27.3.09

UK Education, too easy?

2 years ago, I had a post showing the difference in what was expected from UK university students, and Chinese University pre-entry candidates (See here).

In today's news, this topic has come up again, with the exams regulator demanding immediate action, after finding out that GCSE science standards have fallen. Top private schools have already started to dump the normal GCSE in favour of the International GCSE exams, I did the IGCSEs back in 1994, and they compared favourably with the Nigerian O'Level exams.

So how easy is the Science GCSE? Well here are some of the multiple choice questions, I leave you to judge for yourselves:

GCSE Science (Edexcel, 2006)

Our moon seems to disappear during an eclipse. Some people say this is because an old lady covers the moon with her cloak. She does this so that thieves cannot steal the shiny coins on the surface. Which of these would help scientists to prove or disprove this idea?

A) Collect evidence from people who believe the lady sees the thieves

B) Shout to the lady that the thieves are coming

C) Send a probe to the moon to search for coins

D) Look for fingerprints

GCSE Science (Edexcel, 2006)

Many people observe the stars using

A) A telescope B) A microscope C) An X-Ray tube D) A synthesiser

GCSE Biology (AQA 2008)

When we sweat water leaves the body through…

A) Kidneys B) Liver C) Lungs D) Skin

Higher paper in science GCSE, Edexcel

At the astronomical club Alec and Louise discuss the possibility of intelligent life existing on other planets.

Which of the following statements supports the possibility of existence of intelligent life in our galaxy?

A) The galaxy is expanding very quickly

B) The earth is over four billion years old

C) The search for extra-terrestrial intelligence has spent millions of hours analysing signals from space

D) There are so many stars in the galaxy

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