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iGCSE / Edexcel/ AQA

(43 Posts)
gillybeanz Thu 16-Feb-17 16:59:54

Are these harder, considered more rigorous than normal GCSE?
Can anyone say how they are different.
Am panicking as whilst not choosing options until next year, have one who isn't the brightest.

Also, what's the difference between IGCSE, Edexcel, or AQA.

Aqa / Edexcel are exam boards. Neither is particularly considered harder than others.

iGCSE is a different qualification to gcse. It's not generally offered by state schools as it doesn't count in league tables.

Unless you're home schooling, you're unlikely to need to choose between exam boards or between iGCSE and gcse. Those are decisions made by the schools on behalf of the whole cohort.

gillybeanz Thu 16-Feb-17 17:51:35

Thanks ATruth

It was another thread that prompted me to ask.
My dd school do a mix of all three so I wondered about the differences.

Science is Cambridge IGCSE
Maths is Edexcel
History and Geography are Edexcel IGCSE
German/French AQA
English Cambridge IGCSE
Drama Edexcel.

I'm worried that for the compulsory English and Science, being IGCSE they may be harder than GCSE.

English isn't harder. If anything, compared to the new specifications it's easier.

poisonedbypen Thu 16-Feb-17 20:35:57

Yes, iGCSE is generally thought to be easier. Science harder, i think but maybe not harder than the new GCSEs, I don't know.

Clavinova Thu 16-Feb-17 20:44:34

Cambridge IGCSE science is considered to be very hard simply because of the sheer volume of material that needs to be learnt for the linear exams; the revision books in WHSmith are noticeably thicker than the rest.

gillybeanz Thu 16-Feb-17 20:50:30

I was hoping somebody would say they were easier.
Science is not my dd strong point, she will be able to choose single, but even this will worry her if it's really hard.

It's good to hear that English may be easier though, anybody know about the History and Geography Edexcel IGCSE?

Clavinova Thu 16-Feb-17 20:57:44

Cambridge IGCSE English appears to have been updated as well - the new specification is graded 9-1. Contrary to what you read on the other thread I don't think the speaking and listening component has counted towards the final exam mark for several years - it's just recorded on the certificate as pass/merit/distinction.

It definitely counted on iGCSE for longer than it did on GCSE. I don't know if it still does though. Most state schools won't touch iGCSE English as it would decimate their progress 8 score.

poisonedbypen Thu 16-Feb-17 21:06:31

Sorry i meant to say igcse English easier

Clavinova Thu 16-Feb-17 21:11:44

How many years has GCSE English Literature been closed book?

Iamastonished Thu 16-Feb-17 21:12:04

Last year's iGCSE maths was considered to stretch the more able at DD's school. Only the top performers in the top sets took iGCSE maths. Out of 27 students 26 achieved A* and the other student achieved an A.

gillybeanz when you say single science do you mean just one of the science subjects? Doesn't the school offer double and triple science?

This year will be the first year with closed book literature @clavinova

gillybeanz Thu 16-Feb-17 21:22:09

What's progress 8 score? Is it something about students having reached 8 levels?
It's a long time since my older dc did GCSE"s and they were sink estate state schools, obviously not offering IGCSE's.
I will be talking to school nearer the time and might be jumping the gun a bit, but would certainly like to understand the recent changes and developments, understanding how she will cope.
I'm not worried about the support she'll get, more her capability iyswim.

Question: Can you generalise about boards like AQA tend to do x,y whilst EDexcel do xyz etc or does it really vary depending on subject.

Thanks for all the responses.
I'm glad English is easier and the coursework element sounds better than all exam.

