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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:40 pm 
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My DD is currently in Year 10 and has just sat her first Controlled Assessment in English Literature. This is worth 10% of the overall mark and I was wondering if anyone could tell me what that translates to with regard to grades. For example, if you get a C grade, what percentage of the original 10% is it? Hope that makes sense. Also, are Controlled Assessments new to schools this year? I'm not convinced that DD's school really know what they're doing and I'm trying not to panic. Any help would be really appreciated.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:27 pm 
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Location: caversham
Moonlight wrote:
My DD is currently in Year 10 and has just sat her first Controlled Assessment in English Literature. This is worth 10% of the overall mark and I was wondering if anyone could tell me what that translates to with regard to grades. For example, if you get a C grade, what percentage of the original 10% is it? Hope that makes sense. Also, are Controlled Assessments new to schools this year? I'm not convinced that DD's school really know what they're doing and I'm trying not to panic. Any help would be really appreciated.


DS1 in year 10 has had two Eng Lit. (10 and 15%) and one Eng. Lang. controlled assessments, I got the impression that there was some variation (confusion) between the different groups taking the exams.

My understanding is the weighting is not adjusted, having said that I must go and check whether they use a raw or UMS score :?

Handy hint, we found essay plans were not allowed but a mind map containing Points Evidence Analysis was ok, unless we get moderated.

DS1 complained in group speaking his mates nicked his ideas when teacher was listening, hopefully backed up by his notes. :?

Further confusion some groups have had scores back, DS1 hasn't, no news is good news?

Not sure I have helped the panic just added to the confusion. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:53 pm 
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The speaking and listening assessments are a real problem - DD1 found that all the loudmouths and drama queens predominated and marks were given to the teachers favourites rather too often. Not sure what the idea is anyway - some girls who couldn't sound an "h" (or a "t") to save their lives got great marks!
Only this morning I made enquiries with AQA OCR and Edexcel but none of them have any plans to eradicate these wretched assessments. The only way to avoid them is to do the IGCSE.
We tried to suggest to the school that girls should choose their groups and that the assessment should be conducted enough times that only one or two individuals are being examined on each occasion and the others can then facilitate matters rather than attempt to seize the limelight.

Needless to say the school took no notice. As usual.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:25 pm 
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magwich2 wrote:
and the others can then facilitate matters rather than attempt to seize the limelight.


DS1 is a bit of a shy boy, so we looked at the marking scheme and the highest marks are awarded for respecting group members opinions and moving the discussion forward, if applied fairly then the agenda hogs will be downgraded.

I wonder if this lack of confidence in the system says more about us pushy (control freakery) parents, who would like a nice old fashioned exam we can prep. for. :?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:29 pm 
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Hi stevew61, sorry but I don't really understand what you mean by a raw or UMS score. Although this Assessment is only worth 10% of the overall mark, will we get a percentage equivalent based on the grade within that Assessment? (What percentage would a C grade get, for example?) Sorry to ramble on but if you can help that would be great. :?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:41 pm 
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Moonlight wrote:
Hi stevew61, sorry but I don't really understand what you mean by a raw or UMS score.:?


I only got to grips with this last week. :shock:

DS1 has had a bellyful of well meaning teachers telling him he needs to get 90% for an A* at each and every GCSE subject.

When you dig a bit deeper yes you need 90% UMS (U Make it up Score) but when you map it back to raw scores it varies from subject to subject, for us 70% to 85%.

The key words to search are "grade boundaries" for the relevant exam board and subject.

Also have a look at past papers and marking schemes, you can really boost scores.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:12 pm 
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UMS scores are given; these then need to be translated into grades. Most exam boards have these on their sites. The whole system is an absolute nightmare for all involved.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:23 am 
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We too have been trying to get to grips with the controlled assessments; DS1 has now done 3 for English. The exam board specification does give the UMS but states that the raw scores required will not be given until the exams results are issued. So I don’t think that they can give a grade yet for each peice but you can work out from the bandings what it is likely to be.

For example, DS is doing AQA English. This is from the AQA spec –

We will publish the minimum raw mark for each grade, for each unit, when we issue candidates’ results. We will report a candidate’s unit results to centres in terms of uniform marks and qualification results in terms of uniform marks and grades.

We calculate a candidate’s total uniform mark by adding together the uniform marks for the units. We
convert this total uniform mark to a grade as follows:

GCSE English Literature (maximum uniform mark = 200)
Grade Uniform Mark Range
A* 180–200
A 160–179
B 140–159
C 120–139
D 100–119
E 80–99
F 60–79
G 40–59
U 0–39


The exam spec gives bandings for raw marks for the controlled assessment; this is one of the English language ones which is out of 10 (each module seems to have a different marking scheme – some out of 10, some 30, some out of 40 etc, but they all follow the same banding. So a Band 5 in the ones out of 40 needs 33 – 40 marks

Band 5 9 - 10 Sophisticated, impressive
Band 4 7 - 8 Confident, Assured’
Band 3 5 -6 ‘Clear, Consistent’
Band 2 3 - 4 ‘Some’
Band 1: 1 -2 ‘Limited’
Band 0 0 Nothing worthy of credit


DS has been told that band 5 is an A / A*; band 4 is a B etc. I don’t know if that is accurate but it would seem about right.

Not sure if this helps... as to the teachers not being sure, have a look at the TES website – I think there are more queries about English controlled assessments than anything else! :?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:34 pm 
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Thank you Greta2 for giving me all this information. I think I am just about getting my head around it all. Why does everything have to be so complicated? :roll:


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