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Advice needed please - GCSE mum

Discussion in 'English' started by Misstified, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. Wonder if anyone can help me out here with a bit of advice - my daughter got her English Language GCSE result today and has got a B which is fine but she was predicted A* and has been producing A/A* course work. She is obviously disappointed and knows she had a bad exam. She was 2 marks off an A grade.
    So the question is - a) is it worth a remark request? b) could she resit the exam element and would this be worth it ? She is worried that a lower grade in English language may affect her university entry later as her other subjects are online( for now ) to be A* although she does not wish to continue English at A level.
    I realise I need to talk to her teacher next week but can't do that until I get an appointment so wondered if some helpful soul here might offer their thoughts.
  2. A number of our pupils are in a similar position. We are requesting remarks for any within a few marks of the next grade up. We are also looking at reentering pupils who wish to go for a higher grade.
    If she got a B rather than an A it suggests that under exam conditions she did not extend her answers and demonstrate 'detailed analysis' for the reading sections. Depending on the board, her teacher should be able to find out the breakdown of marks which can be used to highlight areas for her to focus on.
    On the plus side, the lowest mark she will get is a respectable B.
  3. You could request a remark - but these cost around £33 per paper (£66 for English exam as this is 2 papers). It is unlikely school will pay - but there's no harm in asking especially as she was predicted A/A* by the school. You do get the money refunded if the mark does change.
    The school will be able to access the exam board website which should tell them exactly how many marks your daughter got for each question on each paper - useful information if she does retake. Although if she's not taking English A level, then she shouldn't really need to retake (unless she's applying for Oxbridge).
    On the remark side, as a mum and a teacher, I tend to be cynical of exam boards and marking and have requested a number of remarks for both my children. My daughter's English marks went up by 9 marks last summer, taking her to the next grade up and my son had an AS subject's mark improve by 16 marks a year or so ago!
    Go to the school, ask for the mark breakdown and if there are any doubts at all - and if you can afford it - go for a remark.
  4. I agree with the advice above. I'll also add that the school should put your daughter in for the exam again in May. The higher result counts and she will have had an extra six months of prep time. Yes, she should do it again: she should be aiming for the best and the school will want it's value added figures to be as high as possible, so the school should also be interested in her doing it again. I'm a Head of English and I will be re-entering any student who did not get a C and giving any student who got a C but missed their target grade the opportunity to re-take if they wish.
  5. The whole grade-obsessed culture does do insidious harm. Educationally your daughter should forget all about the exam and start thinking about what she wants to do for sixth form. Dragging over marks for old papers kills the love of learning.
    However I appreciate that there's also the reality that society as a whole is exam-mad, and you have to live in that society, so I don't blame you for trying for a remark.

  6. CarolineEm

    CarolineEm New commenter

    Do remember that at remark, marks can go down as well as up. Check how close to the B/C borderline your daughter is - if only a few marks, be prepared for the fact that she could go down to a C if her paper is felt by the next marker to have be over-rewarded.
  7. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    I would say so, yes. It'll cost a fair bit (it always annoys me that it costs so much when I think about how much I get paid to mark the blasted things in the first place... where does all that money go??) and nothing might come out of it, but it's always worth a try.
    Yes, and maybe. She can carry her coursework forward without any problems and then have another go at the exam (although she will have to do both paper one and paper two) in the summer. Grade boundaries were higher in November this year than in June, incidentally.
    Possibly - but only if she's applying to Oxford. We had a student rejected last year because she didn't have straight A* at GCSE. She got straight A* at A Level instead!
  8. This is ridiculous. We need to row back.

  9. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    Indeed it is. She was absolutely distraught - and we only found out AFTER she'd been to the interview, when the HoYasked for feedback. What was the point in interveiwing the poor girl!!

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