Clavinova Thu 16-Feb-17 21:31:02

I understood that a number of state schools were caught out 3/4 years ago because they only entered candidates for the IGCSE English Language exam (considered to be easier/more straightforward than GCSE English Language at the time) but didn't enter the same candidates for the IGCSE English Literature (considered to be harder than GCSE at the time) - the Government thought these schools were 'gaming' the system and refused to count the English Language qualification for the league tables because they hadn't entered both exams.

titchy Thu 16-Feb-17 22:12:41

No you can't generalise across exam boards. I was under the impression that iGCSE doesn't count for progress 8 and so state schools don't do them, I may have misunderstood though. GCSE and iGCSE will both be marked on the 9-1 scale by the time your dd takes them. All are linear with no controlled assessment components, except for languages, practical subjects (music, art etc). Single science will no longer exist.

Progress 8 is a measure of how well the school has done in getting their students 8 GCSEs within a basket of subjects at grades that show progress from year 6 SATS.

gillybeanz Thu 16-Feb-17 22:41:03

What will happen to those who can't do double science?
My dd will freak out she was told that single science was one GCSE a mix of all 3 sciences. Whereas double was 2 GCSE"s covering all 3 sciences.

Iam it offers double but not triple. In fairness it's very narrow for options and you know this from the offset.

Can private schools keep single science or will they have to follow suit.

I promised dd we'd have a chat about school and thoughts for future options, think I'll leave it now grin
Very interesting posts.
Sorry to be dim, but what does linear mean

Iamastonished Thu 16-Feb-17 23:26:49

"My dd will freak out she was told that single science was one GCSE a mix of all 3 sciences. Whereas double was 2 GCSE"s covering all 3 sciences."

Currently the single science is called core science and covers unit 1 of all three sciences. Additional science covers unit 2 of all three sciences. Students taking triple science also do unit 3 of all three sciences. I don't think single science was an option at DD's school, but I believe that some students took BTECs instead of GCSEs.

At DD's school they sat unit 1 at the end of year 10 - three exams, and unit 2 at the end of year 11 - three more exams. The triple science students sat 9 science exams (units 1, 2 and 3) at the end of year 11.

DD sat her GCSEs last year, so I don't know if the science exams will be any different now.

gillybeanz Thu 16-Feb-17 23:41:56

This is from dd school website, but obviously for this year.

Single science: Cambridge IGCSE Science Combined (0653)

This is a basic general science course that covers aspects of a good science education including a body of knowledge and understanding that underpins how science works in our society. The IGCSE is assessed using:
• a multiple choice paper - 40 marks, 1 hour, 30% of the marks;
• a written examination paper with short answers and structured questions -
80 marks, 1 hour 15 minutes, 50% of the marks;
• and a written alternative to the practical paper with questions on
experimental skills - 60 marks, 1 hour, 20% of the marks.

Do you mean this one won't be offered anymore?

user1484226561 Thu 16-Feb-17 23:51:11

science igcse is also considered easier to pass than GCSE, although harder to get A in. It is offered at private schools, because it is cheaper to run.

titchy Fri 17-Feb-17 07:53:49

Assuming you're at state school in England, yes, once GCSEs move to the new format (current year 10), core science will not exist. Private schools will continue to offer separate sciences though.

Linear means exams at the end, no controlled assessments and no option to retake smaller modules to improve grades (that hasn't been possible for a few years).

BertrandRussell Fri 17-Feb-17 07:58:24

My understanding is that all GCSEs regardless of Board will be linear from next year- am I wrong about that?

Freddorika Fri 17-Feb-17 08:04:12

All gcses will be linear from next year.
I've never heard of 1 x science gcse, you'd do a Btec at dds school if you wouldn't cope with double science
English literature is closed book from this year (good, students waste a lot of time flicking through the book)
New science guidelines means that the IGCSE science is not cheaper to run

Freddorika Fri 17-Feb-17 08:06:18

I think private schools offer IGCSE as they are considered better preparation for the IBacc

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Fri 17-Feb-17 08:08:24

Seeing iGCSE written like that has reminded me of the telling off we got in report writing season at the school I teach at: "It's a qualification, not the latest product to be marketed by Apple". Made me laugh.

IGCSE Eng Lang is easier - at least the one we teach is currently, as the grade boundaries are low. However, there are SO many changes to GCSEs at the moment that it's all very unpredictable.

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