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Transcribe for GCSEs

(39 Posts)
popuptent Sat 24-Oct-15 08:14:49

Does anyone have any experience of having a transcribe for exams? Can they be used in conjunction with work typed on a laptop? Does qualifying to use a spellcheck in exams automatically mean you are also qualified to use a scribe (ie, is it the same test for both - below 84 on standardised test - is it spelling/writing speed/elligibility)? I believe the concessions need to be "the normal way of working" so eligibility for scribe might not make that possible if it hadn't already been normal way of working anyway.


popuptent Sat 24-Oct-15 08:16:00

I mean illegibility.

LIZS Sat 24-Oct-15 08:19:51

You aren't normally allowed spellcheck , it gets switched off for exams. Justification for a scribe requires a report with detailed recessing scores and school support based on substantiating need, laptop is just based on established use.

popuptent Sat 24-Oct-15 08:23:31

I think that you can use the spellcheck if you score below 84 on standardised spelling test. Would scoring this also qualify you to use a scribe? I believe that qualifying for a scribe also qualifies you to use a spellcheck if you are using a laptop.

MyVisionsComeFromSoup Sat 24-Oct-15 08:29:05

DD2 had a scribe for GCSEs as she'd hurt her shoulder - spelling mistakes were ignored except for English and a small percentage of Geography. So she wrote the English herself (with the extra time allowed) and took the hit on the Geography.

I don't know if it's different for different exam boards, or if you get the allowances due to normal method of working though.

popuptent Sat 24-Oct-15 08:49:40


I think a transcribe goes over the writing and rewrites illegible words but can they do it with typed work to correct howling typos?

GloriaHotcakes Sat 24-Oct-15 08:54:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LIZS Sat 24-Oct-15 08:56:17

I'm pretty sure it is either or , not both. Agree the SpAG mark is why spell checker gets disabled.
Even using a laptop can mean SpAG marks are not fully credited.

popuptent Sat 24-Oct-15 09:12:35

If you use the spellcheck, you won't get spelling marks, not sure about grammar. I think it's the same concession as having a scribe ie, you don't qualify for the SPaG marks unless you spell out each word individually and gie instructions for punctuation. Most students cannot use the spellcheck but if you qualify for a scribe and use a laptop then you can use the spellcheck because he have been tested and proved to have spelling below 84 on standardised score.

Anyone any experience of using a transcribe?

goinggetstough Sat 24-Oct-15 10:23:35

It is quite rare to have a transcript. It does say that spelling errors must not be corrected. This is from the JCQ regulations:

This arrangement must only be used in exceptional circumstances such as:
• a temporary injury at the time of an examination which means that the candidate’s handwriting may be hard to decipher at times (but is not illegible); or
• the use of a word processor is not appropriate, e.g. subjects such as Mathematics and the Sciences.
A transcript is an exact copy of the candidate’s script which is made after the examination has taken place and without the participation of the candidate.

A transcript may be:
• a full copy handwritten by a member of centre staff on a spare answer booklet or a full copy word processed by a member of centre staff; or
• a partial copy where only certain words need clarification. In this case, the original script must be photocopied and the words written clearly above the candidate’s writing but not in red, green or purple ink or pencil. It may be helpful to enlarge the photocopy to A3.

A transcript can also be permitted by the centre for a candidate who requires assistance completing multiple choice answer sheets or needs to use an enlarged answer sheet.
Manual braillers will require transcription into print. Braille scripts must be transcribed by the centre. The transcriber must be competent in the Braille code concerned.

