Examining at CSE Level

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The Nuffield Secondary Science guide to examining at CSE was aimed at teachers and examiners. It began the quest, still continuing today, to find appropriate ways to examine science across the whole ability range.

The Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE)
The CSE had been introduced in 1965 to provide a leaving certificate for the majority of students in schools who did not take GCSE O-levels. There were five pass grades (one to five). Grade One was recognised as equivalent to a pass at O-level. CSE and O-levels merged into the GCSE qualification in 1985.

CSE modes
There were two popular CSE Modes:
*Mode 1 – a syllabus and examinations controlled externally by one of 14 regional CSE Boards
*Mode 3 – a syllabus and examinations devised locally, by teachers in one or more schools, with external moderation

The course team argued that, at least at first, Mode 3 examining was particularly suitable for Secondary Science because it made it easier for teachers to ensure that their students were tested in ways that reflected the objectives of the teaching.

Chapter 1: Nuffield Secondary Science and CSE examinations
Chapter 2: Constructing and presenting a Mode 3 syllabus
Chapter 3: Planning a test
Chapter 4: What types of question should we use?
Chapter 5: Course work assessment
Chapter 6: Questions based on Nuffield Secondary Science material.

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