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

GCSE English Language

For first teaching from September 2017

FAQs

General

Q. 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?

A. 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 Summer 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, Section 4.1) 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.

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

A. No. In order to satisfy the terminal rule, 40% of the qualification must be taken. Any two units in GCSE English Language will satisfy this rule. All units are available in the January and Summer series. If candidates wish to resit the written Controlled Assessment unit (GEN31), two new tasks must be produced which align with the themes set for the period of submission. Themes are set for each calendar year, therefore the themes identified for the January and Summer series are the same. The themes can be accessed at GCSE Controlled Assessment Themes 2018 - 2024

Q. How many times can a candidate sit a unit?

A. 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) Summer of Year 11 and (iii) January of Year 12 and finally (iv) Summer 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, Section 4.1) 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 they enter, as a final submission, must equate to 40% weighting of the overall GCSE English Language award.

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

A. 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.

Q. 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.

Unit 3

Q. Where can I find examples of eulogies that focus on ideas, items or the living?
A. You can access a wide range of eulogies (a speech that praises someone or something highly) on the internet, specifically www.youtube.com . Speeches about the recipients of lifetime achievement awards, for example, meet the criteria for a eulogy. You may find sections of the following examples useful:

Matt Damon praising teachers and the teaching profession
youtube.com

Michelle Obama praising US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton
youtube.com

Steven Spielberg praising composer John Williams
youtube.com

Q. Can I use poetry or drama texts as the basis for Unit 3 Task 2?

A. Yes. Centres can choose extracts from a play or novel or one or more poems for Task 2. The stimulus material selected must have an appropriate level of demand so that students can access the Competence Level that reflects their ability. The write up time is 60 minutes and this should also be considered when selecting stimulus material.