All change for GCSE
This summer sees core GCSEs face the most drastic changes in a generation. With the national pass-rate set to plummet by 20% in English Language and Maths, it’s never been more important for teens to be prepared. But are they?
Sarah-Jane Page, Director of EAS Tuition and GCSE Examiner in English Language, has seen a dramatic increase in the number of students struggling to meet the new requirements. The Framlingham-based private tuition company makes students ‘exam-ready’ by building skills and boosting belief.
‘The new GCSEs are challenging students in ways we’ve never seen before,’ says Sarah-Jane. ‘The exams are now tougher, longer and meatier.’
But what are the new challenges?
‘Tiered’ papers are now a thing of the past in English Language, with all students facing the same searching questions in response to 19th and 20th century texts, regardless of ability. In Maths, ‘higher’ topics have crept into the ‘foundation’ papers, testing formulae and stretching students’ problem-solving skills.
‘Despite the changes and the challenges, there are lots of things that can be done at home to help,’ explains Sarah-Jane.
To boost English skills, encourage discussion about the changes in language from the 19th century to present day, and keep a list of common words. Watch period dramas – Downton Abbey, Great Expectations. Practise the art of comparison. Read newspaper articles and summarise key points.
In Maths, keep skills ticking over with mental arithmetic challenges, and refine approaches to problem-solving. Reach for the puzzle section in the Sunday paper – any brain teaser and maths’ riddle will hone key skills.
‘The only way to control the exam outcome is to focus on the preparation,’ says Sarah-Jane. ‘Effective revision is a combination of guidance, practice and discipline.’
To help prepare students for the challenges ahead, EAS Tuition’s tutors and examiners offer GCSE Revision Classes in English Language and Maths over the Easter holidays.