Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment
CCEA Curriculum Monitoring Programme 2018-19

FAQs

Resit FAQs

There are candidates who have completed and ‘cashed in’ their GCSE English Language, having been awarded a final grade in Year 12, in this year’s summer series of examinations. They are dissatisfied with their final grade and wish to improve it. What units can a candidate repeat?

In brief, if a candidate is dissatisfied with their final grade award, they can endeavour to improve upon this grade. Candidates are eligible and permitted to resit assessment units, even if they have been awarded a final GCSE English Language grade. Candidates are free to resit all, or any of the four individual assessment units. Each unit is offered in the January and June exam series.

Candidates who have already cashed in and received a GCSE grade can resit each unit a further two times.*

*Please note the ‘terminal 40% rule’ is applicable at this stage. This rule dictates ( as stipulated in the specification, page 11) that candidates studying the unitised GCSE English Language qualification must complete at least 40% of the overall assessment requirements as terminal assessment. This means that the weighting of the resit units should be considered when candidates are making the decision to resit.

As a summative reminder the unit titles are identified below, and aligned with their assessment type and unitary weighting of the overall award.

Unit number and content

Assessment type

Weighting (of overall GCSE award)

Unit 1: Personal Writing & Reading Multi-Modal Texts

External examination

20 %

Unit 2: Functional Writing &
Reading Non-Fiction

External examination

20%

Unit 3: Speaking & Listening

Internally assessed & externally moderated

20%

Unit 4: Controlled Assessment
3 Tasks

Internally assessed & externally moderated

40%

Can a candidate resit just one unit, the unit in which they have attained the lowest mark?

If the unit is worth 40% or more then, yes, it is suffice to resit just one unit. In this award the only unit with a 40% weighting is the Controlled Assessment component, comprising of 3 written tasks. Candidates can resit this unit. However 3 new tasks, titles and original material must be submitted. These tasks must also align with the current themes, identified by CCEA, relevant for submission in that specific calendar year. For example, if a candidate has submitted their Controlled Assessment unit in the June series, it will be a different set of themes for the January series submission. Themes are set for each calendar year, therefore the themes identified for the January and June series are the same. These are available for perusal on the English Language microsite.

However, all the other units available are, individually, attributed a 20% weighting. This means that they cannot be repeated individually, because they do not meet the requirement of the’40% terminal rule’. Therefore if a candidate wishes to resit an examination unit, with a weighting of 20% they must resit another unit with an equal weighting of 20%. However resit units can be combined. A candidate can choose to resit a variety of unitary option combinations. For example:

  • Unit 1 : ‘Personal Writing & Multi –Modal ‘Exam paper ( weighting 20%)

PLUS

Unit 2 ‘ Functional Writing & Non-Fiction’ exam paper ( weighting 20%)

= 40% , fulfilling terminal rule

  • Unit 1 : ‘Personal Writing & Multi –Modal ‘Exam paper ( weighting 20%)

PLUS

Unit 3: Speaking & Listening, Internally assessed (weighting 20%)

= 40% fulfilling terminal rule.

  • Unit 2 ‘ Functional Writing & Non-Fiction’ exam paper (weighting 20%)

PLUS

Unit 3: Speaking & Listening, Internally assessed (weighting 20%)

= 40% fulfilling terminal rule.= 40%

Therefore candidates can, and must, resit a combination of these ‘20% ‘ weighted units, in order to fulfil the 40% terminal rule requirement.

How many times can a candidate sit a unit?

Candidates may resit each individual assessment unit once prior to certification. Candidates who have already cashed in and received a GCSE grade can resit each unit a further two times.
This is an important issue for consideration, as potentially there are four possible exam series in which candidates could enter for units: (i) January of Year 11,(ii) June of Year 11 and (iii) January of Year 12 and finally (iv) June of Year 12 . Therefore candidates and centres should be judicious in their decision making for candidates wishing to enter Candidates are free to resit any assessment units they choose to, having already been awarded a final grade. Presumably candidates will choose to do this in a bid to improve their final grade. In the event of a candidate choosing to resit units, they must adhere to the ‘40% terminal rule’; this rule dictates (as stipulated in the specification, page 11) that candidates studying the unitized GCSE English Language qualification must complete at least 40% of the overall assessment requirements as terminal assessment. This means that the weighting of the resit units they enter, as a final submission, must equate to 40% weighting of the overall GCSE English Language award.

Can candidates retain the marks in units in which they are pleased and happy with their performance and grade awarded?

Yes, candidates are free to ‘carry forward’ the mark they have been awarded for units sat and submitted. If they do not wish to resit, in order to improve their mark, then they can simply consider this as a secure mark. This is the case for the lifetime of the specification.

Entry Codes

What are the Entry Codes for GCSE English Language/English and English Literature?

The Entry Codes can be found here

Uniform Marks

How does the Uniform Mark Scale work for GCSE English Language?

General

Where can I get help with planning the delivery of the specification over two years?

Sample planning grids are available in the support section of the microsite. These can be used as the basis to complete your own plan for your class.

Is it possible for students to study and complete GCSE Language in Year 11, and study and complete GCSE Literature in Year 12?

A. That is a decision for schools to make. From a CCEA perspective there is nothing to stop schools from doing this except for the first year of teaching (2010) as the first full award for both subjects is not until 2012.

I have a number of students entitled to Access Arrangements, how does this work for the specification?

All Access Arrangements that students were entitled to will still be available for the specification. Consult the JCQ Guidance document, www.jcq.org.uk for further information.

Is there a difference in the currency offered by GCSE English Language and GCSE English?

All GCSEs are equally accredited and recognised by the UK regulators.

Some of our children are entitled to scribes and we are concerned about how we this will be managed for Controlled Assessment.

Your exams officer or SENCO should have a copy of the JCQ guidelines, section 2.7 deals with scribes. Where a scribe is used in an exam situation it may be more manageable that candidates would use a word processor for controlled assessment, with the spell checker switched off. This ensures the spelling is the candidate's own and that marks can be awarded accordingly. Paragraph 2.7.6 states that in writing tasks, marks cannot be awarded for spelling when a candidate is using a scribe.

As an appointed teacher of a candidate outside mainstream education how do I authenticate his/her controlled assessment?

The completion of the controlled assessment must meet the requirements of the specification and be written up under the controls as specified. Click here to access the JCQ Instructions for conducting controlled assessment.

If the candidate is being entered through your examination centre you will be completing the Candidate Record Sheets which confirm the mark and authenticate the work. If however you are sending the completed task to the candidate's centre for marking and internal standardisation it may be helpful to the centre for you to complete the Declaration of Authentication Controlled Assessments, Appendix 1 of the JCQ document and submit that with the work. The centre can then carry out the marking and sign the candidate record sheet.