Can I still do my courses because of this reason? Watch

DFIU19
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Hi,

I am home educated and want to go to college next year to do my A-Levels. I have just been told I can't take one of my GCSEs as someone who is qualified in that subject has to mark a certain bit of the exam (not coursework). AQA never puts this anywhere on their website, spec or in any of their books. Now I can't take the exam I will only end up doing 4 GCSEs rather than 5. But none of this is my fault and it's not like I'm bad at it, it's just that I'm unable to take it because I don't go to school. Do you think this will affect my chances of doing levels or will they let me since I do have a mitigating factor?

TIA
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学生の父
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(Original post by DFIU19)
Hi,

I am home educated and want to go to college next year to do my A-Levels. I have just been told I can't take one of my GCSEs as someone who is qualified in that subject has to mark a certain bit of the exam (not coursework). AQA never puts this anywhere on their website, spec or in any of their books. Now I can't take the exam I will only end up doing 4 GCSEs rather than 5. But none of this is my fault and it's not like I'm bad at it, it's just that I'm unable to take it because I don't go to school. Do you think this will affect my chances of doing levels or will they let me since I do have a mitigating factor?

TIA
First things first - talk to your college. They would tell you precisely how they will deal with your situation.

Which subject is closed to you? It may be possible to find an alternative specification without that stipulation, or a private candidates centre which can provide the marker.
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DFIU19
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(Original post by 学生の父)First things first - talk to your college. They would tell you precisely how they will deal with your situation.

Which subject is closed to you? It may be possible to find an alternative specification without that stipulation, or a private candidates centre which can provide the marker.

Yeah I tried to do the Edexcel, OCR and AQA and they're all the same.
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学生の父
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(Original post by DFIU19)
Yeah I tried to do the Edexcel, OCR and AQA and they're all the same.
Which subject is it?
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DFIU19
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(Original post by 学生の父)Which subject is it?

GCSE Citizenship
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学生の父
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(Original post by DFIU19)
(Original post by 学生の父)Which subject is it?

GCSE Citizenship
Hm. This is a strange one, isn't it? The specifications are very clear that you do need your active citizenship investigation to be signed off. However, the subject is open to private candidates such as yourself.

What is even stranger is that the investigation itself isn't actually examined (you could make up anything you liked in the exam itself!). This must be a throwback to the earlier syllabus when it would have been a piece of moderated coursework.

I suppose the issue is that the centre where you will sit your GCSEs is unfamiliar with this subject? I certainly wasn't until I just read the specifications. (Only 7,300 took this last year, as opposed to 514,207 who took English Language!) Since you will be paying your centre to enter the rest of your GCSEs there, are you not able to persuade them to find a teacher who is willing to read the spec, check you have done what you should have, and sign off on it?

Otherwise, you will just have to put this down to experience, I guess. It wouldn't be a mitigating circumstance for anything, by the way. As a private candidate it is up to you to ensure in advance that you can find a centre prepared to take you for your subjects.

What else are you sitting for GCSE?
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Compost
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Do you have any proof you could offer the centre that you have fulfilled the requirement? (D of E or similar?)
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DFIU19
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(Original post by 学生の父)
Hm. This is a strange one, isn't it? The specifications are very clear that you do need your active citizenship investigation to be signed off. However, the subject is open to private candidates such as yourself.

What is even stranger is that the investigation itself isn't actually examined (you could make up anything you liked in the exam itself!). This must be a throwback to the earlier syllabus when it would have been a piece of moderated coursework.

I suppose the issue is that the centre where you will sit your GCSEs is unfamiliar with this subject? I certainly wasn't until I just read the specifications. (Only 7,300 took this last year, as opposed to 514,207 who took English Language!) Since you will be paying your centre to enter the rest of your GCSEs there, are you not able to persuade them to find a teacher who is willing to read the spec, check you have done what you should have, and sign off on it?

Otherwise, you will just have to put this down to experience, I guess. It wouldn't be a mitigating circumstance for anything, by the way. As a private candidate it is up to you to ensure in advance that you can find a centre prepared to take you for your subjects.

What else are you sitting for GCSE?
I've done the mocks for Citizenship and got a band 8. If I show them this do you think it will make a difference as it's not like I've failed at the course its the fact that I can't find a centre who will mark the paper for me?
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Compost
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(Original post by DFIU19)
I've done the mocks for Citizenship and got a band 8. If I show them this do you think it will make a difference as it's not like I've failed at the course its the fact that I can't find a centre who will mark the paper for me?
I presume you mean a grade 8 but that would be completely irrelevant. They need to be confident that they can sign the centre declaration here: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/citi...ment-resources saying that you have fulfilled the requirements of tjhe specification 3.5.2. Produce evidence you've done it and they can sign it off.
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Compost
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(Original post by DFIU19)
Hi,

I have just been told I can't take one of my GCSEs as someone who is qualified in that subject has to mark a certain bit of the exam (not coursework). AQA never puts this anywhere on their website, spec or in any of their books.
I've just researched this for the first time based on your assertion. IIt took me less than 5 minutes to discover it's clearly written in their specification https://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resourc...016.PDF(3.5.2) and there's a link to the form the centre has to sign on the Citizenship Assessment resources page https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/citi...ment-resources

