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GCSE review of marking (re-mark) - your experiences.

(85 Posts)
LongIslandIcedSummer Wed 04-Sep-19 21:20:35

Just got the results back of an OCR remark today. Up by 4 marks and therefore up a grade. Glad we asked! Waiting on another subject remark to come back.

Anyone else heard back on re-marks from this summer’s GCSE results?

clopper Wed 04-Sep-19 22:05:48

English language paper one just back. Needed one mark for a six. So one mark found on the straightforward first section but another section downgraded by 2! So another mark lost. I’m just hoping that the other paper doesn’t lose too many now. Quite a money spinner for AQA. It’s so far off her usual writing grade of 8. I just find it strange that she got high grades in heavy essay type subjects yet her English language is deemed average. A few people in her girls grammar school have failed English!

LongIslandIcedSummer Wed 04-Sep-19 22:20:45

English is the other subject we are waiting on. Ours was also well below his usual level. By 2/3 grades. Not AQA though. - a different board. Did you get the paper back too? We have requested them as a package with the review of marking but not received them yet.

clopper Wed 04-Sep-19 22:38:51

No didn’t get the paper back. She has gone onto college so she had the grades. It really was a surprise to have so low a grade. Also the down graded section had a reviewer comment which was mistyped / spelled, so how careful was the checking? They didn’t even check their own work!

LongIslandIcedSummer Wed 04-Sep-19 22:49:17

Also the down graded section had a reviewer comment which was mistyped / spelled, so how careful was the checking? They didn’t even check their own work!


berlinbabylon Thu 05-Sep-19 08:29:16

clopper similar with ds - grade 8s for essay subjects including English lit, 7s for everything else, but a 5 for English lang. School has recommended remark as he was only one mark off a 6, planning to put the form/money in today.

Maydayredalert Thu 05-Sep-19 10:23:04

We are still waiting for English Language Aqa. 3 marks off a 4. Not hopeful but fingers crossed.

pistachioicecream Thu 05-Sep-19 10:26:33

Have finally decided to go for a review of marking for two papers today.

We're having one English Language paper looked at. DS is 1 mark off an 8 overall. We requested the scripts back first and his teacher reviewed them. He agreed with the marking on one of the papers but felt there were a couple of questions on the other one where they could be worth a couple more marks in his opinion. So we're having that paper reviewed. Have a buffer of 9 marks before he'd drop a grade but I'm still nervous.

Then in Biology DS is 1 mark off a 7. He would need to drop 18 marks to go down to a 5. So we're having his lowest scoring paper reviewed there to see if he can get that extra mark.

Am still nervous though. I'll feel dreadful if they go down a grade.

@LongIslandIcedSummer - Which subject did you have the remark for OCR for? DS is 4 marks off an 8 in History but I thought 4 marks was too far off really to try. Maybe I was wrong.

hollypocks Thu 05-Sep-19 12:59:13

Had DS2’s maths remarked, he was 1 Mark off a 6. Came back that he was actually 3 marks off a 6. Have heard anecdotally of course, that very few remarks have resulted in upward grade adjustments this year.

Hotchocolatejunkie Thu 05-Sep-19 13:41:36

I've just asked for a remark today (had massive problems getting in contact with the right teachers at DS's school).
He was given a U in food prep despite having distinction level coursework. (It was a GCSE when it started in yr10 but the school decided to change it to another qualification in yr11 we were told it wouldn't affect the grade but the qual would serve them better)
This morning I was told he was 1 mark off the pass threshold for the exam which was 21 despite scoring in the 50s during mocks.
Another part of the exam he was given an X and I had previously been told on Monday that the school entered them for the wrong thing and it had been too late to change it, but today that was denied. But I've never heard of an X being given as a mark... Has anyone else?
I'm seriously furious with his school.

berlinbabylon Thu 05-Sep-19 15:12:27

Have heard anecdotally of course, that very few remarks have resulted in upward grade adjustments this year

Well the fact they have to refund the fees if they make a change is a built in incentive not to make a change sad

Siany1986 Thu 05-Sep-19 16:23:50

I'm waiting for my daughters to come back for english as was only 1 mark below the next grade , I was told will take 10 weeks??

Maydayredalert Thu 05-Sep-19 16:29:45

10 weeks! We were told 20 days for aqa.

hollypocks Thu 05-Sep-19 16:43:57

Absolutely, feel rather disillusioned with the system. Still he got to the sixth form he wanted

Arewedone Thu 05-Sep-19 16:44:37

3 days here for Edexcel went up 8 marks!

bigvig Thu 05-Sep-19 17:23:12

The new system is even more in the exam board's favour. I teach A Level we put in for a remark for one student it came back unchanged despite being clearly inaccurate - the examiner's comments didn't even match the levels given. There is now nothing we can do about it. The exam boards will boast about how few grades change in the review stage but that is only because it is so expensive to review marks and the reviewers are under pressure not to change marks. Teachers in my College are now advising students not to bother applying for a re-mark as it is a waste of money.

