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See attached graph showing decline in module 1 results over the past few years.

Extrapolation is always somewhat dodgy, but looking at the graph there is a clear trend.  To be honest it is more likely to be exponentially decaying rather than a linear decline, but this simple extrapolation would predict that no one at all will be passing the exam module by the end of this decade if things continue as they are!

Over the last few years I have been campaigning to make the exam 3 times 30 minute questions, in line with all the other modules (except mod2 which is completely different) and changes were made over the last couple of years to achieve this.  I still believe the change was sensible; but it clearly isn't the answer.  Time for others to make suggestions based on their theories..........
PJW,

People seem to trivialise Mod1 because it is mandatory and we all know 'safety'. Those who want to try for the exam seem to apply for Mod1 just to dabble their toes.

Most of the other modules are completed by people who's job the module's subject is. Therefore, vocational knowledge is far higher often with broader experience and specific training. Mod1 is covered by Yellowbook but Yellowbook training will not provide sufficient grounding to pass without suitable and broad experience.

Passing of the entire exam should be seen as something to be taken following completion of IPD {Initial Professional Development} or following a suitable period of SENIOR experience. I would suggest, without four of five years of constinuous development within systems, signalling or telecomms, the candiate would not have sufficient breadth or depth to ensure passing.

However, that is just my opinion and I guess I am proof that the mould isn't entirely rigid. My solution - stop people taking Mod1 until they have passed another module or if they are attempting all four modules on one day (brave foolish people!).

Jerry

I guess as far as the IRSE is concerned, they are still making money from applicants and would not want to deter people from applying (and for multiple attempts).

When studying for mod 1, I attempted every question from every past paper and can honestly say that it hasn't got harder in my opinion so why should it be made easier?

Why not send out an exam questionnaire to a random sample (or to all) of people who sat the exam asking things such as number of years experience, time spent preparing, whether they attended study groups etc. I appreciate that stats can only be so useful, but it would lead to some more useful correlation between various factors which contribute to pass/fail, rather than speculation which is all we can realistically use currently.
(06-01-2012, 11:34 AM)AlastairHayden Wrote: [ -> ]I guess as far as the IRSE is concerned, they are still making money from applicants and would not want to deter people from applying (and for multiple attempts).

I think that it a little cynical. The change in the fee structure a couple of years ago was to discourage people from applying for more than they were ready for. It used to be a larger fee for one paper and then a small increment for additional papers whereas now it is simply a fee multiplied by the number of papers, so there is no financial penalty for spreading your sittings.

I don't know the numbers, but I do not think that the IRSE runs the exam to make money and taking into account the paid admin and the modest honararia paid to exam volunteers, I would be surprised if there is any surplus to speak of.
I agree with Peter; I actually think the examiners themselves must resent the work that they no doubt have to do on the weekends leading up to Christmas when such a large percentage of what they are ploughing through is well off the mark.

Having said that I do agree with the main point that Alastair was making. It is time to correlate the results with facts. For all we know the pass rate for "new entrants" may be staying constant and it may be those who failed last year added to those who failed the year before, added to those who failed the year previously that are gradually accumulating a mountain of "exam rejects"; since mod 1 is the compulsory paper, the same people could be coming around and around and around again failing every time. In truth this probably is not a major factor (although I am sure there must be an element of it); the point Alastair was making is that we don't know, yet the data to be able to know would be available to the IRSE and it is probably high time that somone tried to analyse it and indeed seek to obtain additional info from the students themselves.

I think Jerry also has made some very sensible points; in general I agree that many attempt without enough length of experience- there are always those who are good at exams, prepared to devote a lot of time to studying and who have benefited from a comprehensive training scheme that can do after about 3 years in the industry, but for the majority of the others then I think 5 years' experience is a realistic minimum. This then raise the question: "why are people in such a hurry?"- I wonder whether it is the expectation of employers and the HR managers, annual performance reviews etc.....

(06-01-2012, 12:06 PM)Peter Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-01-2012, 11:34 AM)AlastairHayden Wrote: [ -> ]I guess as far as the IRSE is concerned, they are still making money from applicants and would not want to deter people from applying (and for multiple attempts).

I think that it a little cynical. The change in the fee structure a couple of years ago was to discourage people from applying for more than they were ready for. It used to be a larger fee for one paper and then a small increment for additional papers whereas now it is simply a fee multiplied by the number of papers, so there is no financial penalty for spreading your sittings.

I don't know the numbers, but I do not think that the IRSE runs the exam to make money and taking into account the paid admin and the modest honararia paid to exam volunteers, I would be surprised if there is any surplus to speak of.

(06-01-2012, 01:02 PM)PJW Wrote: [ -> ]...This then raise the question: "why are people in such a hurry?"- I wonder whether it is the expectation of employers and the HR managers, annual performance reviews etc.....

It seems the general understanding of competence is gradually decreasing - especially by non-technical staff who see titles, such as CEng, MIRSE, etc., important to "sell" the business and its abilities. To quote;

"Note on competence; ‘Competence’ is defined by the Office of Rail Regulation (2007) as ‘the ability to perform activities to the standards expected in employment; it is a combination of practical and thinking skills, experience and knowledge’. This has been clarified by the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (2009) by reference to work by Baker & Durrant (2008):"

"Competence = ability (skills + experience + knowledge) + attitude (commitment and willingness to perform)."
plz can u provide me the module-1 study material -chaithankumara@gmail.com
If you have registered for the exam then there is the Module 1 Study Pack on the DVD that you should have been sent (I think they were sent in May).

However for mod1 in particular, you need wide experience and therefore a lot of reading is very useful to build up domain knowledge etc There are lots of attempted past questions on this website and pointers to lots of other external resources such as accident reports, rail and other.

Mod1 is not the type of exam where all you have to do is learn one text book; the Study Pack is a good start and points to some other resources to support. Do not underestimate the work you will need to do for it; start now for Oct 2014 by all means, but unless you are already well advanced with your study forget Oct 2013- you would be wasting your time and that of the examiners.


(09-08-2013, 04:40 AM)chaithan Wrote: [ -> ]plz can u provide me the module-1 study material -chaithankumara@gmail.com