As you have probably heard 2018 is the first year of the new GCSE exams. Fortunately or unfortunately (you can decide at the end of this article) I am someone who has to take them. There are very mixed opinions about these new exams which I will be sure to explain in this article.

Many people think that the new GCSEs are quite a bit harder as new topics have been added to a lot of subjects that used to be taught at A Level. For students this means working harder and I think it is unfair as it will be harder for us to achieve high grades than for people who are older.

A positive thing about the new GCSEs is that coursework has been cut out mainly due to schools changing their answers and letting the students cheat so they can achieve better results also benefitting the teachers. However coursework was also a good thing for some people as they could achieve high grades in coursework which is a more casual exam in the classroom which could have been done in year 10 to have less work in year 11.

Another negative impact about the new GCSEs is the new grading system instead of grades A*-G it is now 9-1. This is bad because everyone has to adapt to these changes and it is very confusing to understand what grade/level students are currently working at. This has an impact on everyone. Teachers, need to figure out comparisons between 9-1 and A*-G. Students need to understand what they are working at and what to aim for and parents need to understand where their kids are with their grades so it is quite confusing for everyone.

Personally, I would have preferred to do the old GCSEs with the old grading system. I think that was easier and there was less pressure but that is why the government decided to change this so that the brighter kids can stand out more and really excel in life.

Aleksandra Mendykowska Gumley House Convent School