GCSE Support Thread 2013

(682 Posts)
wolvesarerunning Thu 18-Apr-13 16:33:19

I've been waiting for someone to start this (was on the 2012 thread last year and am unlucky enough to have dc 18 months apart in consecutive school years!) Please join me to support and share the angst with only four weeks to go now to the first written exam.

creamteas Fri 03-May-13 19:43:21

DD heard today that her coursework for the ICT Diploma has been moderated and confirmed as a Merit smile

She has completed two units which gives GCSE equivalence as far as I know.

So that's one less to worry about

MsAverage Sat 04-May-13 22:51:41

Creamteas, congratulations!

My DD is also doing a diploma in ICT (work in progress). I do not fully understand is the status of such a diploma. Ok, it is an equivalent of a GCSE. Does it appear on the GCSE list? How does that GCSE list look like? Can you "hide" from it the things you'd prefer not to show?

Sorry, I feel that I asked these questions before, but just can not remember the answer. sad

roisin Sun 05-May-13 07:48:34

When you get your results from school, they will all be on one sheet: btecs, gcses, whatever.

Certificates are issued by individual exam boards, so will not all be on the same certificate.

For some things only gcses count: eg our local sixth form college have a place-limited "academically very able" pupils programme. Eligibility is based on your mean average grade (last year an A average would get you in), but they only count gcses, nothing else.

As to whether you have to declare them, if you claim the qualification, then on certain things - like UCAS forms, you have to put everything on. In some circumstances it's acceptable not to.

basildonbond Sun 05-May-13 08:35:14

Can I join in? Ds (y11) taking ten mostly IGCSEs this summer. No modules so it's all down to these next few weeks - eek

After a year of arsing about he finally started to do some work at Easter and his form tutor says he's been much more focused since the start of this term but I do worry that he's left it all a little too late

He is ridiculously bright so is in no danger of failing any of them however he's convinced he's going to get all As and A*s which I just can't see happening with the amount of work he's done in the last year although he's certainly capable ...

He's come down with a stinker of a cold this weekend so concentrating yesterday was all but impossible - fingers crossed he'll be recovered by the time the exams start on Thursday.

Has anyone else's dc got a really long drawn out timetable? Ds starts this week but the last one is not until 20th June

Good luck to all the dc starting this week too

RussiansOnTheSpree Sun 05-May-13 08:40:55

DD1s first exam is 13 May. Her last is 20 June. Actually, no, her first exam was last Tuesday, when she did her creative task for music. She has 12 papers before half term, and 12 after. sad

Mrsrobertduvall Sun 05-May-13 08:44:08

Dd starts on 14th May..no idea how many exams she's got.
I am keeping well out of it.

But she is working hard, bolstered with confidence from passing maths a few weeks ago. Oh joy. We had that down as a retake in November sad

RussiansOnTheSpree Sun 05-May-13 08:54:53

We have copies of the timetable pinned up all over the house. Plus it's programmed into our icalendars. I'm not in the country the whole time, so the timetable has to be where everyone can access it, because with me not the her brother is as likely to remember what is going on as her dad!

roisin Sun 05-May-13 09:27:02

Ds starts on 14th May and finishes on 14th June.
11 exams before half term - 14 hrs
6 exams - 10 hrs - after half term.

creamteas Sun 05-May-13 09:32:14

All qualifications have an equivalence in terms of difficulty (level 1 = d-g GCSE, level 2 = a*-C GCSE, up to level 8=PhD).

They also have an equivalence in terms of size (eg how many GCSEs/A levels they compare to).

The first is generally agreed on, the second can be disputed (and there have been changes in how these are counted for league tables at level 2). So at GCSE level usually most people will see one Level 2 BTEC (or whatever) as one GCSE.

If any sixth form/college did not accept them, I would think this could be challenged as this is unfairly discriminating against an applicant. It is not the choice of a pupil as to which qualifications a school offers. Ours, for example, only offers BTEC for ICT so a GCSE is not possible.

creamteas Sun 05-May-13 09:35:12

DD also starts on the 13th May and finishes on the 14th June.

13 exams in total
8 before half-term
5 after

circular Sun 05-May-13 11:45:57

DD starts 13/5 too, last exam 18/6, with week after half term exam free.
5 papers before half-term, 5 after.
Week after half term exam free.
English Language & Maths already done.