I'm afraid there are no grounds for saying it wasn't clear and that you should be exempt.
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Compost
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(Original post by 学生の父)
What is even stranger is that the investigation itself isn't actually examined (you could make up anything you liked in the exam itself!). This must be a throwback to the earlier syllabus when it would have been a piece of moderated coursework.
It's more common that you think - the centre has to make similar declarations for GCSE Sciences, A level Sciences, GCSE Geography, A level Geography etc etc. It's a result of coursework being removed from the formal assessment (because cheating was so easy and so rife) but it being felt that practical experience was still necessary. It has made it very difficult to accept private candidates for most of these subjects.
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学生の父
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(Original post by DFIU19)
I've done the mocks for Citizenship and got a band 8. If I show them this do you think it will make a difference as it's not like I've failed at the course its the fact that I can't find a centre who will mark the paper for me?
It's not the mocks that are at issue. I'm sure you will ace the written exams.

The problem here is the active citizenship investigation. Can you document in full that you have done everything required of you according to the detail of the specification? As I told you last night, I had never heard of this subject before, but when I looked at the spec it was very clear that it isn't just learning, revising and writing.

You have to do an active citizenship investigation, and your centre must satisfy itself that you have done it before they'll sign off on it.
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学生の父
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(Original post by Compost)
It's more common that you think - the centre has to make similar declarations for GCSE Sciences, A level Sciences, GCSE Geography, A level Geography etc etc. It's a result of coursework being removed from the formal assessment (because cheating was so easy and so rife) but it being felt that practical experience was still necessary. It has made it very difficult to accept private candidates for most of these subjects.
Thinking about it now, you're right. Two children have gone through the GCSE Geography fieldwork, one on the old spec (present a portfolio, hand it in, get in moderated); the second on the new spec (write up the fieldwork, make notes, do a written exam making reference to the fieldwork, get it marked externally). So it's no longer the fieldwork itself that's written up and examined, but an arms length reflection upon it.

It looks like a similar process with GCSE Citizenship.
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Compost
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(Original post by 学生の父)
Thinking about it now, you're right. Two children have gone through the GCSE Geography fieldwork, one on the old spec (present a portfolio, hand it in, get in moderated); the second on the new spec (write up the fieldwork, make notes, do a written exam making reference to the fieldwork, get it marked externally). So it's no longer the fieldwork itself that's written up and examined, but an arms length reflection upon it.

It looks like a similar process with GCSE Citizenship.
The difficult bit for the OP will be for him to produce something simple and clear enough for the centre to sign off without much expertise or time involved, otherwise the centre will just say no.
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thestudent33
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(Original post by DFIU19)
Hi,

I am home educated and want to go to college next year to do my A-Levels. I have just been told I can't take one of my GCSEs as someone who is qualified in that subject has to mark a certain bit of the exam (not coursework). AQA never puts this anywhere on their website, spec or in any of their books. Now I can't take the exam I will only end up doing 4 GCSEs rather than 5. But none of this is my fault and it's not like I'm bad at it, it's just that I'm unable to take it because I don't go to school. Do you think this will affect my chances of doing levels or will they let me since I do have a mitigating factor?

TIA
Can't you just quickly pick up another subject?

Business is a good option. I'm self-studying it rn and it can definitely be learnt in three months. Also, it's linear so it should be fine. It's up to you though
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DFIU19
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(Original post by thestudent33)
Can't you just quickly pick up another subject?

Business is a good option. I'm self-studying it rn and it can definitely be learnt in three months. Also, it's linear so it should be fine. It's up to you though
Im already doing business and religious studies. I was thinking about sociology but no way in 3 months
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学生の父
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(Original post by DFIU19)
Im already doing business and religious studies. I was thinking about sociology but no way in 3 months
English Literature?
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Simbasoul
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If you have the evidence that you have done the active citizenship investigation, then I would take that evidence and the declaration to the exam centre you have chosen to sit your GCSEs in and asking to see the exams officer there and ask them to nominate someone in their institution to validate it.

Or is the issue more that you have not done the active citizen investgation....in which case, I'm sorry but that is on you as it is clear from the spec that this is a fundamental part of the overall qualification.
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DFIU19
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(Original post by Simbasoul)
If you have the evidence that you have done the active citizenship investigation, then I would take that evidence and the declaration to the exam centre you have chosen to sit your GCSEs in and asking to see the exams officer there and ask them to nominate someone in their institution to validate it.

Or is the issue more that you have not done the active citizen investgation....in which case, I'm sorry but that is on you as it is clear from the spec that this is a fundamental part of the overall qualification.
I know how to do it but the teacher will have to asses me and the exams centre say that nobody can do that because they don't teach the subject. My argument is why do they advertise that private candidates can take GCSE citizenship but none of the exam centres will accept me. I have called about 40 different centres up and down the country and none of them will. So not only have I wasted 1.5 years doing a course I cannot take the exam for but now I am really struggling to get a place in college because of this.
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TheTroll73
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(Original post by 学生の父)
English Literature?
Ha ha no way you can recommend that

that subject ruined my A/A* streak as I've barely scraped a C (and that with A* in English Language) and that's with 2 years of studying. I'd probably get a G (or whatever it's called now) if I had just 3 months lol.

To OP, well 5 is still a pretty low amount, you should have done more as you will see 3 A levels is a much higher workload than 5 GCSEs. Bets case here you do more exams next year.
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