There were growing concerns among education officials that the UK’s GCSE exams were getting too easy. Smiling selfies on results day and tales of 10+ A grades were becoming the norm. As a result, a pledge was made to make GCSE exams harder. So, what happened?
If you take a microscope over the results after the test was made more difficult, results in fact went up rather than down. Not what you would have expected when the exams were supposed to be tougher. Zone out a little and you find that the results pretty much stayed the same. The GCSE pass rate went from 66.9% to a whopping 67.3% - sarcasm included.
The reason for this is because even though tests may have gotten tougher, the grade boundaries have also been lowered. After all, it would not be fair to offer some students an easy path to further education and deny the next year of students the same opportunities.
Yet, this doesn’t answer why so many primary school and secondary school pupils get such outstanding grades so frequently. This has led some people to question whether studying is easier today or not.
Why Studying Today Is Easier
People who believe that studying today is easier often point to numerous factors from improved knowledge of teaching styles, better quality teaching and an abundance of resources.
Young pupils today have an array of educational resources to help them study. Grandparents may have only had their books and class notes, while today’s children have the internet, dedicated online platforms like BBC Bitesize and many other tutorials and resources.
All of these things make studying more efficient. With the click of a button, a learner can access knowledge that would have taken hours, if not days, to hunt down in the past.
Moreover, there are also tailored online courses to help children prepare for specific exams. The 11 plus preparation course is one example. It is a course that specifically helps children study for the Grammar School Entrance Exam - and is available right here at 11 Plus Success.
Why Studying Today Is Harder
There is also an argument that the internet and technology are reasons why studying today is harder than before. Most primary school children own a smartphone and have access to tablets, iPads or laptops. These devices may help them study but it depends on how they use them.
If children are overusing technology to chat with friends, play video games and watch YouTube videos, they are being distracted. These types of distractions did not exist when our grandparents were studying for their exams and they probably benefitted from not having much technology in their lives.
However, technology may not just be distracting us when trying to revise but it may be having much more direct negative impacts. Experts have suggested that writing by hand allows us to memorise information better.
If some students are choosing to type up information using their devices, they may be missing out on an opportunity to retain information easier. This happens because when we write, we usually pick out key words rather than full sentences and on a deeper level, we link these specific words with information.
What Really Matters
There is no disputing that the debate on who had it easier at school will continue and that it is interesting. There are arguments on both sides, but what is more important is that children and parents know how to study effectively and create a prosperous learning environment.
Here are some of the best tips to create a learning environment that harnesses technology for learning, rather than a distraction:
- Buy your child a notebook so they take notes manually
- Monitor your child’s online activity by studying together or in the same room (preferably a room without a TV or other distractions)
- Add plants and bright colours to the study space
- Make a realistic study schedule together, taking into account their afterschool clubs and other commitments
- Encourage exercise rather than playing video games in their downtime
What If You Are Preparing for the 11 Plus Exam?
The 11 Plus exam is the name given to the entrance exam for grammar schools. It can be a challenging exam because only the very best students are awarded a place at their chosen school. The exam mark - in most circumstances - is the only deciding factor as to whether your child will be chosen or not.
Preparing for the 11 plus exam can be difficult because parents cannot cut and paste other study methods. Specific teaching techniques are required to answer the unique questions on the exam.
You could go against the reliance on technology and possible distractions by using an 11 plus exam tutor. These people are highly skilled at preparing students for the 11 plus test. However, they usually come at a hefty price and finding one in your area may be a challenge.
A more convenient and less expensive option is to use technology to your advantage. An 11 plus exam preparation course is one way of equipping your child with technology for the right reasons. They are specifically designed by those aforementioned tutors to cater to the requirements of the 11 plus exam.
Where Can You Find an 11 Plus Exam?
There are many 11 plus course providers around. Choose an 11 plus course that has been made by experienced teachers who have already helped hundreds of students get into their dream Grammar School.
After browsing our product, you may just think that studying today is easier than it ever was!