joanbradshaw Thu 05-Sep-19 17:32:44

I am an examiner and also review papers. We aren’t told how far off the next grade any reviewed papers actually are, so if we do increase a score by a mark or more we have no way of knowing if the grade will actually change (and therefore if the board will charge or not charge the fee). Over 90% of scripts I review don’t change by a single mark. Of the other 10%, half go up and half go down. Usually by only a single mark. Changes bigger than that do happen but I find they are rare. It’s a review of marking and not a full remark - this means there can be a tolerance on some questions - eg if the original examiner awarded 6/20 on a question but the reviewer feels it may be worth 5/20 or 7/20 it probably won’t change due to the permitted tolerance (different across different subjects). The reviewer will not change the original mark if, in their opinion, it is a plausible mark and within tolerance even if they would have awarded the slightly different mark.
The usual changes to scores are where clear right/wrong answers have been marked not in accordance with the mark scheme. Eg: 2+2=5 incorrectly marked correct - no tolerance here, it is black and white. Examiners are all human and mistakes can happen. After 200-800 scripts over a few weeks (depending on the subject) it can happen. A significant percentage of all exam scripts are double marked (checked by a team leader or principal examiner). The scripts checked are usually random so the original examiner won’t know which ones will be double marked. The means they always have to be on their A game and they can’t just rush a few as they know they won’t be checked.

In the school I work in, very few grades change after a review.

It’s not really a money maker. The examiners and admin staff at the exam board need paying for their time in the process. It is quite complex and if the scripts are still on paper (rather than scanned in) they need to be located in the warehouse, posted to the examiner then posted back once complete.

Sorry for the long post but I hope it explains the whole system a little for those of you interested.

Yosemitegert Thu 05-Sep-19 18:06:43

Thanks, Joanbradshaw, that’s really useful to know. My Dd is two marks off a grade boundary (15 marks altogether from top to bottom of grade) and she was really disappointed with the result. She has spoken to her teacher today and they have recommended a remark. In terms of expectations, am I right in thinking an upward shift in the grade is unlikely? Also, do we only put in the weakest paper for the remark? Sorry for all the questions - new to this!

Bryzeebubs78 Thu 05-Sep-19 18:12:42

I'm disgusted at how the papers are marked. My son got D's in English and maths. On the results score he received in English out of 4 papers 2 C* 1 C and 1 D. His maths out of 3 papers received 1C* 1C and 1D. Can anyone explain to me how he got and overall D score in both exams as surely the C scores rule over a D. 3/4 and 2/3. He'd applied for electrical installation course with college even finding his own apprenticeship and was working through the summer only to fail the grades for the course and now has to sit essential skills just to get on the course next September and his employer had to let him go,

LIZS Thu 05-Sep-19 18:22:09

It depends how the papers are weighted, they may not all count the same overall. It may well be that the lower marked ones carried more marks than the others.

joanbradshaw Thu 05-Sep-19 18:39:24

You need to look at the weighting towards overall grade each paper has. You can’t just take an average of individual letters.

Eg: one subject I know of has 3 units. Two are worth 40% each with the third only worth 20%.
A really high score on the third paper doesn’t necessarily mean a high grade overall. Full marks on the third unit (rare!) would still only equate to 20% on the final result. If the other two units were only at 60% each, that would give an overall total of 68% (24 + 24 + 20). Unlikely to be a top grade and nothing to do with the marking. However, very disappointing to the student if they see A* for the 3rd unit (100%) but only a grade C as their final grade. Using old raw generic grade boundaries the first two units would get C each. The final unit A*. The student would hope they would average to a B or better but due to the low weighting of unit 3 it still comes out at C.
This is using the old generic grade boundaries of: 90%=A*, 80%=A, 70%=B, 60=C. Real boundaries are very different.

For GCSE subjects now, each individual unit will have a numerical value awarded. These are then added up and a total score awarded. There will then be a minimum value needed for each grade. You may find your son is very close to the next grade up. Extremely disappointing but the boundary has to be somewhere.

Darbs76 Thu 05-Sep-19 18:46:29

We are still waiting. Reviewed paper 1 - no change. Waiting on paper 2. This is RE.

We need 1 more mark for a 9

joanbradshaw Thu 05-Sep-19 18:53:24

In terms of expectations, am I right in thinking an upward shift in the grade is unlikely? Also, do we only put in the weakest paper for the remark?

If the system is working perfectly then no grades would ever change. However there are flaws in any system where human error can occur.
You have to decide if the costs of the review are worth it against the potential benefits. Eg: if a higher grade is needed for a college/university place or to prevent the need to resit English/Maths for another year hen it’s probably worth the cost. But, if the higher grade will make little difference to the next step in their career then the cost probably isn’t worth it. (Eg: would a 6 rising to a 7 make much difference?).
Picking which paper is a bit pot luck. The weakest isn’t necessary going to have the best chance of going up. It could signify that little was written in the first place.
I would recommend against getting two papers reviewed at once. Image if one went up and one went down - you’d be back where you were.

SunshineCake Thu 05-Sep-19 18:54:12

Two years ago ds had two subjects remarked. Two went up a grade and a friends son gained 15 extra marks on an English paper which is unjustifiable imo. This year dd is having two subjects remarked as she is 2 points off a nine.

CuriousaboutSamphire Thu 05-Sep-19 19:11:17

If it hasn't changedX is when not all parts of a qualification have been submitted, the stedent was a very late withdrawal, or the exam board disqualified the candidate.

Ask the school to clarify what they did when they changed the course!

I twice had an exams officer not tick a box, meaning my students got Xs... they were all A grade stduents, who did get their correct grade within an hour of asking the exam board to have a second look and tick the box for me! They are usually very accommodating when simple errors have been made.

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