Great big hairy dangly bits

GCSE reforms will help boys catch up with girls because they prefer “big bang” exams, annual analysis has suggested.

A report by Professor Alan Smithers of the University of Buckingham suggested that the move away from coursework and towards exams will benefit male students.


You’ve changed the measurement system, not how well boys and or girls are doing.

Agreed with the effect of the change, sure. That concentration on coursework in the first place was because boys did better at the big bang exam, girls better at the coursework. So, to overcome that issue of the girls getting worse grades the system was changed. Now we’re changing it back.

OK. But it’s still just a change in the measurement system, not a change in how anyone is doing.

7 thoughts on “Great big hairy dangly bits”

  1. Don’t know if it’ll make any difference. The brightest and the thickest tend to be male.
    Hence when we select for the brightest ten percent most are male. Now that we’re effectively looking at excluding the dimmest ten percent most of them will be male.

  2. Coursework is a very effective measure of how well the parents have understood the subject. Girls are better at asking for (and persuading) their dads to ‘help’, which is particularly useful in STEM subjects.

  3. Tim’s right “help boys ‘catch up'” is a disgustingly poor way of putting it.
    And is that really the only reason for the change of emphasis?
    Nobbling things to keep the sexes roughly equal?

    I don’t know but either this is a very poor article, its a poor report or a poor policy change.

  4. Maybe we should put girls and boys back into their own single sex schools and then use coursework to assess the girls and exams to assess the boys?

    Problem solved.

  5. P.S.

    In addition, I suspect the removal of distractions in terms of the opposite sex during the school day would lead to a bit more concentration as well.

  6. @ Chris Miller
    It is more that boys will not ask their Mums for help, whereas girls will. Too many working guys don’t get home in time to help the kids with homework.

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