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Surge in demand for GCSE revision courses

Article summary

CIFE colleges running Easter Revision courses are reporting an increase in demand for GCSE revision courses in 2018.  This is being attributed to the recent reforms of the GCSE examinations, designed to contain tougher topics than previously.  The new exams combine new content, new assessment and a new grading system.

Article in detail

James Barton, Director of Easter revision at MPW College, London, explains the reasons: "Parents are a lot more clued up on the reforms now and their questions are much more targeted.  GCSE demand is buoyant because there is continuing nervousness about the new exam specifications.  Secondly, as schools get ever stricter on admissions into their sixth forms, parents are using GCSE revision courses in large numbers to try and ensure their child’s place for A-levels at their chosen school.  No one wants to be the wrong side of the line on results day.  In addition, universities used to look at AS level grades as a marker of achievement.  It is now evident that they rely more on GCSE grades when assessing applicants' capabilities.  Students and parents are aware of this, so there is more emphasis on ensuring top GCSE results."

This trend is confirmed by Dan Roberts, Director of Marketing at Cherwell College, Oxford.  He adds, "In monitoring our course enquiries, I have noticed a greater interest for our GCSE revision courses.  This includes our Google Ads responses where the majority of search terms are for GCSE revision."

Sixth formers are also taking up Easter courses in increasing numbers. The new linear A levels, which are based on final exams, have boosted  interest in revision courses for these syllabuses, according to feedback from the college providers.  Parents and students are much better informed about the two-year reformed exams which were held for the first time last summer.  However, early booking trends in the CIFE colleges indicate that demand for AS-level revision continues to decline.  Barton says, "There is now a great deal of uncertainty around the value of the new AS exams.  Since its decoupling from the A Level people are asking, why is an AS level revision course necessary?" So courses are being offered as part of a two-year A-level revision plan as much as for the now devalued AS level exam itself." Here's more information about the new A, AS and GCSE exams

He also makes the general point that the stigma about taking a revision course has vanished.  "There is nothing negative about taking a Easter Revision course nowadays.  It is regarded as extremely useful not only as a forensic revision tool, focusing on the specifics of the new reformed syllabuses, but also as a timely confidence boost."

Find out more about Easter Revision courses run by CIFE colleges.

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