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However, we think the new changes to the assessment criteria are so numerous that students are probably better off devising revision strategies that heavily rely on officially published materials post-2015 from all exam boards.Make no mistake, these exams will take some years of getting used to.
It may be argued therefore that teachers were not as ideally prepared to teach the new content when the current year 11s were in year 9.
It is also worth mentioning that schools have Schemes of Learning (detailed learning plans) that aims to develop students’ knowledge from year 7 through to year 9, prior to their GCSEs.
Even exam boards have shown to have not correctly calibrated their assessments, as demonstrated in a 2015 analysis by Ofqual, where it found that tests were generally too hard or too easy.
Teachers are human beings and require some practical experience to fully grasp the changes, as well as adapt to a new teaching regime.
When the new GCSE become effective for the 9s, students will have followed a learning regime intended for the old system.
People have argued that the new system should have been made effective for the year 7s, and not the year 9s, which in our view would have been a better way.
The good news is, at least for those sitting the Edexcel’s exams, much of the topics that are commonly found in previous examinations will also appear in the new tests, but in lesser proportions.
This means there may be some familiarity in the new exams.
Exams will no longer be modular, meaning there will not be smaller exams taking place throughout the year.
Exams are now linear, meaning it will take place at the end of the entire GCSE course, the first of which to take place in May/June of 2017.