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English GCSE remark : expert objective advice needed!!

(603 Posts)
Piggywaspushed Mon 28-Aug-17 19:56:26

Ok, I have been batting this round on a few threads and need to preface this by saying I am an English teacher... but it isn't helping me at all!

DS got a 5 in Lang and a 6 In Lit. Both below (rather generous ) target grades of 7.
We d found out he was 5 UMS marks into 5 in Lang and therefore needs 8 marks (I think) to get a 6. Not normal remark territory and I'd be terrified of him being downgraded.

However, I have now found out his breakdown and it is bizarre:

Language paper 1


1.4/4
2.4/8
3.3/8
4.12/20
5.8/24 + 6/16



Language paper 2


1.4/4
2.5/8
3.5/12
4.6/16
5.18/24 + 11/16 (this is amazing compared to paper 1!)

The last wording is not mine but the HOD.

The discrepancy between P1 and P2 is marked and the section Bs are the real oddity given that they aren't very different tasks. I have checked and he did paragraph. You also need to know his spelling is highly proficient. He has that teenage predilection for commas and probably didn't use much punctuation other than full stops and commas. His handwriting is hard to read sometimes but he does tend to write quite lengthy answers and was (before the exams) quite confident in jumping through the hoops of each question.

I would be interested to hear from fellow English teachers who have no emotional investment in this what they might advise? I'd like Paper 1 looked at - but once seen it can't be remarked.

I know a 5 is 'good enough' but he is a better student than that. In one of his lit papers he missed an 8 by one mark!

Any thoughts gratefully received.

Cafeconleche Mon 28-Aug-17 20:04:08

piggy we meet again! Is it true that if you request an AQA paper back to look at how it was marked you can't then ask for it to be remarked? Edexcel have uploaded all their scripts so they can be viewed online prior to any queries. Is this all part of the 'blackmail' rules of the exam boards alluded to in an earlier thread?

Piggywaspushed Mon 28-Aug-17 20:13:31

Hi café !

Yes, it's true : that's not a new rule and am wondering what Edexcel have let themselves in for!!

Redsrule Mon 28-Aug-17 20:16:23

I think there is a big difference between the AO6 marks that is unlikely, they should be fairly consistent. With the lack of markers/last minute marking with AQA English I would go for a check. Even if he comma splices I would expect higher marks.

Piggywaspushed Mon 28-Aug-17 20:36:31

Thanks reds . By A06 do you mean the second mark on the final Qs? If so, that is what sticks out to me, too.

I'm rubbish with these AOs!

Cafeconleche Mon 28-Aug-17 20:39:30

piggy the difference between paper 1 and 2 is odd, to say the least! Now that I know you can't get to see the exam paper before having it remarked (or not) I'm going to ask the school exam officer for an exact breakdown of the marking. My DS got 91 for Lit (so 7 from a grade 6 and 10 from a grade 4). 34 for paper 1 and 57 for paper 2, but I don't know how those scores are broken down for each essay. I'd throw caution to the wind and have it remarked (he couldn't be marked down by 10 points, surely shock) except 5 is the minimum grade he needs in Lit for his 6th form college, or he'll lose his place. The way things are going for him at moment I'm not sure that I want to engage in a game of Russian Roulette... He got a 6 in Language, but I have no idea where he is within that band and will also get a breakdown for that tomorrow. And then have a breakdown myself confused. In the meantime (and sorry to highjack your thread!) but does anyone know about GCSE exams that are typed? My DS used a laptop for all his written exams and I was wondering who transfers/aligns the answers from the USB stick to the paper? It seems straightforward enough when everything is hand written in the exam booklet, but I'm now having visions of answers disappearing off into the ether. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you...

Cafeconleche Mon 28-Aug-17 20:43:02

actually, 9 marks away from a grade 4 for Lit, so almost slap-bang in the middle. Happy days

Cafeconleche Mon 28-Aug-17 20:57:07

piggy I think your DS needs to pick up 7 extra marks for a 6 (93). What about just getting paper 1 remarked (if you can do that?). All of this is so new to me - my first real experience of the current English exam system. And it's exhausting. I took O and A Levels back in the dark ages. I have been waaaaaay more stressed about my son's GCSEs.

