Changes to English and maths qualifications. They’re the two basic requirements everyone needs to progress further in education or for employment so let’s find out what’s changed.
Changes to English and maths qualifications at GCSE level
Because of the changes to English and maths qualifications, English language GCSE now involves reading more texts, both fiction and non-fiction, from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. You will also have to pay more attention to your spelling, punctuation and grammar. If you studied GCSE English before, you would be entered for a foundation paper or a higher paper. These levels have been removed and so has controlled assessment, which means that you’ll only be formally tested by doing exams from now on.
The new maths GCSE is still tiered so you will be entered for either the foundation paper, which will be graded 1 – 5 or the higher paper, which will be graded 4 – 9. Since the Government implemented changes to English and maths qualifications there is now more content in the new maths GCSE. You’ll be learning about ratio, proportion and rates of change and you will have to memorise some formulae for the exams. Another change to maths GCSE is that the questions will be more open-ended and less clearly structured.
Changes to English and maths qualifications at A-level
A-level maths was set to change at the same time as changes to English and maths qualifications took place but this has been delayed until 2017. This is to give pupils a chance to study the new maths GCSE before doing the A-level. A-level English language has changed, though – the coursework part of the AS-level has been removed although at A-level, 20 per cent of the final mark is still given to the research-based work you do.
How you are assessed since the changes to English and maths qualifications
Because of the changes to English and maths qualifications, AS and A-levels will now be assessed at the end of the one or two-year course. This is known as linear assessment and it replaces the modular system of assessment which allowed for some exams to be taken mid-way through the course.
This means that you will sit all of your exams in the summer exam series and that you won’t do any modules in January any more. Also, your one-year AS-level result no longer counts counts towards your final A-level qualification. An AS-level is now a standalone qualification.
How the changes to English and maths qualifications work
GCSEs will now be graded 9 – 1 rather than A* – G.
|Old Grade||New Grade|
|This is a new grade introduced for exceptional candidate results.||9|
|Grades 5 and 6 will cover what would have been a high C, low B, B or high B grade.||5/6|
|F and G||1|