FAQs

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General

The Entry Level Certificate in Mathematics and Entry Level Functional Skills in Mathematics are different qualifications. ELC Mathematics is designed to support students working below GCSE level to progress towards GCSE Mathematics.

The qualification is eligible for 16-19 funding. However, it does not meet the condition of funding for mathematics so learners would need to take another qualification alongside it to meet that requirement.

Yes. We are providing free support to help you plan, teach, track and assess, and develop the new course, including Getting Started guide, course planner, scheme of work, mapping documents and sample assessment materials. The materials are available here.

Assessment

The live assessment are on our website. You will notice that they are protected with a ‘gold padlock’. This means that centres will need to make estimated or actual entries before being able to access the live assessment tests and tasks.

All tests must be formally supervised (must not be taken out of the teacher’s direct supervision by a student at any time). However, tests may be administered in the normal classroom environment, and can be supervised by the teacher.

Materials which can allow students to directly access knowledge that is being assessed must be removed or covered. Posters, displays, wall charts should therefore be covered so students cannot retrieve the answers to questions from the classroom.

The guidance given below is taken from the JCQ guidance - ‘Instruction for Conducting Exams’.

Reading the Entry-level tests/tasks to students

A reader may help a student to read the mathematics tests/tasks. They may:

  • clarify instructions, as long as no additional information is given which could invalidate the test
  • read, but not clarify, subject-specific vocabulary
  • refer a student back to the previous part of the question in multi-part questions

If a mathematics question is read to a student,   the reader may read words and numbers, but not mathematical symbols. This is so that the function of a mathematical symbol is not inadvertently explained by reading its name.

Using a prompter for Entry-level tests/tasks

A prompter may be permitted by the SENCo where a candidate has little or no sense of time, or loses concentration easily, or is affected by an obsessive-compulsive disorder which leads them to keep revising a question rather than moving on to other questions.

  • A prompter is a responsible adult who may sit beside the candidate in order to keep him or her focused on the need to answer a question and then move on to answering the next question.
  • A prompter is not a reader, a scribe or a practical assistant but the same person may act as such, as long as permission has been given for any or all of these arrangements. Further information about specific access arrangements can be found using the JCQ Access Arrangements and Special Considerations document here.

A prompter

  • may use the following prompts either vocally or written on a flash card such as: “Jack - focus on the question’’; “Jack - there are 15 minutes left’’
  • may tap on the desk or on the student’s arm or use the student’s name, depending on what is normal practice, in order to remind the student that he or she must pay attention to the question or that it is time for the student to move on to the next question
  • must not advise the student regarding which questions to do, or on the order in which questions should be answered
  • must not give factual help or offer any suggestions or communicate in any way other than those listed above

Apparatus in the mathematics ELC test

Schools don’t need to notify or receive approval from Edexcel if they are using apparatus in the mathematics tests/tasks, but the arrangement must reflect normal classroom practice. If a student has difficulty accessing two-dimensional diagrams, schools may give them real objects that look like those illustrated in the mathematics tests/tasks. Shapes should be identical to those drawn and relative sizes should be the same. Number apparatus or counters can also be used.

Number squares, times tables etc. must not be used.

Yes. It is permitted to create a large print version of the tests/tasks. If you do enlarge a test, then the mark scheme for any questions requiring students to measure lengths of lines will need to be adjusted accordingly. The mark scheme for all measuring questions allows for answers correct to ±0.2cm.

The answer should be marked by the teacher when the student shows it and the mark awarded should be immediately recorded on the student's test paper.

Yes. If the student is claiming certification at Entry Level 1, only the marks achieved from Part 1 of task contribute towards their total marks. If the student is claiming certification at Entry Level 2, only the marks achieved from Part 1 and Part 2 of the task contribute towards their total mark. If the student is claiming certification at Entry Level 3, all the marks achieved on Parts 1, 2 and 3 of the task contribute towards their total mark.

There are three sets of live papers available for each assessment component. Therefore a student can attempt each assessment a maximum of three times in one exam series.

No. The student may retake just the assessment component or components required.

Yes. For example, the Entry Level 1 test can be completed from ‘Set 1’ and the Entry Level 1 task can be completed from ‘Set 2’ if required.

The condoning of non-mathematical errors are described within the mark scheme where applicable. As general guidance, non-mathematical errors, such as spelling mistakes, are permitted as long as the intention is clear.

The assessments can be attempted at any time. There is no specific exam timetable for taking these tests and tasks, but submissions must be made by 15 May 2018. The components can be done in any order.

Whenever possible, marking should be checked by another teacher in the centre to avoid errors. This should include checks that the mark scheme has been applied correctly and the total marks awarded is accurate. This is not a requirement, but is in the centre’s best interest to do so.

Once students have sat the test(s) and task for the Entry Level they are aiming to achieve and you are satisfied that they do not need to retake any elements, you will need to submit their best score for each assessment component using the assessment authentication sheet in Appendix 1 of the specification.

When asked to send samples of work for moderation, it is only the task and the test(s) that provide the evidence of the best score that need be sent. If these are re-tests, then previous attempts (which do not add evidential scores) need not be sent as part of this sample.

Section 6 of the ‘Entry Level Certificate in Mathematics (2017) Getting Started Guide’ provides further information.

A checklist for submitting work can also be found under 'Course Materials' - 'Forms and Administration'. 

The deadline for entries for certification in given in our information manual (section 2 - Key Dates).

The submission deadline for all work for both specifications is 15 May 2018. Marks are entered via Edexcel Online once entries have been made. A sample (or perhaps all if the sample is small) is sent to a moderator by 15 May.

No. The tests and tasks that have been produced are intended to be used for the lifetime of the qualification.

Special considerations

Teachers must speak to their centre’s SENCo who will follow the JCQ process for Access Arrangements outlined here.

Teachers must speak to their centre’s SENCo. Requests for particular equipment that fall outside the JCQ rules for Access Arrangements should be made here.

A bilingual dictionary may be used where the student’s first language is not English, Irish or Welsh and where use of such a dictionary reflects the student’s normal way of working within the centre.

The JCQ webpage and supporting documents related to Access Arrangements, Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration are here.

For complex cases, our special requirements will review each submission on a case-by-case basis. Applications for this can be made here.