Getting ready for the summer 2016 Computer Science and ICT exam series

Mon Mar 14 10:27:12 UTC 2016

Are you submitting coursework or controlled assessment this summer? This update contains a reminder of the processes for preparing your students' work, key deadlines, the materials you need to send to the moderator and exam timetables.

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Final dates for submission of coursework and controlled assessment

For the following qualifications, the final date for submitting your marks and samples of work for the summer 2016 series is 15 May 2016:

  • GCSE ICT
  • GCSE Computer Science
  • CiDA/DiDA
  • GCE Applied ICT

By 15 May 2016, you must have submitted your coursework/controlled assessment marks to Edexcel via Edexcel online, and have sent your sample (visible on Edexcel online from mid-April) to the moderator. Your moderator’s name and address will be available on Edexcel online from mid-April.

For each qualification, several examples of marked work are available to help exemplify the mark scheme band descriptors, the most recent from summer 2015 under ‘teaching and learning materials’. There are also very useful past training content resources available in the qualification pages on the website - please use these to help build confidence in your assessments.

Principal moderators' reports also contain lots of useful guidance, together with several examples of controlled assessment and coursework with moderator comments. These are also on the relevant qualification pages under 'examiner reports'.

Every year, some centres have their marks changed as a result of the moderation process, so please make sure you read the moderators' reports carefully. 

In large centres with multiple teachers, it's essential that you carry out internal moderation before you finalise the coursework or controlled assessment marks. You should sample double-mark, selecting mark points within the same band from different teaching sets. The double marking should continue until you are satisfied that you have achieved comparability.

Small schools with only one teacher need not carry out internal standardisation. Using local schools to perform cross moderation exercises is always useful, and considered to be good practice.

The GCSE, CiDA/DiDA, and International GCE all require detailed Candidate Assessment Record and Authentication Forms to be submitted. The forms are combined in one Candidate Assessment Record (CAR) for GCSE and CiDA/DiDA.

Details of your reasoning in assessment and pointers to the moderator on judgements you made are very useful, as is reference to the location of evidence that might otherwise be missed by the moderator. You should use these forms as your opportunity to explain your assessment.

You should not attempt to grade the work; you should be marking the work by applying the marking criteria in a consistent manner.

The controlled assessment and coursework grades will be awarded at the end of each examination series using the standard code of practice awarding process.

Grade boundaries (where appropriate), are subject to change each exam series. They are published on the grade boundaries page of our website. For summer 2016, they'll be available to download from results day: 17 August 2016 for GCE and 24 August 2016 for GCSE, CiDA/DiDA and International GCSE.

Please also remember that the mark you submit to us should be the total raw mark, nothing else.

A score of zero should only be used if a candidate has submitted work that is found to meet none of the assessment criteria. An X should be used for any candidate who is absent.

Your marks should be submitted online via Edexcel Online/ EDI. You must print out a copy of the marks for the moderator and for your own records. Find out how here.

In order to enter marks you must have ‘basic access’ and ‘coursework and portfolio’ ticked on your Edexcel online profile. If you don’t have this, your exams officer can amend your profile.

Please note that all GCSE marks are submitted online only

OPTEMS forms are not sent out for GCSE. Marks for other qualifications may be submitted using OPTEMS if desired.

Completed OPTEMS forms should be sent with the sample to the moderator.

If you've already submitted a mark but it needs to be amended (for example, because of an administrative error), please email the details to courseworkmarks@pearson.com.

On Edexcel Online, from mid-April, you'll see an asterisk or tick next to the names of those students whose work needs to be sent for moderation. You also need to send the work of the highest- and lowest-scoring candidates in addition to the requested sample. If any of the called-for candidates have been withdrawn or have incomplete submissions, please provide additional candidates' work of a comparable level, along with a covering note.

The name and address of your moderator will be available on Edexcel Online or EDI when the sample is up from mid-April.

Most GCSE controlled assessment tasks have a recommended length of 'up to 1,000 words'. This total is for guidance only and there are no penalties for exceeding the word count guidance.

While moderating your centre's coursework or controlled assessment, the moderator will write an E9, moderator’s report which will give you detailed feedback on your marking and administration. You will be able to download this report on results day. Find out how to access your E9 report. If you can't access your report, please ask your examinations officer for assistance.

I hope you have found this update useful. If you have further questions you can contact Samir Ghanim (Subject Specialist for Computer Science and ICT) and I on 020 7010 2161. You can email us directly on TeachingICT@Pearson.com or TeachingComputerScience@Pearson.com and follow me on Twitter @PearsonICT and @Pearson_CS We also offer a live chat service to answer any quick questions you have.

Best wishes

Tim Brady 

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