Redsrule Mon 28-Aug-17 21:18:58

Teachers can access the marks per question so get them to do this immediately. Piggy, the disparity between the Q5 marks is odd but AO 6, the mark /16 should be fairly consistent, ours were all bar 1 we successfully queried.

Piggywaspushed Mon 28-Aug-17 21:25:37

That's very interesting Reds. You don't think he could go down? I've got the jitters!

By queried do you mean the Review of Marking?

Redsrule Mon 28-Aug-17 21:30:50

One pupil was 'reviewed' immediately and went from a 5 to an 8. I find the AO6 Mark for your DS odd, it implies he could not spell regular words or paragraph accurately. I would suggest it is worth the risk.

Piggywaspushed Mon 28-Aug-17 22:25:27

Agreed and the 8/24 implies he barley understood the point of the whole task!

Piggywaspushed Mon 28-Aug-17 22:26:30

barely! oops ... my SPAG a bit off there!!!

Piggywaspushed Mon 28-Aug-17 22:41:01

Double take : 5 to an 8??? Wow.

BlanketyBlankAgain Mon 28-Aug-17 23:59:10

Ref: printing out when the answers have been typed.

It should be that 2 copies of the typed work are printed out; candidate signs each page. 1 copy is sent off inside an answer booklet (and together with a word processor cover sheet) with the rest of the school's scripts and the 2nd copy is kept securely at the school. The USB stick or similar isn't sent off, just the printed-out version.

Cafeconleche Tue 29-Aug-17 00:10:21

Thanks for the info Blankety - I will check with DS to see that he signed each page of his typed answers (he hadn't mentioned this to me, but then I never asked....)

Cafeconleche Tue 29-Aug-17 00:16:14

Redsrule - shockshockshock from me too for 5 to an 8! Was that for Language or Lit?

Redsrule Tue 29-Aug-17 05:20:37

Language, they had given him 0 for Q5, since he said he had answered it we had an admin check and they had missed off 36 marks! All sorted very quickly but a silly mistake by AQA.

Decorhate Tue 29-Aug-17 06:51:55

This is all very interesting/concerning. Ds also did AQA. His school emailed us last week to say they had reviewed his Lit marks & were recommending we applied for a Review of Marking as he was close to the grade boundary. However they said nothing about Lang. He got the same grade in both (5) having been predicted 8s (which I always felt was very unrealistic). But he always did much better in Lang (in top 10% at his school) so wondering if I should get that looked at too.

Piggywaspushed Tue 29-Aug-17 07:23:47

Presumably his Language wasn't so close to the grade boundary? The grade boundaries are all quite tight at the 4, 5, 6,7 area : a school wouldn't advise a remark if they felt your DS's grade could go down.

Get the question by question breakdown out of them and see what that reveals.

It sounds like your DS is in roughly the same boat as mine. It's quite deflating. My DS is not a driven type and says he doesn't want anything remarked, I think it would be good for his future - and his self esteem- if his grades went up a bit. Even if it is a long shot. My take on it is if an examiner has done a shit job then that should be rectified!

Teddygirlonce Tue 29-Aug-17 07:38:02

@Piggywaspushed my DS is in the same situation. The school has not yet been forthcoming about whether we should consider remarks (for any subjects!), so I've just contacted the Exams Officer to find out more about the AQA Eng. Lang. and Lit. break down of marks (as we've not been given them).

DS is the same in terms of remarks but totally deflated by his results (which weren't what he was expecting/hoping for), so could do with a boost.

Piggywaspushed Tue 29-Aug-17 07:50:42

My DS claims he is not deflated. But he never does delight so it's hard to read him. He says he doesn't want nay remarks but think that's just because he doesn't want any attention on him.

The results have meant he has had to change his A level options, and change sixth form provider. As of yesterday, he is saying he doesn't want to go to the other place so it's all a bit stressful really!

Witchend Tue 29-Aug-17 08:12:28

Some exam boards you can ask for a photocopied script and then a remark after. Not sure which ones though.

MsHarry Tue 29-Aug-17 08:24:25

Hi Piggy This is so worrying. I used to have faith in the marking system(naive) but this is very worrying. After the papers are marked are they not double/triple checked?

MsHarry Tue 29-Aug-17 08:25:36

Even if it is a long shot. My take on it is if an examiner has done a shit job then that should be rectified!

Absolutely! By the way, what, if anything, is wrong with using commas? wink

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