Wondering what the fuss around GCSE 2015 changes is all about? Sit comfortably and prepare to read an article as we’re going to explain all the new features for you. Why do you need to take the trouble at all? Well, if you are a student planning to pass GCSE English, pay attention because these changes will have a great effect on both exam process and grading (in case you worry about your results).
1. New Grading System
The most notable change is transfer from A-C marks to 1-9 points with 1 being the lowest, and 9 – the highest. Moreover, the Department of Education limited the number of people who can get the best card to 20% of those who receive 7 and higher. So, if you counted on the top score, you’ll have to press harder.
What does it mean for you? Nobody can predict the exact results, but the teachers are worried that the students will get worse grades because of the variation (for example, you could do fine and receive a C while, right now, your “fine” will be also graded as “worse fine” (4) or “better fine” (5).
2. Only New Texts for Reading Comprehension
The easy life has ended. Now during the examination you will get only texts that you haven’t seen before because the purpose of the test is to evaluate you reading comprehension skills, not a good memory of info your teacher told you about the excerpt you previously had analysed.
3. More and Longer Exams
Enjoyed a one-time, two-hour test? Prepare to miss it as according to the new implementations there will be 2 exams, two-hour long each. But the silver lining is that you will get more time on reading and writing tasks ☺
4. No Counting of Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening were counted before into the overall grade. But after the changes they will be assessed separately without having any impact on the final result. Generally, students do better at speaking and listening than at other tests, thus, improving the grade. But now, in GCSE near the main score, there will be just “Pass”, “Merit” or “Distinction” (evaluation markers for speaking and listening) that won’t be taken into account.
5. Taking Exams Only Once
There won’t be any controlled assessments or courseworks during the preparation course. There will be only one evaluation session at the end that will fully rely on the exam results. Yeah, it implies that you will have to go above and beyond to do your best because you have only one chance (in an epic case scenario, in real life you can just start all over again and take another exam).
See? These are major changes that have been totally worth your 5 minutes to read this article. In case you’re asking yourself why all this is happening, we have a theory that the Department of Education wants to raise the standards in order to make students more competitive on the internal as well as international job market. But we’ll see what comes out of it. Good luck!