting easier’ has raised its head yet again.

Some studies show that 100% of all students expected to gain A* results in every single subject by 2015, so The Poke decided to compare some sample O level questions from 1985 with some GCSE questions from the papers set this year, and leave it to you click through the selection and decide if we are raising a generation of teenagers who can’t even spell GCSE, let alone deserve one.

Story: David Harris

Images: Q4Nobody

Leave a Reply

17 Responses

  • Pat

    This can’t be true…

    January 5, 2012 at 8:37 pm
  • James

    Not sure about the 1985 example, but being an English teacher, I know that the June 2011 example is not true!

    January 14, 2012 at 6:32 pm
  • David

    I doubt these are true, it looks more like you’re comparing an A-Level exam to a year 6 class test.

    June 21, 2012 at 10:38 am
  • A Guy

    I think the GCSE examples may well be from a Foundation Tier paper, but no examples of the Higher Tier questions are given.

    June 21, 2012 at 10:29 pm
  • Ellie

    Ive just done my gcses and had a question exactly like the first one. These comparisons are extremely unfair, i doubt that second question is even real. In gcses, there is a higher tier and foundation tier. There are also extra units for brighter students. These reports are basically comparing the absolute easiest D grade question with a hard question from O levels. I took Food Technology and i admit that that was easy, but i can assure you exams like the sciences and maths were not easy at all.

    June 23, 2012 at 9:04 pm
  • Oliver

    There is no point comparing the easiest questions of a foundation tier GCSE examination to the hardest questions of an O Level examination. Its not a fair comparison.

    June 26, 2012 at 12:29 pm
  • Chris

    This is not true, and is actually defamation of character against every examiner and teacher in the country! Poke should shut down, they are the scum that make this world!

    July 14, 2012 at 8:50 am
  • Shaun

    Reasonably funny, but worth a read for the comments alone! What brought thsese idiots here anyway….?

    August 16, 2012 at 8:58 am
  • Ruby

    The English “example” offers 52 marks…. hmm not sure I remember the questions being that heavily weighted. As students are doing better shouldn’t we be praising the hard work and dedication of teachers? Or the fact that teens are inside studying not on the streets?

    Also in this incredibly tough job market 5 GCSEs won’t even get you a job at the car wash. So lets stop criticising and give them a pat on the back and wish them luck for the next 5 years of financially crippling education they have to face if they want to make it into the world of work!

    Unless all those who are convinced GCSEs are easy would care to sit them themselves….

    August 16, 2012 at 9:22 am
  • rosie

    This is a ridiculous post and unfairly discriminates against GCSE’s. Having just completed nineteen exams all in higher tier i think this is severely unfair and for those whom don’t understand that this is inaccurate may influence their ideas in completely the wrong way.

    August 16, 2012 at 9:37 am
  • John

    To all the people that are treating this article seriously: This is THE POKE – shockingly, this article may just be for the laughs.

    August 16, 2012 at 10:06 am
  • Martina Austin

    It’s probably because the exam paper you chose from 2011 would be the foundation paper. If you chose the higher paper then it’s a lot more difficult than the 1985′s or whatever.

    August 16, 2012 at 10:18 am
  • Dan

    I genuinely fear for humanity if there are people who think this is real. One of the questions was “Do you have a favourite number?” It’s a joke!!! People saying The Poke should shut down? I am a teacher and have taken no offense. Am just ashamed of some members of my species.

    August 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm
  • Alex

    Fuck you, Poke. As a student getting their GCSE results today I can tell you that Higher tier at least, is much harder.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:16 am
  • Sandi

    Hilarious that some people are outraged and actually think the GCSE questions are real! Brightended up my morning!

    August 23, 2012 at 8:18 am
  • Andy

    Anyone that has taken offense to this should not be allowed on the internet!

    August 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm
  • dele

    I have taken some of my gcses and these question are ridiculous, especially the physics one! The exams I have sat were a lot closer to the o level ones and if I saw a gcse question like these on a paper I would laugh as my sats were harder then that!!

    January 3, 2013 at 1:21 am


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