My word! It has been over 6 months since I last posted! Astounding how quickly time slips past. I remember those carefree days when GCSEs were a faint enigma in the distance, never to be seen or manifested. Alas, I am sitting here with five days to go until the horror story that is the national public exam of the Secondary Certificate of Education.
I have been wondering lately during those less-than-ideal revision sessions, why they are called certificates of education. I mean, yes, there is some aspect of learning and thinking involved, but I am convinced that most people will be able to pass with a C grade even the hardest iGCSE, just going over exam technique and how to, as my Ancient History teacher says, “play the game”. It seems like a rather futile exercise to me!
On the same point, why do we even have this silly independent exam board system? I wrote a rather extensive piece on this a while ago, but the idea has just returned to me: In a nationwide standardised exam, designed to benchmark all students against each other, why do we have varying levels of difficulty? I am doing the AQA English Literature and Language certificate (or some other fancy name that does not mean much), and it is purportedly harder than their GCSE offerings. Silly, right? Even within exam boards there is variation! Astounding, If you ask (the very non-ostentatious) me. Get the joke? No? Most of my family don’t either… I am not the funniest person…
Anyway, back to why I have not been posting: there has been a lot of stuff going on! To start with, there were my GCSE mocks, which went towards setting my predicted grades, which interestingly, I do not get to see. Then there was exam feedback (and the mountain-load of associated homework). Then there was this whole thing about Arkwright Engineering Scholarships and the relatively difficult processes in being awarded one [I find out in a month!], followed by working on our entry to the 2013 Toyota STEM Challenge as well as designing an experiment that went 30km into the stratosphere (and the associated difficulties). Oh, and then preparation started for the actual GCSEs. I will probably think of something else I would have done, but thats what I remember off the top of my head.
So, all in all, I hope that my readers will forgive me for my negligence to this blog. I have promised time and time again to move to WordPress, and I assure you that it is in the works. The problem is that I am too cheap to pay for hosting and I want to challenge myself to create my own webserver at home, considering that I know absolutely nothing about webserver operation and maintenance!
Oh, yes. I remembered. We are also entering CanSat UK this year, where we have to launch a pseudo-satilite in a can to an altitude of 1km, conduct a primary mission of collecting certain weather data, as well as a secondary mission of our choosing. It will be fun!