Help - IGCSE and IGCSE

(10 Posts)
MountandSlash Mon 24-Dec-12 21:45:11

My son is not keen on doing coursework/controlled assessments on any GCSE course, as he as only has one year before Year 12 (Sixth form). He is considering dropping the AQA English language and literature GCSE course because he has to start the subject from scratch as he only just recently moved to his current school .

He is considering doing the Cambridge IGCSE CIE English as a first language without the course work, i am concerned as it is reputed to be harder than its GCSE counterpart.

Should my son drop the GCSE AQA English Language & Literature subject and start the CIE IGCSE English as a first language?.

glaurung Wed 26-Dec-12 01:06:05

The Edexcel iGCSE seems to give at least as good if not better results than the GCSE. Some schools these days do both to 'game' the system and increase the number of passes (schools that did this this year completely avoided the GCSE grade boundary fiasco problems and their students got the grades they thought they deserved, so this year at least it was probably easier). I don't know if the Cambridge one is harder, but Edexcel doesn't seem to be so perhaps he could do that instead?

The other point is that it is possible to transfer English CA work from one school to another if that would help him? The problem is if the books/course being studied at the new school are different they may not map to the course at the new school so he'd need support to complete the remaining tasks on the old course, but that wouldn't be as onerous as starting from scratch.

happygardening Wed 26-Dec-12 08:11:47

I don't know that much about the IGCSEs except what you've already said: no course work and they are meant to be harder. My DS2's school all boys and super selective only offers them and we were recently talking to a friend who know a lot about the Latin and he said parts are as difficult as AS Latin, a friends DS was surprised how much harder the maths is in comparison with the GSCE maths he sat. From what I understand there is more scope for studying each subject in further depth, that IGCSEs are a better preparation for a level (or in my DS's case Pre U) helping to reduce the "big jump" that so many teachers children and parents talk about.
Finally in my experience of having DS's that they don't like course work. DS1 (top performing state comp) failed GCSE Eng Laguage last year because of the course work and in his retake the course work pulled his overall mark down to a C and I can see the same thing happening with science GCSE.

happygardening Wed 26-Dec-12 08:14:34

Should have added my DS2 school only does the Cambridge IGCSE.

Xenia Wed 26-Dec-12 20:25:23

SOme of my children just do those.

You mention a combined lit and lang GCSE. That sounds very strange. Surely most children do GCSE enligsh lang and another which is English lit. Is he doing some dumbed down combined thing which employers will hate? If so yes give it up.

happygardening Thu 27-Dec-12 11:52:29

At my DS2 school IGCE Eng Lit is not offered neither is history, although both are extensively studied and the boys sit rigorous internal exams at least twice a year, only Eng Lang it doesn't seem to have any impact on the outcomes re universities etc for the boys. Both are studied at Pre U with enormous success.

MountandSlash Fri 28-Dec-12 08:03:32

The AQA English language & literature that my son is doing is done by the majority of GCSE students in his school .

bulby Fri 28-Dec-12 08:18:34

You say you have 'heard' igcse is harder. I, and many others, who have taught both will tell you that they are equal difficulty and the 'igcse is harder' myth is perpetuated by certain schools and the government for the perceived qudos it receives. If your child dislikes coursework do the igcse but they really do have no real fiffrrnce on paper despite what some people say,

bulby Fri 28-Dec-12 08:19:57

Difference ffs, not fffirrncr or whatever it was I wrote.

happygardening Fri 28-Dec-12 09:27:05

bulby I'm not sure it is a myth certainly not for all subjects. The person who told us the Latin was harder has no axe to grind either way he tutors with enourmous success to undergrad level and also GCSE/IGCSE and AS/A and has done for over 40 years. One of the set text for 2013 IGCSE Latin apparently would never be found on an GSCE paper only an AS/A level paper, he feels it's definitely a better preparation for A level as the vocab requirements are significantly more extensive and for Latin/classics enthusiasts (I believe these people do exists) significantly more interesting. The comment made about the maths was made by a friends DS with an A* at GCSE and currently doing AS maths he struggled to answer some of the questions. Finally I believe for the oral in the MFL you are not allowed to prepare the answers at all in advance for IGCSE unlike GCSE. I have recently compared the science papers (more my area) and certainly the wording of the questions in the GCSE is more i think understandable is a good word and thus more accessible to those who are not natural scientists the answers required seemed less in depth but Im prepared to accept that im wrong about that. But ultimately it is irrelevant as you said the fact that there is no course work involved is what for many makes it a more attractive proposition.

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