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AQA triple science GCSE - sitting mix of higher and foundation exams?

(9 Posts)
Giraffesaretootall Mon 27-Mar-17 16:15:03

DS has come home from school saying that he will be sitting higher exams for P1 and P2 and foundation for P3. I didn't realise this was possible beforehand and am a bit concerned.

I can't find out how the exam grades mix up to the final result. Does anyone know? Does a C through a foundation paper count as any different to a C gained through a higher paper? His overall aim is a B (was ideally an A originally) and he can probably get As in P1 and P2 but his P3 is rather dodgy (got a D in the mock).

Can anyone help at all? Thanks.

catslife Mon 27-Mar-17 16:30:30

Does a C through a foundation paper count as any different to a C gained through a higher paper?
They are the same. There is overlap between the 2 papers so that the grade C questions are the same on both, it's just the other questions that are different.
On the actual GCSE certificate the tier of entry isn't mentioned, but just the final grades.
Basically the marks he obtains for writing the paper are converted into UMS marks and then these are added up and averaged out across all the units to give the final grade for Physics. As well as the P1, P2 and P3 there will also be marks for the controlled assessment so having one unit at foundation level should still mean a grade B is possible.
My dd mixed tiers in a different GCSE subject last year and received an overall B so this result is possible.

rainbowjoy Mon 27-Mar-17 16:34:04

I believe you can do a mix of higher and foundation. The raw marks on each paper P1, 2 and 3 will be converted into UMS (universal mark scheme) and then however many UMS you get gives you the end grade A, B, C etc. So if he scores high on P1, and 2 hopefully he will get his B overall. To be honest P3 is the shortest unit and they have only just finished it so should be in his mind.

galaxy671 Mon 27-Mar-17 16:35:51

UMS wise a C on Foundation is worth the same as C on Higher, obviously you need more marks to get a C in Foundation than on Higher. The coursework does count as well. P1, P2, P3 and the coursework each contribute 25% to the final grade. With As in P1, P2 and coursework and a C in P3 that should average out as a high B.

Twistmeandturnme Mon 27-Mar-17 16:36:34

It is harder to get a C (equivalent) on a foundation paper than on a higher paper because most people drop some marks through nerves etc.

Giraffesaretootall Mon 27-Mar-17 16:43:56

Thank you for your replies. That is interesting, I didn't previously realise you can mix tiers and initially freaked that it meant the highest he could get is a C but obviously that is not the case.

He is not taking physics or chemistry at A level but could do with Bs as he needs a certain number of B grades to get into his chosen sixth form.

It is P3 and C3 they want him to do foundation for. He got a D in his P3 mock (higher) and a U in the C3 shock along with most of the rest of his top set class. Not quite sure what is going on there confused.

We have a revision evening session at school this week so hopefully they can enlighten us.

Giraffesaretootall Mon 27-Mar-17 16:46:11

Interesting you say it is harder to get a C on the foundation paper twistmeandturnme, I think the school's perspective is have it as a guaranteed C with foundation rather than maybe miss a D with higher.

Blimey, it's all complicated and stressful. Can't wait until it is over.

Giraffesaretootall Mon 27-Mar-17 23:16:16

Any other experiences of mixed level papers?

Rosieposy4 Tue 28-Mar-17 22:24:58

Agree with pp that it is harder to get a C on foundation, you need to get a lot of the paper correct so only ok if your dc is good at learning recall facts but is struggling with application eg conversions for last year for chem unit 3 for my exam board 42raw marks out of 60 needed for a C in foundation, 30/60 in higher for a C. At my school we would be suggesting only entering for core and additional if not wanting to do science A levels and to secure 2 Bs. It does mean doing an extra core CAU but the benefit to the kids is substantial, especially in terms of reduced pressure.

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