Talk:GCE Ordinary Level

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I think this article is wrong about O Level grades - from inception until 1975 an O Level was just pass/fail. Exam boards would give students grades, but these were informal and did not appear on the GCE certificate. In 1975, for the first time, the A-E grading system was brought in, with grade C being equivalent to an old pass. Evidence: Commons Hansard 2 August 1976 James Groves (talk) 20:03, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

I can confirm that my O-level certificate includes grades on the 1-6 system. And it was awarded before 1975. Bluewave (talk) 20:55, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Hey - I too think this article is misleading. I took O Levels in 1975 when all grades below C were "fail" grades. You would not, for instance, claim a D or E as a "pass" on a CV when applying for a job and you would not be allowed to follow at A level any subject you got a D or below grade in. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:49, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

I agree that the article is wrong about grades but I cannot agree with James Groves. The grades did not appear on the certificate and may not have been reported publicly but that does not mean they didn't exist. I took O levels in 1970, 1971 and 1972. I haven't got my certificates in front of me but I am pretty sure University of London was the examining board. The pass grades in those years were A, C and E with F being a failure. I don't think there was anything below an F. I still have the result slips with these grades on at home if anyone wants proof. Prh47bridge (talk) 15:13, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Not for the unfamiliar[edit]

For those of us who live outside the UK, this article doesn't make much sense or explain anything. What is the exam for? What kind of students take it and in what grades/years? How is it scored? BrotherSulayman (talk) 07:51, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Agree. The article's too thin and vague. It says they were exam-based. Exam based what, exactly? Exam-based exams? What were they? Why did a person have to do them? What exactly did a person do at the O-level and what were the advantages of doing/not doing it? If you're not British, its incomprehensible from just reading the article. It sounds like they might be garde-based college-entrance exams (or based on them? or practice for them?) but it also looks like that's the A-levels job. Was it required to sit for these before attending next-stage higher learning for a particular age group? Are they exam-based lecture prep? Are they actual written exams? Oral?, etc. Tangverse (talk) 13:48, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Description of critic Madsen Pirie[edit]

Someone has written "sociological researcher Madsen Pirie", this is clearly incorrect. If the author of such a mistake put his name through a search engine they would find that he is more of an economist ( He was also Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Logic at Hillsdale College in Michigan. Whilst an intellectual clearly, he is not a sociologist. (ElizabethFry42 (talk) 22:10, 25 August 2012 (UTC))

To suggest that a reversion to O -levels is a waste of time seems a bit political and not unbiased. (talk) 10:40, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Moving content[edit]

The article at present is quite UK-centric. However the O-level qualification is still awarded today in several countries including Singapore and Mauritius, which may be based on or have their similarities to the UK O level but which also maintain their clear distinctions and unique properties. They merit mention in the main article and perhaps the UK-specific details can be moved to a UK O level article. This models what has been done in the process of cleaning up the GCE Advanced Level article. --Shruti14 talksign 11:54, 27 February 2014 (UTC)