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A question of difficulty?

Teachers have been critical about the lack of information about the new GCSE specifications, particularly where grade boundaries might sit, but Daisy Christodoulou argues that it is almost impossible to predict the difficulty of an exam before students have sat it. Here, she explains why.

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In just a few days’ time, we will finally know. After two years of waiting, two years of worrying and two years of wondering, the results of the new English and maths GCSEs will be revealed and teachers will finally have some clarity.

The transition to these new specifications – and the new grading system – has been much criticised by teachers. In one of the most read blogs on the Tes website this year, Chris Curtis, a head of English, explained the problems caused by teachers having to guess what a 4, 5, 6 or any other grade would look like. How could you decide whether to put a student in ...

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