Pupils taking GCSE exams will be asked multiple choice questions for the first time and be allowed to take unlimited resits.
It has also emerged that, under a planned overhaul of the system, up to half of GCSE English marks would be awarded for basic skills such as punctuation.
The planned reform of the exam system has fuelled accusations that testing standards are being lowered. Bethan Marshall, a senior lecturer in English education at King’s College London, told the Times Educational Supplement: “If you make 50 per cent of the GCSE about doing the basics, you are dumbing down.
“The subject is about so much more than being able to communicate accurately. And if you’re still doing basic skills at GCSE level, Heaven help you. It’s pretty boring.” ....
One suggested question for an English test reportedly asks pupils which word is spelt incorrectly in the sentence: “Be careful, the kettel is hot.”...
Dumbing down fears force exam shake-up - Times Online
The body that regulates examinations is to be made independent in a radical attempt to end the annual row about the dumbing down of school standards, Mr Balls ....will tell Labour delegates that he wants GCSE and A-level students to be able to take pride in their A-grades without facing the continual carping by critics that their results are a devalued currency. The move would enable the QCA independently to monitor school standards, free from political interference, and would distance the government of the day from criticisms of involvement.
Although the QCA theoretically is independent from government at present,
So it is independent, but Ministers keep sticking their oar in, just like the Bank of England! So he is going to make it independent again, and Ministers will still keep sticking their oars in, but with plausible deniability.
Who is going to be the first schools minister to allow exam results to go down on his watch?