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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:23 am
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Please could any MFL teachers out there advise? DD and I are trying to get to the bottom of MFL re-marking but there is no one in her school until 6 September and she is getting very bothered about whether she is capable of going ahead with German A level as originally planned.

DD received great GCSE results, but German was her worst and she has chosen it for A level. Her Unit 4 (writing) controlled assessment was marked by her teacher as 57/60 raw (A*) but her results slip shows it was marked by AQA as 43/60 raw (right on the B/C boundary).
Although she got A* in her other 3 units She is now at 267/300 UMS and needed 270/300 for an A*.

She is very disappointed and has lost confidence in both her ability to do well at A level and what the A level marking would be like. This does seem very unfair on the face of it. She is at a good school, but nothing is ever said about re-marking etc.

Does anyone know if I can request a re-mark of only Unit 4? I have looked on the AQA specification and says that Unit 4 is an externally marked controlled assessment (in contrast to Unit 3 which is internally marked and externally moderated). Does this mean that we can request a re-mark or does her school have to approve and query the whole year's marks (which I assume would be extremely unlikely).
How can her marks from her teacher and AQA differ so very much?

Many thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:10 am 
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Disclaimer - not an MFL teacher but parent of a language student!

I think you can request a remark of any unit - best to ring AQA I think. However being so close to the A* boundary is a very good mark in itself.

As for whether it is OK to do A level with a very high A @ GCSE, then the answer would be yes - if she enjoys the subject.

At DS's school there were very few A* in German GCSE but nevertheless 17 went on to do AS (and only lost a few at A2). Half a dozen have gone on to courses at good universities with some German in their course eg English & German, or MFL. this was down to the fact that so many enjoyed the subject an the teaching.
In contrast I think 2 or maybe 3 did French A level.

The number doing German A level is dropping rapidly each year. A proportion of those who get the high grades, as with other MFL, are heritage speakers and hence can be difficult to get the highest grades for new learners.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Not an MFL teacher either, but the school does not know how the controlled assessment will come out. The exams changed for 2011 and the standard expected for controlled assessment is extremely high. Both of mine used A level material in their controlled assessment for both German and French.

I would encourage her to take the A level, she has shown with the three A* units that she is very capable. DS only got an A in chemistry but is still taking the A level because he loves the subject.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:35 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
Not a MFL teacher but a big fan of remarks and copy of the script. Worth every penny! Your dd has obviously worked very hard and should not have her confidence knocked by this. I too think all units can be remarked and also a copy of the script can show her where she lost the marks so she can make sure she learns from it. Of course she should do A Level German. Don't let her be put off by this. DG


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:56 am 
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Do you think the teacher had a look at Unit 4 so that both she and your DD had an idea of what she might achieve for that unit? At my last school, the teachers gave the students an indication of their mark so that they could resit if necessary (I believe this was allowed). Even so, the teacher was out by a fair bit. OH puts lots of pressure on himself each year by checking the marking of every teacher in order to avoid a wholesale lowering of the marks.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:45 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:23 am
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Yes ks10, the teacher indicated that she would award the tasks marks of 27/30 and 30/30 i.e. 57/60 but as it would be sent off and only marked externally by the board it could be given a slightly different mark, but not as low as 43 as has happened!

If DD or presumably her teacher had any idea she would be awarded 43/60 instead of 57/60 she would definitely have repeated the assessments to improve her mark. As it was, this wasn't thought necessary and she always had high marks in class for her writing. She would only have needed 47/60 to get the A* overall.

Thanks to everyone else for your replies- I must admit at the back of my mind is a nagging concern about what proportion candidates are heritage speakers or have family members who are. This must be a real advantage, unlike having parents who work in Physics or Geography etc. DH and I didn't study German at school.

I know that candidates cannot opt to have an individual re-mark in Unit 3 as this is internally marked then externally moderated so the whole cohort has to be considered, but I am still hoping to see if any exams officers/ teachers out there know if an individual re-mark for Unit 4 is permitted? AQA just referred me to DD's exams officer who isn't apparently in school again for 10 days.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:15 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:39 pm
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It seems odd that the teacher has been spot on three times and so wrong the fourth. I hope you have good news soon, although as others have said your DD has already demonstrated her ability in this subject.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
I am amazed your exams officer is not in for 10 days. Surely being available at this time is a real core part of the job. Why didn't he/she go away before the results came out? Our school was open all day until 3.30pm on results day. DG


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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DG, I agree! With A level re-marks and GCSE re-marks to be received and sent off I cannot believe there is not someone who can pursue this for you.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
The clue is in the job title. "Exams Officer!" The Exams Office at my college emailed me at 8.30pm the night before the results offering to email my results the next day. Next day after the results I emailed her and she replied promptly with an electronic copy of the form for a copy of the scripts that I was able to send back. If you want to go away at this time of year you should not be doing the job. DG


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