# 17.5% for a "Standard Pass" is a joke, not a qualification

Higher Tier GCSE Maths Grade Boundaries, Pearson/Edexcel

Another GCSE exam season over and another education scandal to add to all of the others that everyone is seemingly determined to pay absolutely no attention to.

**Do YOU think 17.5% is a PASS at ANYTHING?**

I don’t.

Scoring less than 50% on any kind of test or assessment used to carry serious consequences back in the “bad old days” and yet here we now have the most

**-stressed-anxious-feeble-coddled-pathetic **

generation ever - possibly in the history of humanity - and the best these **“special ones”** who have more-or-less all of the world’s knowledge at their fingertips can come up with is 17.5% on their mathematics GCSE.

It’s a national disgrace.

Roughly one third of all 16-year-olds in the UK take **GCSE Maths Higher Tier** - the more able third - so there really is no excuse for scoring so poorly and the “adults” in the room are making it so much worse by gifting them a “standard pass” for a pitiful percentage.

**A “standard pass” was gifted to those who scored 17.5%**

**A “strong pass” was given to those who scored 30.4%.**

As for an ‘A’ grade or a “level 7” as they are today being called, one only needed to score 57.1% yet in 2016 (before “Govian” reforms to exams) a more respectable 70% was required for the same grade.

#### When and where is this going to stop?

Already, the hard-earned grades of our parents and grandparents (not to mention great grandparents) have been made a mockery of and for what?

**So that one doesn’t hurt Tarquin’s feelings?!**

At some point industry is going to work out that this generation (and the one before it) can’t actually do ANYTHING for real… or at least without their smartphone in their nervous, sweaty little paw!

Actually, did you know that **two-thirds of every Maths GCSE exam since 2017 have allowed the use of a calculator?**

**In your day it was 50% and further back it was 0%.**

None of this has been taken into account as successive waves of grade boundaries stoop ever lower and then there’s the simple fact that…

**THE EXAM QUESTIONS ARE GETTING EASIER**

There is simply no arguing about it - though plenty of pushy (and horrifyingly ignorant) parents will scream in your face that **‘The exams are harder now’.**

Bullshit.

See for yourself…

Look at the wonderful language.

“Garrison”, “rations”, “augmented” and “provisions”, such words are no longer allowed in Mathematics GCSEs as they are considered “too difficult” for the “precious” ones!

In stark contrast is the supremely simple language used, such as, “delivery”, “electricity”, “diesel” and “petrol”.

Any honest maths teacher will quickly tell you that the question from the 1940s exam is the more complex.

The question, above, from 1988 is the DIRECT EQUIVALENT of an ‘A’ Level Maths question today - that’s for an 18-year old now who has chosen to specialise in maths.

However, in 1988 this was considered fit for 16-year-olds.

So, that’s 2 years dumber in only 36 years!

Here’s the so-called “equivalent” question from the 2022 exams:

You don’t need to be a teacher of maths to see how much simpler the 2022 question is compared with the 1988 one.

On and on, and on and on it goes!

#### How much more ridiculous will it have to become?

Before parents will TAKE ACTION?

Do you WANT your children to be this dumbed down compared to previous generations?

This generation ought to be the most intelligent ever what with the internet so freely available and the tech to hold it in the palm of their hands.

However, they are clearly nothing of the sort!

#### GCSEs are a Scam

As an expert examiner of mathematics GCSE for over 10 years, I have been exposing the fact that GCSEs are a scam that waste your children’s precious time.

They fool parents into thinking that “good work” is being done and that “excellence” is being achieved when the exact opposite is true.

For goodness sake, do not let even ‘an A grade or level 7 at GCSE’ be your child’s goal.

WE MUST AIM FAR HIGHER than modern “standards” or else the future will judge us accordingly and put us all where we belong - out on the scrap heap!

#### What can we DO about it?

Take charge of your child’s maths education, get ACTIVELY involved in it.

That doesn’t mean showing up once per year to “parents evening” and reading the occasional “cut and pasted” school report.

You need to know exactly what your children can and cannot do by themselves in mathematics (and all other subjects for that matter… but one disaster at a time) and the only way to be sure is to ask to see their work and get them to explain to you what they are doing.

Then, at least you’ll begin to realise the damage that is being done to them.

They are NOT being taught anything like as properly as you even were… let alone our grandparents’ generation.

Once you find out that they don’t even know their times tables, it might be a VERY GOOD IDEA to set time aside for dedicated practice TOGETHER.

That would be a start.

Not knowing the multiplication tables up to 12 x 12 by heart is one of the two biggest barriers in mathematics education.

Don’t let your child down in this vital requirement.

**Education, not indoctrination.**

**Sarah Plumley**

Head Teacher, Guerrilla Ed

Expert Examiner GCSE Mathematics

BA, PGCE Secondary (Mathematics), QTS