Each year, the announcement of school GCSE results seems to spark the same, ongoing discussion – are O-level exams more or less difficult than the modern day GCSE? As no one has taken both to provide a true comparison, the question has so far gone unanswered. Year after year, the exam results announcements are followed with news of record pass rates, seemingly fuelling the dispute. As well as the difficulty debate, the question as to whether girls or boys perform better in their exams is also a common topic for discussion.
In order to settle the debate, Oxford Open Learning has created the Would You Pass? test, in which participants answer a selection of questions from both sets of exams, side by side. The test incorporates five questions taken from a real O-level exams from decades ago, as well as five questions from a modern-day GCSE created by the examining body OCR, across three subjects: Science, Mathematics and Geography. By answering all ten, participants can see for themselves which type of exam has a higher level of difficulty, as well as where their individual skills lie.