Wednesday, 24 June 2009

A change of profession, perhaps...?

I just took the BBC News Magazine's online GCSE English Literature quiz. I got four our of seven. Oh bollocks.

In my defence, whilst the questions are all regarding potential GCSE English Literature texts, the quiz is just that - a quiz with multiple choice answers - and not an examination. You would never find a multiple choice question in a GCSE English Lit paper, nor would you find a question which gives you one mark for a "right answer". Of the three I missed out on, only one will I hold my hands up that I should have got it right (the one about Much Ado About Nothing). One I missed because I've never read Jane Eyre, and another because in my view there was more than one "right answer", and it just so happened that BBC Bitesize defined the other one as "right". Essentially, it felt more like a recollection of facts about GCSE Literature texts than an examination of actual understanding, which is what literary study is all about. The question on Of Mice And Men I also felt as an English teacher and graduate was open to debate on which answer would get me a mark. I might write more about the purpose (if any) of the quiz at a later date, but as I'm at work at the moment I'll leave it at that for now.

Anyway, have a go yourself and see if you know more about English Literature than I do.

Also, I should have teh interwebz back at home from this afternoon (finally... *pained groan* [not necessarily from missing the 'net but from the hassle of actually trying to get my account transferred to my new address]), so my entries here should hopefully increase in frequency.


James said...

2 out of 7, pretty much with the odds of random clicking. Ah well.

I agree though that for some of the questions you could pick your answer and argue it.

TheTelf said...

4 out of 7, huzzah, though I would be willing to argue my case for the Light Brigade one.

And yes, multiple choice = non-ideal testing for interpretative knowledge.

Hanspan said...

I got 6 out of 7 (and nearly chose the right answer for the Much Ado About Nothing one, though I thought answer b) might count as a spoonerism...).

I've never read of Mice and of Men but know vaguely what happens and although I've read that portion of Jane Eyre, it was long ago and I never finished the book and I don't remember what happened. I've also read To Kill a Mocking Bird but the same applies there with regard to memory.

Most of my answers where intuitive guesses.