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#353836 - 10/07/09 03:20 PM Educational standards - in England
Peter Jones Offline
The GCSE is a major public examination held when kids are around 16. In my day it (or its equivalent) was a real test of knowledge and reasoning. You can see from the questions below that it's no longer much of a test. Nonetheless, look at the answers this group from a school in Swindon, Wiltshire gave:-

Q. Name the four seasons
A. Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar

Q. Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink
A. Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists

Q. How is dew formed
A. The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire

Q. What causes the tides in the oceans
A. The tides are a fight between the earth and the moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins the fight

Q. What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on
A. If you are buying a house they will insist that you are well endowed

Q. In a democratic society, how important are elections
A. Very important. Sex can only happen when a male gets an election

Q. What are steroids
A. Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs

Q. What happens to your body as you age
A. When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental

Q. What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty
A. He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery

Q. Name a major disease associated with cigarettes
A. Premature death

Q. What is artificial insemination
A. When the farmer does it to the bull instead of the cow

Q. How can you delay milk turning sour
A. Keep it in the cow

Q. How are the main 20 parts of the body categorised (e.g. The abdomen)
A. The body is consisted into 3 parts - the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels: A, E, I, O and U

Q. What is the fibula?
A. A small lie

Q. What does 'varicose' mean?
A. Nearby

Q. What is the most common form of birth control
A. Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium

Q. Give the meaning of the term 'Caesarean section'
A. The caesarean section is a district in Rome

Q. What is a seizure?
A. A Roman Emperor

Q. What is a terminal illness
A. When you are sick at the airport

Q. Give an example of a fungus. What is a characteristic feature?
A. Mushrooms. They always grow in damp places and they look like umbrellas

Q. Use the word 'judicious' in a sentence to show you understand its meaning
A. Hands that judicious can be soft as your face

Q. What does the word 'benign' mean?
A. Benign is what you will be after you be eight

Q. What is a turbine?
A. Something an Arab or Shreik wears on his head

#354086 - 10/08/09 08:15 PM Re: Educational standards - in England [Re: Peter Jones]
pugwash Offline
Several readers are not only wondering what is so funny about these answers, but also when their check from "the government" will be arriving wink
It's rarely rocket science, it's usually just math: then again if you can't do the math.......

#354089 - 10/08/09 08:19 PM Re: Educational standards - in England [Re: pugwash]
Peter Jones Offline
Are you kidding?

#354154 - 10/09/09 04:05 PM Re: Educational standards - in England [Re: Peter Jones]
Phil Offline
Please. It's a Cheque.

#354170 - 10/09/09 06:10 PM Re: Educational standards - in England [Re: Phil]
pugwash Offline
There was an article in the Times a few years back showing sample questions fro the 11+ exam from 1900, 1960, which was right around my era, and current day “exams”

These are not the exact questions, but close in style and difficulty!

From 1900: A coal cellar is 4’9”x 6’3”x 6’6”: each ton of coal costs 1 pound 6 shillings and 7 pence, and takes 40 cubic feet…how much would it cost to fill the cellar with coal?

From 1960: A coal cellar is 4’x 6’x 6’: coal costs 3 pounds per ton and takes 40 cubic feet…how much would it cost to fill the cellar.

From 2000: Bob, Ranjit and Shaniqua pass by houses numbered 3, 41, 17 and 29….put these in the correct order! There was more concern about a politically correct group walking up the street than there was about actually educating the kids mad

Edited by pugwash (10/09/09 09:30 PM)
Edit Reason: Changed the 1900 numbers to make it solvable on a calculator!
It's rarely rocket science, it's usually just math: then again if you can't do the math.......

#354173 - 10/09/09 06:27 PM Re: Educational standards - in England [Re: pugwash]
swanno Offline
Up to the end of the 1960s there effectively was a 2 tier system of education from age 11.
So the 11+ was a big deal in England. One exam on one day (no course work) if you passed you went to a Grammar school (better level of education) if you failed you went to a regular Secondary school.
The 11+ was very difficult. Showing my age now but I took the 11+ in 1968 which, if I recall correctly) was the last year before England introduced comprehensive schools so evryone had the same level of education.

Did I pass the 11+?
Yes ....back in 1968 I was one of those brainy people
Could I answer the 1960s Coal Cellar question now? Probably yes but not without a calculator!!
Colin, Marianne & Sophie the Dog

#354174 - 10/09/09 06:28 PM Re: Educational standards - in England [Re: pugwash]
Peter Jones Offline
My 11+ exam (late '50s) included differential calculus. My nephew's GCSE Maths exam in the early '90s included a question:-
"You have a bowl containing three green apples. You add four red apples to it. How many apples do you have?".

The correct answer of course is that there is insufficient information to compute, but this wasn't what they were looking for! I think anyone who had said that would have been dismissed as stupid and failed.

For non-British readers - the GCSE is a public examination (ie. set nationally and independent of any school) sat by pupils at around the age of 16, and intended to be the lower of two "school leaving certificates".

#354180 - 10/09/09 08:26 PM Re: Educational standards - in England [Re: swanno]
pugwash Offline
Swanno...I hope you meant the 1900's Coal cellar Question!

The 1960's one is mental arithmatic...thats the point of all the rounded numbers...

I suppose I could have made the cellar 5 x 8 x 4 for you!!!!
It's rarely rocket science, it's usually just math: then again if you can't do the math.......

#354182 - 10/09/09 08:38 PM Re: Educational standards - in England [Re: swanno]
Peter Jones Offline
Originally Posted By: swanno
so evryone had the same level of education

That was the theory, anyway.

#354277 - 10/11/09 04:30 AM Re: Educational standards - in England [Re: Peter Jones]
Three_Palms Offline
Phil. You should have done the spelling bee instead of the poker tournament. Could have saved you 200 bucks!!
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