Friday, 24 August 2012

Guess What Yesterday Was...

...GCSE results day, of course. Duh.
 For the un-British audience (other than derision, scorn, and pity) an explanation of the joys of the education system here:

 You start school at the age of four/five. You go into a class called Reception. Next, we have Year One, Year Two -- and that's when you get to SATs in English, Maths and Science, which don't give you a grade-point average, whatever that is, but tell you your 'level', which goes from W1 (working towards Level One) to Level 8a (the 'a' is a sub-level; 'c' is the lowest and 'a' is, duh, the highest). Then Year Three, etc., up to Year Six, where you do some more SATs which are also for pretty much no reason at all. That is the end of your Primary School career. Next, is Year Seven and Secondary (or High) School. Yay. Then there is Year 8 (pointless) and Year 9. Year 9 is the epitome of pointless. At one time, it meant more SATs, but after some sort of debacle, Year 9 SATs are no more. Hurray. Unfortunately, that means you either start your GCSEs early, as many schools have started doing, or you spend your time on a quickly created curriculum. Boring. Of course, next is Year 10, the one I've just finished, and GCSEs. Your GCSEs are when you stop working for 'levels' and start working for 'grades'. You pick your subjects (every school has a different system on what you can pick and what you can do it with) and then you start learning the stuff on the syllabus. If you're lucky, you might even do Controlled Assessments, which are basically exams that are done in the classroom and can be done at any time, or coursework, which are mainly only done if you're doing OCR-board GCSEs -- there are a few different boards which the Powers That Be in your school pick and choose for what they think will be 'easiest' for their pupils. There are three times you can do the exams on the syllabus that you've (hopefully) learnt: November, January, and May-June, the time when most exams are done. If your exams are 'linear', that means, most likely, you'll learn everything and then do one GIANT exam at the end of the two years (you spend Year 10 and 11 on GCSEs). If the exams are 'modular', you'll learn a section of the syllabus, then do an exam on it, which means less stuff to remember but more exams. If you've done awesome on those, you'll go to Sixth Form or college and do A-Levels, although you can also do more 'vocational' stuff at college. You do another two years of A-Levels, then are either out in the world (because by the time I do my A-Levels you'll have to do higher ed between the ages of 16 and 18 and not get a job) or onto University, where you do Lord knows what and get stuck with about £30,000 of debt from your student loan. Hurrah.
 And that's the system.
 Right. Little explanation aside, hurrah, exam results day. In all the stuff I did I got either what I expected or a grade higher than I expected, which was awesomeness. For anyone else who did exams, I hope you feel as content with your grades as I do. Otherwise, MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN ABOUT IT. That could be anything from revising more for exams to asking someone for help (I am cool with it if anyone wants online mentoring, although I'm sure all Eat My Book readers are darning awesomeness enough not to need it).
 Ha, look at me being all up myself, when I'm writing this post instead of finishing my drama coursework, but damn, it's so IMPOSSIBLE.
 Anyway, yes. Will someone please explain this whole US system of S.A.T.s or whatever to me, because I mean, what?! What books tell me makes no sense.

GCSE girl out!

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