The transcript must be:
• produced by a member of the centre’s staff, which may include the candidate’s subject teacher, who is familiar with the candidate’s handwriting or is fully competent in the Braille code for the subject concerned;
• a word for word, exact copy of the candidate’s script. The transcriber must not insert or omit any words, nor alter their order. Spellings and technical terms must not be corrected.
A transcript cover sheet (Form 5) must be:
• printed from the JCQ website -
• securely attached to the candidate’s transcript. The candidate’s original script must also be attached.

popuptent Sat 24-Oct-15 10:39:32

Thank you

No mention of using in conjunction with a laptop. And interesting that spellings cannot be corrected (wouldn't have expected them to correct spellings and gain SPaG marks of course).

camptownraces Sat 24-Oct-15 13:53:53

As goinggetstough said in her extract from the current regulations: a transcript is an arrangement which is put in place for illegible handwriting. And increasingly, it's not seen as a solution to many problems - word processing is the favoured approach.

Why would anyone want a transcript of a script which is already type-written?

WildStallions Sat 24-Oct-15 15:25:16

Can you link to the access arrangements that say you can use a spell checker please?

camptownraces Sat 24-Oct-15 17:37:05

Word processing with spell check is permitted only in certain circumstances: its use would prevent the Spelling part of the SPAG marks from being awarded.

This is the paragraph from the 2015-2016 regulations

7.5.11 Writing skills
A scribe, a word processor with the spell check enabled, or speech recognition
technology will be allowed in certain subjects when a candidate’s impairment has
a substantial and long term adverse effect.
For examination purposes, a substantial impairment is interpreted as the candidate
 a spelling accuracy score in the below average range (a standardised score of
84 or less) which renders the writing incomprehensible. The candidate’s
spellings are bizarre and the target word is unrecognisable; or
 free writing which cannot be read by others; or
 free writing which is grammatically incomprehensible; or
 free writing which is produced so slowly that answers could not be fully recorded even
with extra time allowed. (The candidate’s handwriting speed as a standardised
score being in the below average range for their age.)
Additionally, comments on the candidate’s quality of expression and use of
language when writing under timed conditions should be noted.

goinggetstough Sat 24-Oct-15 17:41:47

I think the key part about the spelling is that the standardised score not only has to be 84 below but that it also has to render the writing incomprehensible. The last part can be difficult to define. I am always surprised that the standardised score required is not lower, but thats just my view.

MummySparkle Sat 24-Oct-15 17:43:54

I think the OP is asking about a scribe as opposed to a transcript.

I'm not sure about having a scribe and a laptop, I would assume it's one or the other. Potentially a laptop for things like English, but a scribe for science papers where the questions have spaces for the answers in them. I know that you can have a reader and a laptop though, so that might be a possibility.

WildStallions Sat 24-Oct-15 17:44:40


I agree you can be below 84% and your writing is still comprehensible.

WildStallions Sat 24-Oct-15 17:46:16

Actually I'd go further than that. If your spelling is so bad as to be incomprehensible a spell checker is unlikely to help.

It won't be able to guess which word you meant, nor will you be able to choose the right one from its suggested list.

popuptent Sat 24-Oct-15 18:52:13

And the spellchecker can put in the wrong word... incest instead of insects for example if the candidate is not very careful about clicking. Therefore, they might even be better off without the spellchecker.

mrsmilktray Sat 24-Oct-15 19:00:05

How does your dc usually present their work op?

popuptent Sat 24-Oct-15 19:12:11

WP but with tons of errors.

titchy Sun 25-Oct-15 08:15:26

Would an actual scribe be better then?

popuptent Sun 25-Oct-15 08:31:44

Possibly yes, but it needs to be "normal way of working" which it isn't. I'm now wondering if a transcribe would be better. I am also going to look into getting a giant keyboard to plug into the school exams laptop.

LIZS Sun 25-Oct-15 08:36:50

Can she not use a normal keyboard supplied by school? You need to weigh up whether the potential loss of SpAG marks is less of a risk to the grade than other options.

WildStallions Sun 25-Oct-15 08:38:17

Then You need to talk to the SENCO. It's her job to interpret the access arrangements and implement them.

You have no idea what magic she can pull out of the hat.

She might be able to find a defn of 'regular way of working' that she can make happen.

I'd certainly be wanting a scribe from what you've said.

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