Playing The GCSE Numbers Racket

The numbers racket is a form of illegal gambling or lottery played mostly in poor and working class neighbourhoods. The punter attempts to pick three digits to match those that will be randomly drawn the following day from sources such as horse races, the stock market, or perhaps even… the new GCSE numbered grading system that now goes from 9 to 1 instead of 1 to 9?

Senior citizen Joe Blogs today celebrated his grandson’s success with his GCSE grades. “He achieved eight grade 1’s!” he boasted to disbelieving friends at the local pub.

“We never expected him to do that well, especially as his teachers kept saying how unsatisfactory his work was, and that he wouldn’t get his E back. Mind you I wasn’t surprised they had confiscated it – I kept telling him not to take drugs into school – but I expect his teachers needed it themselves.”

When I took my exams back in the 1960s I only managed a couple of grade 3’s and a bunch of 5’s. I expect next he’ll be applying to Oxbridge, wherever that is – I’ve never been able to find it on any map. I can’t see him joining this Russell Pop Group thing though because he’s got no musical ability whatsoever.

Apparently he also won’t now need to bother with these daft new Tea-levels. I mean, I know we’re a nation of tea drinkers, but I can’t see why we need a qualification in it. Instead I’ve been told he’ll become a ‘neat’ – whatever that means – but we’ve always insisted he must be smart and tidy at all times, so I would have thought he would be one already.

It’s all thanks to that nice Mr Gove and that Glibbering idiot assistant of his. Without them I’m sure my grandson would have failed all his GCSEs. It’s just a shame he didn’t get to take any practical arts or technical subjects though. At least they might have helped him get a job.”

Meanwhile Emily Posh’s grandmother was in tears:

“We paid all that money to send her to an exclusive private school, and all she got was a string of 9’s. What use is that? In my day, with results like those we’d be lucky to end up as a washroom assistant cleaning toilets.”

However Joe Blog’s grandson and Emily Posh join an increasing list of youngsters now successfully applying to join companies where the human resource managers don’t yet understand how the new GCSE grading system works. Fred Post of ACP Recruitment Ltd commented:

“It’s all a bit confusing, but to be honest we’re not particularly bothered what grades applicants get at GCSE – I mean the last thing we want is someone with academic qualifications coming in and lecturing us on the theory of business management. Not spilling my tea as they bring it to my desk is probably the most important thing I look for in a school-leaver. So, as you can imagine, these new Tea-level qualifications are going to be really helpful.”

A spokesperson for Ofqual stated that changing the GCSE letter grades for numbers in the reverse order “confusing be not would”, and that the easy way to understand them was “734829 549 3355”.

Joe Blog’s grandson’s school was contacted for comment but it was explained that the Multi Academy Trust’s Senior Management Team were currently unavailable as they were all on holiday high as kites on the school’s luxury yacht in the Med.

Now that’s what All Change Please! calls successfully running the numbers racket…

4 comments on “Playing The GCSE Numbers Racket

  1. Does anyone (apart from the bean counting accountants that probably come up with the idea) know why the powers that be felt it necessary to change the A**A*ABCDEF scoring to 987654321?.

    Everywhere else we use A or 1 to indicate the best or first, winners of races come 1st, 2nd and 3rd and AAA 1st Class Plumbers comes top of alphabetical lists.

    Only in scoring games do the winners usually win by getting more points (and they therefore come 1st). Are the new exams a scoring game?

    Degrees come in 1st, 2nd and 3rd variants, should we now score them the other way around?
    “Oh, I did really well, I got a 3rd class degree with honours and they’re sending me the certificate pronto by 3rd Class post.”

    1st Class train carriages should also now become 2nd Class because 2 is better than 1 (obviously), and while we’re at it why don’t we make 9 the new number 1 because it’s clearly superior to all the other digits being the highest in value.

    “Straight in at the top of the charts at number 9 in the Top Poptastic Nine is ‘Another Nine Bites The Dust’ by Queen”

    Was this new weird reverse exam scoring system invented just to please those making tables of performance so they can more easily see how one school compares to another?

    If that’s all they wanted to do then it’s not rocket science to easily convert ABCDEF values into 98764321 in a spreadsheet. I see no reason for the change whatsoever and it seems to fly in the face of all logic and tradition.

    Getting three A’s sounds a lot better than three 9’s.

    At least they could have made it 10 as the top score, we all know what 10 out of 10 means, but a 9 just doesn’t cut it as the best.

    Anyone know why this change was made? The ninth person to answer wins a prize for being best.

  2. I heard that DfE did start with the numbers being 1 = highest,, but did not want to get confused at KS4 with the KS3 national curriculum levels (1 = lowest, 9 = highest),–OOHHH that would be the national curriculum levels that they got rid of a couple of years ago

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