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gcse and igcse general questions

(23 Posts)
Mirkobaba Mon 12-Sep-16 11:40:59


I have a few questions.....
1. I couldn't find a definitive answer on how many times can you re-sit either the i or non-i gcses.
2. is there any point in taking the foundation level in Maths? Does it count anywhere?

My DS is in yr6 and wants to sit the Maths gcse. ATM he can confidently get at least 80% on the foundation level, which I think would be a C. I'm thinking about going for the higher, and learning the missing parts between now and May.

Any thoughts welcome.

ps: I'm not pushing for either smile

TeenAndTween Mon 12-Sep-16 12:16:00

I can see absolutely no point in taking maths GCSE early unless you are going to get a 9 / A*.
Especially this year being the first of the new structure / paper / syllabus & grading.

I also don't think you could learn all the higher syllabus between now and May whilst doing other y6 work.

You should be the parent and not entertain this daft idea.

titchy Mon 12-Sep-16 12:28:57

C grade in Maths no longer exists, so I'm assuming you're looking at old syllabuses. the new syllabus for the GCSE to be taken next June is MUCH harder and includes A Level topics. Why on earth would you want your 11 year old to have a low grade GCSE? What good will it do him? He'll have to include his mark on his UCAS application. Please don't do this. There are plenty of much better things you can do with an able mathematician, which won't give you bragging rights but will be better for him.

LIZS Mon 12-Sep-16 12:34:55

Foundation gives you max of a c grade. If he is capable of that now he will be better off with a first time round high grade in a few years' time.

Mirkobaba Mon 12-Sep-16 12:40:50

So, you have to show all your grades on a UCAS application, not just the most recent?

TeenAndTween Mon 12-Sep-16 13:14:05

Yes, UCAS applications have to show all results.

It really will be of no benefit to do maths GCSE 5 years early unless you are certain he will get the top grade.

Mirkobaba Mon 12-Sep-16 14:22:14

I'm slightly baffled... If I was sitting in a uni office and saw that grade 5 (apprx = C) has been achieved at yr 6 and let's say an A at yr7 level I'd be interested, rather than take it as a negative point. But maybe that's just me.

Thanks for the info and opening my eyes to UCAS points, I didn't take them into consideration before.

titchy Mon 12-Sep-16 14:49:51

If you were in a university admisions office do you really think you'd have time to look at the dates of each GCSE of each of the hundreds, possibly thousands of applicants' UCAS forms you have to turn around?

Trust me no-one is impressed at little Johnny getting a C grade in year 6. Except perhaps little Johnny's mum... (Incidentally a 4 is regarded as C equivalent, not 5.)

Mirkobaba Mon 12-Sep-16 14:50:58

You've just offended Little Johnny's mum smile

FlyingFortress Mon 12-Sep-16 15:01:28

Here is the Russell Group universities "Informed Choices" booklet.

Look at page 21 and the warning at the top of page 22 in particular.

"A number of institutions ask that grades and number of subjects are achieved at one sitting. Some do not accept ‘re-sits’ at GCSE or standard level qualifications. Achieving a qualification a year early will not give you an advantage if it results in you achieving a lower grade."

So an early entry could well limit your dc's university options.

Those schools that still do early entry for maths would only enter a) those pupils who will definitely get an A* and b) will continue to study additional maths qualifications so that at 16 they will be sitting a suitable further maths qualification such that it counts as a maths GCSE sat in a single sitting with their other GCSEs.

titchy Mon 12-Sep-16 15:17:43

You've just offended Little Johnny's mum

Good. The sooner little Johnny's mum and her ilk realise that putting kids in for early GCSEs benefits no-one except their own egos, and is usually detrimental to the child the better.

catslife Mon 12-Sep-16 16:31:11

Are you home schooling OP or is your dds at school.
There would also be implications for the school if your ds took a foundation GCSE at a very young age. For school league tables the first result taken counts (even if this was a much earlier age than 16) so you wouldn't be very popular with your child's secondary school either.
If you are new to mumsnet you may not be aware that there have been past threads along similar lines. Most of these are however out of date as maths syllabuses are changing and the rules on resits have been tightened up (and could even at some point become even stricter).
Many children obtain high marks doing past papers in an environment where they are comfortable e.g. their own home but trying to repeat this in an exam hall where he will be sat with 16 year olds is a far more stressful experience.

noblegiraffe Mon 12-Sep-16 17:44:23

Bloody stupid idea. Don't enter your kid for an exam early unless he's ready to ace it (in this case, get a 9 which is higher than an old A*), and from the sounds of it he isn't remotely. A grade C is about level 7 old level wise, which, TBH while a good level for a Y6 isn't going to impress anybody when he's applying for uni.

NotCitrus Mon 12-Sep-16 18:57:23

What would people recommend to challenge a 10yo working at GCSE level, then? Khan Academy? Is there a Maths Olympiad for that age group?

noblegiraffe Mon 12-Sep-16 19:03:09

The vast majority of 10 year olds are working at foundation GCSE level! C grade GCSE is bright Y7 level.

There's the primary maths challenge, a bit like the secondary ones:

The nrich website is good for challenging problems:

FlyingFortress Mon 12-Sep-16 19:04:31

Primary Maths Challenge takes place in November.

OhYouBadBadKitten Mon 12-Sep-16 19:06:27

there is the primary maths challenge. Also they could if gifted take the junior challenge. Both would need to be done through the school.

Nrich is also a great source of enrichment.

Many bright children would be able to get a c at the age of 10 or 11, but what would that achieve?

Mirkobaba Tue 13-Sep-16 20:32:56

Thank you everyone for the comments, although some are slightly on the offensive side. But I have to be fair, I haven't given any context, just asked a random question.
Little context. DS has been invited to join Mensa, which he sat for fun, not for the marks. He views gcse as a fun challenge as well. He went to a very good private school deferred entry test this Jan. which was 4 hours long and came out all smiles and asked when can he do it again smile I know, he's weird.
Since he got into that school I also emailed them what do they think and how would they react to this, and they also advised against it, mostly because of UCAS points and the "no resit counts" policy that FlyingFortress wrote.
ATM he is aiming for ivy league or Russel unis, so we'll keep clear of gcses for a while.
Since I'm not from this country I had no idea about UCAS points and how this whole gcse works. I thought that since A-levels are important, these will be "just some grades" along the lines smile
So thanks again!

PS. The school recommended UKMT, which seems interesting enough (

OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 13-Sep-16 22:04:21

UKMT are really good smile they run the junior challenge and have a lot of resources. There's another website - the Art of Problem solving. I've not looked at it for a while but it's worth exploring.

t875 Wed 14-Sep-16 07:20:27

Can anyone recommend amy maths revision book or websites for GCSE maths for my year 11? Thanks very much
Very interesting reading all the above

Ancienchateau Wed 14-Sep-16 08:46:43

Are the iGCSEs changing to 1-9 etc as well or is it just GCSEs?

t875, Galore Park has some good books. I think there's some free stuff on there too.

FlyingFortress Wed 14-Sep-16 19:33:17

Are the iGCSEs changing to 1-9 etc as well or is it just GCSEs?

Most of the iGCSEs are changing though a year later than GCSEs. The rationale seems to be that the top performing pupils would miss out by not being able to get 9s rather than A*s.

HereIAm20 Thu 15-Sep-16 12:53:02

Maths and English igses are changing to 1-9 levels a year before the other subjects is my understanding. Thus there will be a cohort of students with a mixtures of letters and numbers

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