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Should I demand to be entered into the higher tier paper gcse

(53 Posts)
CheeseToasty Sun 05-Jun-16 22:10:57

Hi all, hope you can give me some advice. I am retaking GCSE English this year and was entered into the foundation paper however I was not informed of this until very recently. The teaching of the course has been up and down due to the teacher quitting half was through which is why when we asked about tier earlier we did not get an answer. While I only need a C I was disappointed to be entered into foundation.
The manager at my college told me that if I only need a C then I would be better sitting the foundation paper. However I have been looking at the grade boundaries and to get a C in foundation I would have to score a lot more than I would on the higher. The exam questions a exactly the same on both questions, except that the foundation has a few bullet points on two questions for support. What shall I do?

DowntonIsMyHome Sun 05-Jun-16 22:19:08

are you able to answer the questions without the bullet point support?

I'd ask to go on the higher paper; why cap your possibilities? what if you got, say 80% on the foundation paper when the most you could get is a C, but 80% on the higher tier would be a B, for example?

fruityb Sun 05-Jun-16 22:21:09

If you're sitting the AQA paper I can assure you the questions a

jonsnowssocks Sun 05-Jun-16 22:21:20

In terms of grading, you can get higher marks for simpler answers at foundation level. I think it may be too late to change tier now though - have you checked it's still possible?

mygrandchildrenrock Sun 05-Jun-16 22:22:45

I'd do the foundation paper and get the C. Yes, you'll be left wondering how well you could have done on the higher paper but you'll have the C that you need.
I needed a Maths GCSE and did the foundation paper, got my C as did almost everyone else in the class. It was nightschool so only about 20 weeks teaching in total. Everyone on the course needed a C for some reason or other, many would be nurses and teachers.

Coconutty Sun 05-Jun-16 22:23:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fruityb Sun 05-Jun-16 22:23:14

Are not the same at all, and we usually advise retake people to do the foundation. While you do need to get more than 40/80 for the c as it is on higher, they're not marked like for like at all. There is comparison of language on higher whereas its presentation on foundation.

If you've learned the foundation you do not want to be swapping at this stage without advance practise and plenty of it.

CatatonicLadybug Sun 05-Jun-16 22:23:21

Have you taken a mock paper that's been graded? Or do you know how far off you were from the mark when you first attempted the exam? Those would be a big part in my decision, as it can be very easy to get the D on the higher paper if something didn't come up perfectly for your preparation.

fruityb Sun 05-Jun-16 22:25:14

You can swap on the day but I really wouldn't. It's actually harder to get the 40 marks on higher than the 53 (I think it was) on foundation. The questions in section B are very similar but the papers are not the same at all.

Curioushorse Sun 05-Jun-16 22:27:25

No, it doesn't quite work like that. On the foundation paper, you will have easier texts, shorter texts, and the bullet points guide you specifically towards what you need to do in order to get a C.

The C grade will be the same on both papers....BUT, you are more likely to get it on the foundation paper, because the questions guide you towards it.

Honestly, at this point, I wouldn't change. If this is a resit, then you have had a previous paper in which you did not get a C, so therefore this is not something you find easy.

Some things to consider:

1. No, the questions are not the same on both papers, and the expectations are not the same. I don't know what your exam board is, but on ours (AQA), foundation students actually have more questions to answer, so as to break the 'high mark' questions up for them. They are also required to address slightly different assessment criteria. If one of my students wanted to swap tiers now, I'd worry that they would end up getting a lower mark simply because they didn't know the requirements of the questions.

2. Have you actually been getting top grades on your preparation papers? If not, then it's not worth switching now.

3. It would cost a fair bit for you to change now.

Good luck- and it's good to hear your confidence. I hope you do very well!

PurpleDaisies Sun 05-Jun-16 22:28:22

I'd trust that the college know what they're doing. How have they arrived at the decision to put you in for the foundation paper? Presumably you've done mocks?

My subject is science so I'm not an expert on English marking but I do occasionally have students wanting to try the higher paper when they've been entered for the foundation. Almost invariably the foundation tier is the right decision. Although you need fewer marks to get a c on a higher tier paper they are more difficult to get.

Talk to your tutor without going in all guns blazing and see what they say.

Coconutty Sun 05-Jun-16 22:32:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fruityb Sun 05-Jun-16 22:33:47

It's on Tuesday at 9, very late in the day!

Grumpysfirstwife Sun 05-Jun-16 22:44:33

I'm going to go against the grain here and say if you believe you will be able to gain an A or B grade and you have had good feedback from your tutor saying you may achieve that then do it.
The reason I say this is because my DS was also put in for the foundation paper 2 years ago along with the entire class and he genuinely felt he had done enough studying to get at least a c on the higher paper. His tutor wasn't sure but allowed him the higher paper entry on condition he would resit at the foundation level if he scored ungraded and he actually got a B at GCSE. grin
If you only need a C grade for your future then I see no point in sitting the higher paper but if you think you may need a B or A grade then go for it.
My DS wants to be a physicist so really needed the higher grade.

CheeseToasty Sun 05-Jun-16 22:46:14

Thank you so much for the advice. The exam is with edexcel and it is just english I am doing, not lit or lan. I have looked at past papers and the questions are indeed the same however I have looked at the marking guidance which does differ slightly. Yes it is a re-sit but it was 16 years ago! I have had a go a past papers but not had them marked. I found that I could answer well but not quick enough which makes me worry about getting enough done to secure the mark I need. My controlled assessments are about b/c but not 100% sure as one is still to be marked as it got lost when teacher left! The decision on our tier appears to have been decided right after our first controlled assessment which is the only one I didn't do so well with.

Gide Sun 05-Jun-16 22:47:01

Very late for GCSE English. What board? Some foundation papers allow for up to a B.

Coconutty Sun 05-Jun-16 22:49:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheOddity Sun 05-Jun-16 22:53:02

Do the foundation one and nail the C. As someone who marks work, I can tell you it is easier to stand out as the very worst than the very best, so by doing foundation you will hopefully sit somewhere comfortably at the top. If you do the higher, you risk getting a U which is really awful! I know people who did higher maths who were very good at maths and ended up with a U while the set of people below got C.

Weareboatsremember Sun 05-Jun-16 22:54:50

If it's edexcel, definitely go for H tier. the questions are exactly the same, and you're more likely to get the C on H than you are on F tier. I only enter kids for F tier if they're unlikely to score more than 10 marks on the H paper. Good luck! I'm hoping for act 3 scene 1 or 5 for R&J, and Curleys Wife or Crooks for OM&M

CheeseToasty Sun 05-Jun-16 22:54:58

I know it is but the college was very late in informing us. I cant get B as if I get all available in the exam I still haven't got quite enough from controlled assessments.

Leslieknope45 Sun 05-Jun-16 22:55:19

You'll have to pay won't you? If you only need a C I would do foundation

Weareboatsremember Sun 05-Jun-16 22:56:09

Also, your controlled assessment will have been sent off to the exam board by now, so will definitely have been marked.

HeddaGarbled Sun 05-Jun-16 22:57:34

If it's this month, you have already been entered, the papers will be at the college now and it is too late to change.

CheeseToasty Sun 05-Jun-16 23:00:44

My only concern is that I will not finish as I am slow and not get all the marks. I think I will only get through 4 questions from part a and b and part c . full marks total to 76 so would have to do very well.Thanks again for all the responses.

HeddaGarbled Mon 06-Jun-16 00:11:24

Make sure that you answer all the questions. You will lose more marks missing whole questions than you will stopping part way through answering previous questions. Work out in advance how much time you will have for each question and then stick to it.

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