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Edexcel GCSE grade boundaries 2012

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by Godmeister, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. Godmeister

    Godmeister Occasional commenter

    Yes it still irks me that the Spanish unit 2 and 4 boundaries are higher than other languages. And the French boundary moves impacted our results this year as we were giving feedback to students using the latest available data and then they went and upped the boundaries.

    I dont understand how you can have a situation where the exact same exam (i.e. same CA tasks) can result in different grades. How can we provide accurate feedback to students and know ourselves where they truly ade on the mark scale?
  2. trinbag

    trinbag New commenter

    This annoys and confuses me every year. Comparing French to Spanish grade boundaries, you needed 141 marks out of 200 to get an A in French, yet 151 out of 200 to get an A in Spanish. Going down the grades, there are 9 or 10 marks difference between the 2 languages.
    Like others, I don't understand at all why the marks for units 2 and 4 are different when they have the same assessment criteria, and for anyone who looked at the higher listening and reading papers there was a definite case for the French being easier (albeit more difficult than last year). We give the pupils the choice between French and Spanish, I'm beginning to wonder if we should just offer French, as many of the Spanish would have gone up a grade if marked by the same criteria as the French.
  3. ekglover

    ekglover New commenter

    Thanks fot this post. We are changing age-range and will be starting teaching the GCSE courses from Sept 2013. We are thinking of doing Edexcel, for one thing they have showed much more interest and offered more support then any of the other boards. Has you/anyone any opinions on the choice? From what I have read all the boards have their disadvantages. Have you (anyone) considered the new Edexcel certificate (exams no CA?)
  4. Thank you very much for this. I found it very enlightening, I have to say!! Most kind.
  5. kittylion

    kittylion Senior commenter

    Thanks for this Redpens - really interesting!
  6. ferrolana

    ferrolana New commenter


    I have taught for nearly 20 years and love teaching
    languages but I too, am becoming increasingly frustrated by these forever ‘changing
    goalposts’. I believe they are having a dramatic effect on the uptake of
    languages both at GCSE and GCE as many pupils just find the subject too hard
    and unpredictable! For example this year we will need to regrade all our
    current French CAs so pupils are aware of the new limits. Should we just use
    the high Spanish boundaries and be done with it????</font>

    When I raised the issue of severe grading and erratic
    marking in the production skills last year I received a very pleasant but
    rather bland reply which did not help at all. What makes a department who have
    done well for a number of years in the old exam with markers on the team
    suddenly not know what they are doing? A sudden shift of the goalposts??!!</font>

    We are pleased in general with our GCSE results this year
    after a horrendous time last year but the move upwards in the grade boundaries
    is knocking the confidence of both staff ( experienced) and pupils. The fact
    that excellent pupils find it difficult to achieve the top marks in speaking
    and writing is disheartening to say the least.</font>

    Moreover, how can a group of pupils who sat both the 2011
    and 2012 listening and reading papers suddenly do so much worse this year? 2/3
    of the whole cohort dropped in their ums in these 2 skills and had we not
    entered them last year for those very modules, 11 would have actually dropped a
    grade and 1 would have dropped two grades with the 2012 modules. They did every
    paper known to man, learnt more vocabulary, did reasonably well in their
    productions skills but then appeared to be so much worse in the passive skills!
    This should not be the case in my opinion.</font>

    Suddenly making the exams easier or more difficult is not
    the answer. Consistency, modelling of exemplar material with an exam board that
    listens and communicates to its paying clients,
    is! </font>

    Let&rsquo;s hope that Edexcel, along with the other boards reads
    these threads and provides more feedback following results and asks us what can
    be done to make the situation better.</font>

    Let me know what you think and don&rsquo;t even get me started on
    the erratic nature of AS/2 speaking tests&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;..!!!</font>

  7. I know you say not to get you started on AS/2 speaking marks, but....!! The specifications for both French and Spanish list identical grading criteria and so one would expect students to be marked consistentlyacross both languages! I had a student this year who did the speaking in both languages at A2 (a year early due to his ability in both languages) . As he is entitled to, he presented the same debating topic for both languages. I did the exams in-house and sent them off for marking. In my opinion, both exams were of roughly equal quality (grammar and vocabulary content, demonstration of knowledge, spontaneity, depth of debate and discussion, pronunciation and intonation etc etc) . And yet, his French speaking has been given a B and his Spanish a D ! I have no explanation to give him when we go back to school next week!

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