Listening and reading tiered examinations for GCSE Chinese, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Urdu

Thu May 17 12:29:00 UTC 2012

Centres teaching GCSE languages may delay decisions on a candidate’s tier of entry for listening and reading, but it must be confirmed before the exam. 

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The specifications for Edexcel GCSEs in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Urdu enable centres to delay decisions on candidates’ tiers of entry for listening and reading exams until after formal qualification entries have been made, as students can make significant progress in these language skills after their mock exams.

Because of this, we send out both foundation and higher tier papers for each student to accommodate any late tier-of-entry decisions.

However, tiers of entry must be determined before candidates enter the examination room, as students can only undertake one paper (at either foundation or higher tier). This conforms to Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) instructions for conducting examinations.

In these instructions, invigilators are required to ensure that they tell the candidates to read the instructions on the front of the question paper, and ask them to check that they have been given the exam paper for the correct subject, unit and tier. They must not, of course, have access to both sets of papers in the exam room.

Theoretically, teachers can make entry tier decisions on the day of the exam, but this would be very unusual. They are expected to have discussed and negotiated these with their students some time before the date of the examinations, both to inform students and to aid the planning of practical exam arrangements at their centre.

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