Amendments to Paper 1: Reading and Writing, and Paper 3: Speaking, from summer 2012

Wed Feb 29 12:30:00 UTC 2012

We've made some amendments to address the unequal weighting between Reading and Writing in our International GCSE English as a Second Language (4ES0).  

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These changes involve the structure of the question paper for Paper 1: Reading and Writing (4ES0/01), and the assessment grid used to assess Part 4.

The change to the assessment grid used to assess Part 4 has also led to a change in the appearance of the grid now used to assess Parts 5 and 6, and the grid used to assess Paper 3: Speaking (4ES0/03). These changes will be implemented from the summer 2012 exam series. The specification requirement has not been changed.

What are the changes?

We've made some minor changes to the structure of the question paper for Paper 1: Reading and Writing (4ES0/01) and the assessment grid used to assess Part 4. 

They are as follows:

  • Reading and Writing now carry an equal mark allocation of 50 marks, reflecting the specification. We have removed 10 marks from the Writing section and moved them to the Reading section.

  • In the Reading section, we will use task types defined in the specification, Teacher’s Guide and Sample Assessment Materials.

  • In the Writing section, the ‘short piece of writing in response to a given situation’ (previously Part 5) has been moved to earlier in the Writing section, and has become Part 4. The previous Part 4, ‘a factual piece of writing based on knowledge and interests’, has now become Part 5.

  • The new Part 4 will have a word count of 75–100 words and be marked out of 10 instead of 20 marks to reflect the shorter response required from students.

  • Students' response to a short piece of writing in response to a given situation (the new Part 4) will be marked using two new assessment grids called ‘Communication, Content and Organisation’ and ‘Range and Accuracy’. Both assessment grids are worth five marks, for a total of 10 marks. The mark range presented in these assessment grids will appear as 0–5.

  • The mark range presented in the assessment grid for the new Part 5 and Part 6 will appear as 0–5 instead of 5–0 to reflect the new assessment grids used for Part 4. The criteria used to assess Parts 5 and 6 have not changed. We've amended the assessment grid used to assess the Paper 3: Speaking (4ES0/03).

The change is as follows:

  • The mark range presented in the assessment grid will now appear as 0–5 instead of 5–0. The criteria used to assess this paper have not changed. The Teacher’s Guide, specification and Sample Assessment Materials have been updated.
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