UK Education minister Michael Gove has announced that the new system to replace GCSEs currently being planned at the DfE will include grades up to A***. During the press conference to explain the iLevel system to journalists he said that previously there had been no way of indicating when a student had exceeded the 100% mark. “We all know when someone has put in 110% effort, for instance, but they could only get an A*. Now we can award these higher grades for 110%, 120% and 130% enabling universities and employers to better discriminate between the very best applicants”.
When asked how it was possible to get 130% of the questions correct, in maths especially, Mr Gove was bullish:- “Well, where a student goes beyond the mere result. For example, 2 + 2 = 4, but where the student has written 4.000000000000 as the answer, he or she clearly has a more accurate result and a greater understanding of the problem so should be rewarded accordingly.”
Apparently supplemental marks can be awarded for various “extras” that students may choose to add on exam papers, including finding some odd perfect numbers (maths), explaining the arthropod head problem (biology) or revealing the new password to the headmaster’s drinks cabinet (computing).