A bit too relaxed with her revision, with 'breaks' lasting longer than study time.

Creamteas One of the sixth forms DD is holding a place at will only look at 8 A* to Cs in GCSE - not interested in the 'equivalents'.

roisin Sun 05-May-13 12:24:23

I know the btec science is changing, but the current spec (this year's yr11) is very different from the GCSE, and most sixth forms won't accept you to do science A levels if you only have the BTEC.

creamteas Sun 05-May-13 13:00:30

It could be argued that a BTEC does not give the grounding for an A level, but not that it doesn't count at all.

If one of my DC were being deprived a place at a sixth form, because their school offers a BTEC instead of a GCSE in a particular subject (when this is unrelated to A level choice) I would be challenging this.

All the schools/colleges round here express their entry in A-C GCSEs, but they all accept BTECs even though they don't always state this.

DFD has just got her first ever B on a past paper! grin SO proud of her- not the best but given how far she's come a huge achievement.

creamteas Sun 05-May-13 14:27:23

Great news marinagasolina.

Of course it is the best, if it is the best for her smile

Hope this is good omen for the exams to come.

KatyMac Sun 05-May-13 14:27:47

So what is the difference between a foundation paper & a higher paper?

webwiz Sun 05-May-13 14:28:02

That's great Marina looks like all the hard work she's been doing (and yours!) is starting to pay off.

KatyMac Sun 05-May-13 14:30:24

BTW B is great - I think B is fab

I only got one B

Thanks smile That's exactly what I've told her, as long as does the best that she can I don't care how many As and A*s she gets.

KatyMac on a higher paper, you get questions covering the full range of work on the syllabus right up to the A* level work, and candidates can achieve anything from an A* to a U. Foundation papers are for less academically able students- the questions on the paper cover the easier work on the syllabus, but the highest mark a candidate can get is a C. So for a child that struggles and is aiming for a C at the very highest, the foundation paper might be the best option as all of the questions will be at a lower level without the A and A* questions which would be over their heads. For a child who is C/b borderline, it tends to be worth going for the higher tier paper and therefore being in with a chance of getting the higher grades.

roisin Sun 05-May-13 14:40:17

In most (all?) subjects the Foundation paper will cover a different (smaller) curriculum, and the questions are on a more limited range of topics. It covers grades C - G. The C grade pass mark o a Foundation paper I often very high.
The Higher Paper covers grade A* - D, so obviously will contain some very challenging questions on more difficult topics. But the pass rate for a C can me very low in some cases.

KatyMac Sun 05-May-13 14:42:29

So like you'd have to get (say) 85 to get a C on a foundation paper but (say) 45/50 to get a C on a higher paper?

Surely it's easier to get lower marks on a higher paper?

roisin Sun 05-May-13 14:55:48

It's not as easy as that.
In English the reading texts on the higher paper are much longer, much more demanding vocabulary, and the questions are aimed at a much higher level. Our C/D borderline students mostly just wouldn't be able to access the Higher paper texts.

Similarly with Maths, if the marks are for questions on topics you don't understand, it doesn't matter where the boundaries are, you won't be able to pass.
In summer 2012 for Mod3 Maths (AQA) you needed 33/80 on Higher paper for a C, but 58/80 on the Foundation.

KatyMac Sun 05-May-13 14:56:53

Oh it's Spanish the teacher said "You will see from her statement of entry that she is entered for both the Foundation and Higher papers which is completely normal; this way it leaves our options open about which paper to be entered for until the very last minute. "

roisin Sun 05-May-13 15:06:24

Yes, a case in point I would say. Generally the C+ pass marks on MFL Foundation papers are high. BUT if you opt for the Higher papers and your vocab's not up to it, you can leave with nothing.

For dodgy B grade targets, lots of centres aim for high marks on controlled assessments, then a C+ on Foundation exam papers = possible to get a B overall, but little risk of bombing the exam an dropping off the bottom. (CAs are worth 60%)

KatyMac Sun 05-May-13 15:09:52

Oh god - so we just hope the teacher reads it right

Coursework was B, A, B; Orals C, C

C is all we are aiming for I think

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