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Gcse's..anyone done them or planning to soon?

(12 Posts)
homeedmam11 Wed 20-Jul-11 19:31:11

We won't be doing them soon, quite a while off, but does anyone know how to go about arranging them? preparation etc?

FionaJNicholson Wed 20-Jul-11 19:59:10

I put a page about this on my website with some links to Education Otherwise and the home education exams wiki and yahoo group.

edyourself.org/articles/exams.php

Having said that though, my son's 18 and we haven't done any exams.

streakybacon Thu 21-Jul-11 06:58:25

Ds did Maths IGCSE in June. One of the local home edders identified an examination centre that accepted external candidates and we made contact there. They were very helpful. We just went over to register with ID and payment and he turned up on the day/s to take the exams.

We went for IGCSE rather than GCSE because it's assessment only so you can prepare for the final exam in your own time. There is no coursework to mark (which can be expensive to get marked) so it keeps costs down.

Have you heard of Catherine Mooney's IGCSE English courses for home edders? Google her - she's very good, though not cheap. Ds is starting her Eng Lang course later this year.

SDeuchars Thu 21-Jul-11 12:11:47

Have a look at www.home-education-exams.org.uk and join the associated Yahoo! group - huge amounts of experience there.

neolithics Thu 21-Jul-11 14:06:51

I've name changed to advise caution against the Catherine Mooney course. We found the service very inefficient (after we'd made payment), getting all the course materials proved troublesome. We were even lied to at one point about some of the correspondence/course not replied to and dealt with because they were 'on holiday' and had not received it; but of course they'd already signed for it personally the day after my sending.
Needless to say that was the final straw - we cancelled still not having received all the course materials. And they prefer email and written contact with your child too, rather than telephone updates as some of our other tutors do.

Join the Yahoo group.

julienoshoes Thu 21-Jul-11 14:55:25

really neolithics?
My children didn't use them at all, but I've heard nothing but good about Catherine Mooney.
But yes OP join the yahoo group-you'll get lots of up to date info there.

JazminKennedy Thu 21-Jul-11 15:16:53

All the home edders i know have also gone through the IGCSE process, 5 of the kids i've known from a very young age have recieved their places at Uni in Sept smile

My children will be taking their exams early as i do not believe in waiting till they are 16 and doing all of them in one go x

neolithics Thu 21-Jul-11 16:15:20

Yes, really and I'm sure MN can verify I'm a genuine poster if that's a concern.
It was a dreadful experience we had with the Catherine Mooney course, in the end we lost all confidence in them. I wasted so much time chasing them up (there was great difficulty in getting any response) I could have arranged the course myself.

They are a small concern (numbers enrolled), however. Perhaps I expected too much from them in terms of service and efficiency. Though they are also cheaper than some of the GCSE distance learning providers.

Little Arthur is another IGCSE provider I've heard does have a good reputation, and reasonable pricing too.

julienoshoes Thu 21-Jul-11 19:57:09

Oh dear that is a shame.

yes I've heard very good things about Little Arthur too.

Our children used different paths.
Ds went to college post 16 and did 2 GCSEs then, one day a week, for free. He used those GCSEs to do a couple of A levels. Then he got himself a job in a local garage, saving for when he went to Uni, so he doesn't come out with such a big debt.
He then did a one year acces course and used that to get into University.
He has just finished his first year and is having a great time and doing well.

Dd1 didn't do any GCSEs -she used life experiences, such as sailing round the country with another HE family, for two long summers, helping launch a new dyslexia charity, and helping to run workshops for women who have suffered domestic violence, to get herself a job with a well known national organisation.
She has gone onto FE college as a mature student and will start Higher Ed in Sept.

Youngest was far too severely dyslexic to do GCSEs-she couldn't have completed the exams in the time allowed.
Instead she did an OU starter course, starting at 15 and achieved all of the outcomes. She used that to get into FE college were she got straight Distinctions on her BTec Nat Diploma and will also be in Higher Ed by Sept!

so there are alternatives out there -SDeuchars link will show more details of the choices available.

Jamillalliamilli Thu 21-Jul-11 23:08:55

We’ve done quite a few, both IGCSE’s and GCSE’s. (and a couple of A/S) IGCSE’s definitely a lot easier to sort as no coursework or ISA’s. (independent student assessments)

My big tip is: when everyone tells you to find your exam centre before choosing your exam board, listen to them. smile Circumstances meant we couldn’t for the first lot and it was a horribly close run thing and lots of grey hair finding anywhere to sit. (We needed special access arrangements and all credit to Edexcel who where very good helping us overcome obstacles)

Once you have your centre you’ll know what board you’ll be using, so have a good look round that board’s site. We learnt about what the examiner’s looking for, and thus how to prepare, that way, though there are many different ways and it’s whatever suits you/ your budget.

Definitely join the yahoo group and lurk/ask, you’ll learn all you need to know. Most of what I know is as a result of the good folk there. smile

FionaJNicholson Fri 22-Jul-11 08:15:49

Just to pick up on the point about Access Arrangements if you need extra time, use of PC or whatever, more info here www.jcq.org.uk/jcq_top_ten/index.cfm

homeedmam11 Mon 25-Jul-11 09:58:41

Thanks everyone for all the info and advice, have added the links to my faves to look at again. Thanks again.smile

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