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How do you get an A* in GCSE English Language and Literature?

Discussion in 'English' started by msv, May 4, 2012.

  1. msv

    msv New commenter

    Any tips for me to pass onto students as to how to secure that A*?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. msv

    msv New commenter

    Any tips for me to pass onto students as to how to secure that A*?
    Thanks in advance.

  3. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    Flair is the only surefire way in my experience. I don't know that it can be taught; it has to be harnessed and nurtured.
  4. manc

    manc New commenter

    It is ephemeral; it is as light as air - like pure gossamer: it can be sensed but not touched. It is rumoured but rarely seen, like a shy faun. All you can do is incubate it with magic fairy dust, and bake it slowly in the top oven of the imagination. Sprinkle it with discernment and serve it on a warm bed of aesthetic judgement. I do hope that's as helpful as the marking descriptors we all work from
  5. sianna

    sianna New commenter

  6. msv

    msv New commenter

    I think that's an A* answer in itself ;)

  7. Yes, but we'll give it an A grade, just because we can!
  8. Flair, precision, originality; the stuff you can't teach, but can try and inspire. I always tell my new year 10s that I can't get them an A*, but they can if they're interesting enough.

  9. sunflower48

    sunflower48 New commenter

    I have got one of my Year 11 who is on two A* for unit 1 and 2, reading and writing with WJEC, and has A* in some controlled assessments. Others got A* in either unit 1 or unit 2, so it's not impossible.
  10. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    A lot is down to marks in an exam. Haven't assessed at that sort of level for a good while. Is it still the case that A* is determined statistically? Something to do with marks between A and A* being determined by mark differential between top A and top B? Somethimg like that.
  11. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    It depends on the examining body, I think. WJEC publishes the grade boundaries, whereas AQA only does so post exam. With AQA the exam = 60% of final mark whereas WJEC it's only 40%.
  12. anteater

    anteater New commenter

    It was in the old spec, but unfortunately it is now only 40% for English Language
  13. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    We're doing English - WJEC
  14. CandysDog

    CandysDog Occasional commenter

    The exam:controlled assessment split is identical for all boards now:
    • GCSE English Language: 40% exam
    • GCSE English Literature: 75% exam
    • GCSE English: 40% exam
    For most boards, the English Language and English exams are identical.
    Under the old specs, it was:
    • GCSE English: 60% exam
    • GCSE English Literature: 70% exam
    I think OCR was the only exception here, as it could be made more exam-heavy if the right modules were chosen.
  15. CandysDog

    CandysDog Occasional commenter

    I believe so. Certainly, my collection of finalised WJEC grade boundaries for recent years shows the marks needed for each grade to be professionally judged at grades A, C and D on the Higher tier and at C and F on the Foundation tier. The remainder are, as you say, arthimatically determined.

  16. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    For my low ability kids the 40% is a good thing. They tend to forget everything when faced with a booklet or two and the challenge of not talking for over two hours.
    They forget everything in CAs, too. They can <u>tell</u> me loads off stuff about any text they are studying, but having to write it down wipes their memories clean.
  17. CandysDog

    CandysDog Occasional commenter

    All the boards used to publish notional grade boundaries in the exam mark schemes, which were identical every year. WJEC kept on doing this all the way up until the end of the old specs in 2011.
    The final grade boundaries, however, are what matter and these are never published until after the exams (because they're not decided upon until then).

  18. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    "boards"? What sort of "boards"? asks markuss pseudo naively/ironically. I suppose if the awarding bodies smooth everything out, you could think of them as ironing boards!
  19. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    In schools, everybody still talks about exam boards. Even the visiting speaking and listening moderator referred to AQA as 'the board'. We still refer to y12/13 as lower/upper sixth so I can't see us dropping 'board' any time soon.
  20. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    I was at a meeting last week where the presenter referred to "The AQA". It was very odd, although factually accurate.

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