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IGSCE/GCSCE higher and foundation tiers

(10 Posts)
Soba Tue 10-Oct-17 03:18:01

My child goes to an IGSCE school and I am trying to understand what is the difference between the foundation and higher tiers of the GCSCE .Does this bifurcation apply to IGSCE schools?What determines whether he will write the foundation exam or the higher tier ?Will year 8 performance be the one upon which this is decided ??Will certain Universities accept applications only from higher tierd one ?So in effect middle school decides university?

safariboot Tue 10-Oct-17 03:30:04

Foundation has easier questions, but means you cannot be awarded the best grade. Higher has harder questions, but means if you don't get at least a middling grade you don't get a U. The exact boundaries might depend on exam board and subject, but usually Foundation you can't get better than a C, or whatever that is in new money.

Look on the website, the maths IGCSE at least adopts the same structure, though they might call it by a different name.

I would expect the decision on whether to enter foundation or higher tier to be made at year 10 when pupils are being set in their (I)GCSE classes. And a good school should be willing to review that when it's obvious a pupil is in a too easy / too hard class.

safariboot Tue 10-Oct-17 03:36:53

And AFAIK universities only ask about grades and don't care whether you got a 'Foundation' 4 (C) or a 'Higher' 4. Some universities care more about GCSEs than others but I think they'll always be secondary to the A-Levels.

titchy Tue 10-Oct-17 08:03:14

Universities don't care about tier of entry of GCSEs. However if your dc is hoping to do particular subjects at A level taking Foundation may well rule those subjects out.

Schools do NOT decide tier of entry in year 8! Class sets in year 10 will of course determine which topics are studied but there should be movement in and out of sets according to ability. Tier of entry can be changed the morning of the exam.

LIZS Tue 10-Oct-17 08:10:15

You can only achieve a C or 4 maximum on Foundation level papers. Not aware of anyone at dc school (selective, independent) who took Foundation. How a school determines who takes what will vary and would probably be determined in y9/10.

Depending on the subject /uni it may be sufficient but some may be specific about , for example, Maths gcse for Economics or Psychology degree due to the statistical element.

Soba Tue 10-Oct-17 08:25:12

Thank you fr that!And the class sets depend upon the SAT scores for year 8??

Soba Tue 10-Oct-17 08:28:54

Thank you !!!Forgive my ignorance! I am afraid I don't understand some things there.Could you pls explain :some universities care about GCSCEs but they will be secondary to the A levels . I am completely new to the system.

titchy Tue 10-Oct-17 08:35:04

Universities expect students to have 7+ GCSEs at grade C (or 4) or higher, Maths and English must be included. Very occasionally for super selective courses (Medicine e.g.) universities ask for a minimum number of points from GCSEs, but that's unusual. A level subjects and grades are what count.

A decent school will review the set a child is in regularly and move them up or down depending on progress. It shouldn't be set in stone.

catslife Tue 10-Oct-17 11:34:20

For the new 9-1 GCSEs only Maths and Science now have tiers. There are no tiers on any other subjects.
iGCSEs are moving to a new 9-1 syllabus for pupils taking exams from 2019 onwards in the UK. (They may still be running A*-G grade papers fro some schools or ppuils outside the UK).
But the tiering for iGCSEs is different see link for CIE. The Extended paper covers grades A*-E (so the lowest grade is E not C) and the Core paper covers grades C to G. I wouldn't expect many pupils at a selective school to be taking the Core. At this type of school would expect all pupils to start the Extended course and only pupils who do badly in Y11 mocks to be moved down to the Core.
Schools carry out their own assessment tests at regular intervals and this varies from school to school there is no such thing as a "national" test between the end of Y6 and GCSEs. Some schools start GCSE in Y9 whereas others start the courses in Y10. GCSEs and iGCSEs are 2 year courses with the exams at the end of the second year.

catslife Wed 11-Oct-17 09:04:20

MFL 9-1 GCSEs e.g. Frencg, German etc. are also still tiered.

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