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 Post subject: IGCSE advantage?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:39 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:08 pm
Posts: 46
Location: North London
A general question to be thrown out there. Are any of you slightly concerned, the way I am, about the increasing adoption by some Independents of the IGCSE and the implications for a two-tier qualification system, one of which may be deemed inferior? Seems to me to have a lot of potential for one very uneven playing-field. What do you all think? :?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:48 pm 
I don't know if uni's will view them as different but I do think they are more rigorous preparation for A'levels and you cannot redo a module to improve your grade. Its very much a "one shot" type of exam - I think. :? I would be more worried about the effect of Pre-U/IB v's A'level when it comes to a two-tier system.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:08 pm
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Location: North London
Yes, Tipsy you're probably right. Actually there's serious competition coming in on two fronts - to both A Levels and GCSE.

Feeling even gloomier now...

Also, the possible desirability of the IGCSE over GCSE will not be measurable for another 3/4 years at least.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 6:52 pm 
Don't be gloomy :( , you just have to make sure DC are aware of "the competition" and inspire them to work harder! Of course I have never managed to do this with mine and as they reach teenagehood I doubt I ever will! :roll:


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:43 pm 
I am currently tutoring a boy in Edexcel IGCSE maths as well as two in Edexcel GCSE. I wasn't initially familiar with it and, on first acquaintance did think it more rigorous. On closer examination, however, the additional material (set theory, functions and basic differentiation) isn't at an especially difficult level--and possibly no more difficult than some of the normal aspects of a GCSE course that has been omitted.
Worse, however, is the fact that both papers allow a calculator so the child has no need to do any computation whatsoever. While the exam board has realised the flaw in this and started to design questions which preclude the calculator being used to circumvent lack of understanding, I am still old fashioned enough to believe that some element of maths examination should rely on arithmetic ability.
Anyway, I am not so convinced that IGCSE's are so impressive. Certainly still easier than the maths I was teaching in the late 70's.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:09 pm 
Am I right in thinking that IGCSE has different exam bodies and therefore different exams? I was reading somewhere that the same subject GCSE's from different exam bodies had different questions and a different grading system. Personally I think all GCSE'S and IGCSE'S are a waste of time.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:17 pm 
Yes, the Cambridge IGCSE looks harder than the Edexcel IGCSE.

Well, they may be a waste of time for your children, Tipsy, but what would you do with a child like my son who isn't capable of doing A levels? Would you have him spend 11 years at school and then leave with absolutely no qualifications at all?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:46 pm
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I am also interested in the reporting last week that seemed to be quite positive about the science (and by implication the maths) - but a couple of remarks on R4 that weren't followed up about the paucity of English lit in the IGCSE. A lot of schools that are moving to it for maths and science are not doing so for languages or English or humanities. Yet cherry picking is also odd. And are the unis really going to pay much heed??


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 Post subject: IGCSE advantage
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:33 pm
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I completely agree that GCSE is a waste of time for any able child.
You can, however, enter your child privately for IGCSE either in june or november as well as them doing the pesky GCSE with their school in june.
The amount of extra work required is not great and can easily be accomodated, especially in maths.
The school will not be enthusiastic because the ***************** government (please fill in your expletive of choice) will not allow them to count IGCSE in their statistics so they would fall to the bottom of the league tables if, say, they put children in for the IGCSE rather than the GCSE.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:29 pm 
fm,

If DS goes to Winchester and leaves at the end of Year 11 then he will have no qualifications as most of the year group don't sit GCSE's or any exam - and some do leave and are still accepted into the local sixth-form colleges without qualifications. I don't think an IGCSE or a GCSE is a measure of a childs ability - I think the grade doesn't actually show how intellectually capable the child is and does them a disservice in this area. In fact many colleges now give applicants Maths and English tests when they apply for courses regardless of their previous qualifications.


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