UPDATE APRIL 2014
THE ENTIRE SYSTEM HAS CHANGED AGAIN ! STILL THREE EXAMS, BUT MUCH MORE FOCUS ON WRITTEN ANSWERS, BOTH LONG AND SHORT, AND JUT A TINY BIT OF MULTIPLE CHOICE. SOME QUESTIONS VERY AMBIGUOUS IN MY VIEW….MY ADVICE IS TO LEARN FROM MARK SCHEMES AND ENCOURAGE YOUR SCHOOLS TO DO THE SAME ESPECIALLY NEAR TO EXAMS SO YOUR CHILD SCORES WELL. ALSO LOOK UP YOU TUBE VIDEOS TO EXPLAIN CONCEPTS LIKE THE NITROGEN CYCLE. SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG AND I’LL SEND YOU THE BEST AND MOST ACCESSIBLE CLIP I FOUND.
BUT READ THE POST BELOW FOR NOSTALGIA AND FOR WHEN THEY CHANGE IT BACK AGAIN!
GCSE Science for the Edexcel 360 Board.
I have now finally understood how the GSCE Science exam works. Students in Year 10 (aged 14-15) study 3 subjects Biology, Chemistry and Physics. They take a practical exam called an IAA or an Internally Assessed Activity (experiment based) for each of the 3 subjects and are graded on these. Luckily they take 2 IAA’s for each subject but ONLY THE BEST MARK GOES FORWARD. So 3 best grades for the IAA, one for Chemistry, one for Physics and one for Biology.
They also have a multiple choice test (about 20 minutes) in each subject twice during year 10, first in March and then in June. Again they get 3 grades per multiple choice, one for each subject. While they only do these multiple choices once each session, they are allowed to resist each of the subjects if they want to improve their grade, but this does mean a lot more extra studying.
So at the end of year 10, any student doing a standard Science GCSE for the Edexcel 360 Board gets 9 grades,
- 3 from the IAA,
- 3 for Multiple Choice in March and
- 3 for the Multiple Choice in June. The final grade is a sum of all these components.
Update : In additon to the 6 Multiple Choice Scores and 3 IAA scores, some schools also add in a practical score (teacher assessed throughout practical lessons) that accounts for a further 10 % of the overall mark, so there are in fact 10 component scores that go into the pot )
They do another GSCE Science exam in year 11, which I believe is more short answer type questions on the similar topics for each subject, I’ll try and get clued up before hand and write a post.
Look at the exam board website your school is following for the Science exam, I am aware of Edexcel and AQA being the most popular in the British School System. Make sure your child has the latest text book for the exam as recommended by the exam board and any extra revision books for example the Results Plus series. Download past question papers (easy to do for the Mulitple Choice, not so easy for IAA) Work backwards from the date of the exam and schedule plenty of revision slots that cover all the units in the book even if they haven’t studied them at school and then practice papers to ensure a good understanding. It’s even better if you can somehow group or catgorise questions by topic for focused revision.