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 Post subject: GCSE papers
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:20 pm
Posts: 114
Hi,

My Ds is in year 7, so I have got some time before we start thinking about GCSE options and board.

What I have heard so far is that GCSE papers are based on board, but are they based on the sets? I know children are taught based on the set they are in but what about papers? Does every child get same paper Maths/English ?

Science - I understand it will be based on individual science or Combined Science and board.

thanks


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 Post subject: Re: GCSE papers
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:20 pm
Posts: 4660
The only one I know about is Maths, so I can answer that one for you.

Your child will be entered for one of two exams, either the higher tier, or the foundation tier, depending on how they perform in class.

I believe (but please correct me if I'm wrong everyone) the higher tier is for those expected to gain between a D and an A (*).

The foundation is from D downwards (sorry, I don't know the lowest mark achieveable.

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 Post subject: Re: GCSE papers
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:14 pm
Posts: 612
Location: essex
Hi,

The school I work in uses three different exam boards AQA, OCR and Edexcel. I believe each board sets an exam for each subject and departments within the school choose which syllabus/exam style they prefer.
Eg our English department has chose AQA , RE has chosen OCR and Maths uses edexcel.

I would have thought that most schools are the same, picking and choosing between the exam boards.

As far as I am aware all subjects provide a higher and a foundation tier exam . Top sets would be entered for the higher and less able children entered for foundation for which the highest grade achievable is a C.

In the science GCSE taken by our school, I am afraid I cannot remember which board, the students can choose which tier to sit on the day of the exam as they have both sets of questions on the paper. Therefore if they feel confident, they can have a bash at the higher tier even if their teacher has recommended they try the easier paper and vice versa.
That is exactly what my daughter did, she was supposed to be taking the higher paper, did not fancy the questions on the physics and biology papers so did the foundation ones. She was therefore condemned to only getting C's. Slightly miffed at the time but it is all water under the bridge now!


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 Post subject: Re: GCSE papers
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:20 pm
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This is why I'm against these types of papers.

There should only be one paper and everyone should be assessed on that. So, if a candidate's having a good day, they can attain one or two grades higher than they might if they sat the foundation paper. Equally if someone's having a bad day they can at least get a grade rather than failing the paper altogether.

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 Post subject: Re: GCSE papers
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:36 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:20 pm
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I agree with you Snowdrops and I am also against set system.


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 Post subject: Re: GCSE papers
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:14 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:33 pm
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The two levels of maths paper are rather different. The "higher" level is not very high but the foundation level paper is very low indeed - best described as the undersea mine level!
We have entered our 9 year old for this years foundation level maths - not because we are chinese parents but to give him something to work for( he doesn't like work much but he does like new lego sets!!).
DD2 (age 13) is going to do the higher level as there is quite a difference (but for the same reasons of shameless bribery + when I get even more annoyed with her school they can say goodbye to their 100% 5 a*-c gcses as she will have been a private candidate elsewhere!)
As I have said though they are very different standards just like the old O-level and CSE but called the same so that vast numbers of parents are fooled.


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 Post subject: Re: GCSE papers
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
With maths there is a large overlap between the higher and foundation papers within Edexcel. Many of the questions are on both papers. To only take one exam would make it rather long. However, most pupils finish with ample time anyway. If a pupil has a target grade of D or above they should enter for the higher tier unless they have a good reason not to do so. In maths this can be terror of the hard questions and therefore the need to build up marks on an easy paper. To gain a C on a foundation paper requires over 70% whereas on a higher paper it is under 30%, but some pupils are unhappy with the higher style of questions.


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