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Help me. I'm so stuck

Hi guys! I want to know that if I did terribly on the first English Language GCSE paper, could I pass by doing better in the second paper? Do you think the examiners will be more kind this year? What do you think the grade boundaries might be? I'm feeling so sick at this point because I do not want to re take. All I need is a 4 and I feel like I got a 3. I can't stop worrying.
Original post by Anonymous
Hi guys! I want to know that if I did terribly on the first English Language GCSE paper, could I pass by doing better in the second paper?

The simple answer is, "Yes". Let's take an extreme case of you getting 20% in the first paper, but 60% in the second. Assuming they're equally weighted (you don't mention your exam board, so I can't check) that'd be 40% overall, which is likely to be a 4 (depending on the exam board).

Original post by Anonymous
Do you think the examiners will be more kind this year? What do you think the grade boundaries might be?

Well, although they're not being "kind", they are taking account of the fact that everyone's learning has been impacted to some degree by Covid. One of the way's they're doing this is is by setting the grade boundaries such that the proportion of candidates who get each grade is the mid-point between the proportion of candidates who obtained that grade in 2019 (when exams were last held) and who were awarded that grade in 2021 (when teacher-assessed grades were used).

Using Eduqas numbers as an example, in June 2019 64.3% of candidates got at least a grade 4. In June 2021 it was 75.9% (due to teachers being more generous). So this year, they'll set the boundary at whatever it needs to be to ensure that 70.1% of candidates get at least a 4 (because 70.1% is midway between 64.3% and 75.9%).

Original post by Anonymous
I'm feeling so sick at this point because I do not want to re take. All I need is a 4 and I feel like I got a 3. I can't stop worrying.

If you're around the 3 vs. 4 threshold, that increase in the proportion of students getting a 4 could really make all the difference. Fingers crossed!
Reply 2
Original post by DataVenia
The simple answer is, "Yes". Let's take an extreme case of you getting 20% in the first paper, but 60% in the second. Assuming they're equally weighted (you don't mention your exam board, so I can't check) that'd be 40% overall, which is likely to be a 4 (depending on the exam board).

My exam board is AQA. I think I didn't do well on Q5 which is awful because that's how you gain the marks. I was too busy panicking in the exam and I couldn't concentrate. I have been getting 4s and 5s in my mocks and my teacher used to mark english papers so she was strict with my mock grading and now I've done worse than what I did in my mocks. I watched so many youtube videos, I have revised sooooo much and now I just panic and then I will most likely fail. I do not want to fail English as I need to focus on A-levels.
Reply 3
Original post by DataVenia

Well, although they're not being "kind", they are taking account of the fact that everyone's learning has been impacted to some degree by Covid. One of the way's they're doing this is is by setting the grade boundaries such that the proportion of candidates who get each grade is the mid-point between the proportion of candidates who obtained that grade in 2019 (when exams were last held) and who were awarded that grade in 2021 (when teacher-assessed grades were used).

This is scary! I have my second paper tomorrow and I'm trying to revise but I'm worrying far too much. I can't help it. I had a nightmare about failing last night too and it's just not helping.
Reply 4
Original post by DataVenia


If you're around the 3 vs. 4 threshold, that increase in the proportion of students getting a 4 could really make all the difference. Fingers crossed!

I think I would've got a three in this first paper what is the percentage of that in the exam? I just really need a 4 and I deserve a 6 at least with all my work but it's just the exams I can't deal with.
Original post by Anonymous
I think I would've got a three in this first paper what is the percentage of that in the exam? I just really need a 4 and I deserve a 6 at least with all my work but it's just the exams I can't deal with.

Original post by Anonymous
This is scary! I have my second paper tomorrow and I'm trying to revise but I'm worrying far too much. I can't help it. I had a nightmare about failing last night too and it's just not helping.

Apologies. I didn't mean to scare you. The fact that they're being more generous this year than they were the last time exams were held was supposed to give you some comfort!

Let's run the AQA numbers, as you've mentioned above that that's your exam board. In 2019, 62.1% obtained a grade 4 or above. To achieve that you'd need to get 76 out of 160 marks, or 47.5%. In 2021, using teacher assessed grades, 74.0% obtained a grade 4 or above. (There were no grade boundaries that year.) So, this year, they'll set the boundaries such that 68.05% of candidates get at least a grade 4. (At least, that what they've implied they'll do.)

As about 550,000 candidates take AQA English Language each year, this means that about 33,000 more students will gain at least a grade 4 this year than would have been the case if they'd sat the 2019 paper using 2019 grade boundaries. That's a good thing, right?
Reply 6
Original post by DataVenia
Apologies. I didn't mean to scare you. The fact that they're being more generous this year than they were the last time exams were held was supposed to give you some comfort!

Let's run the AQA numbers, as you've mentioned above that that's your exam board. In 2019, 62.1% obtained a grade 4 or above. To achieve that you'd need to get 76 out of 160 marks, or 47.5%. In 2021, using teacher assessed grades, 74.0% obtained a grade 4 or above. (There were no grade boundaries that year.) So, this year, they'll set the boundaries such that 68.05% of candidates get at least a grade 4. (At least, that what they've implied they'll do.)

As about 550,000 candidates take AQA English Language each year, this means that about 33,000 more students will gain at least a grade 4 this year than would have been the case if they'd sat the 2019 paper using 2019 grade boundaries. That's a good thing, right?

Hi, oh no it's fine! I'm just scaring myself for no reason. I hope so. I just know deep down I haven't done great which tells me I'll fail. I also am considering doing Level 2 Functional Skills instead of re taking this GCSE. Do you know if I can do an exam after this one or is it not allowed? I'm dyslexic and it's causing me so much stress for nothing. I wish sometimes my brain was less complicated and I could read better. I can't change that - I'm good at my other subjects. It's just a shame I struggle in a core subject and I've even been in top sets which is because of my writing and I'm not bad but I can't grasp contexts and understand huge paragraphs as it won't sink in. Do you know if Universities accept Level 2 Functional Skills as I don't want to sit it if they don't as it's pointless.Thank you a lot for your support and help. It's helpful!
Original post by Anonymous
Hi guys! I want to know that if I did terribly on the first English Language GCSE paper, could I pass by doing better in the second paper? Do you think the examiners will be more kind this year? What do you think the grade boundaries might be? I'm feeling so sick at this point because I do not want to re take. All I need is a 4 and I feel like I got a 3. I can't stop worrying.


It’s only 40% the next papers 60% you’ll be fine work hard for the next!!!! i know it’s hard but you’ll most likely fail if you sit here thinking about it and don’t revise for tomorrow!
Reply 8
Original post by Anonymous
It’s only 40% the next papers 60% you’ll be fine work hard for the next!!!! i know it’s hard but you’ll most likely fail if you sit here thinking about it and don’t revise for tomorrow!

I thought it was 50/50 it's AQA
Original post by Anonymous
I thought it was 50/50 it's AQA


oh yeah sorry it is, even so the grade boundary’s this year are already said to be 8% lower than 2019 minimum so don’t worry
Original post by Anonymous
Do you know if Universities accept Level 2 Functional Skills as I don't want to sit it if they don't as it's pointless.Thank you a lot for your support and help. It's helpful!

I've never see it mentioned in university entry requirements before. However, I've just done a search and it's occasionally mentioned. For example, Bournemouth University accept it ("We accept the qualifications listed below as suitable Level 2 literacy and numeracy equivalences.", "Functional Skills Level 2 in English") as does London South Bank University ("We’ll also accept Functional Skills Level 2 Maths and English in place of GCSEs"). University of Portsmouth also mentions it as an option ("If you don't have your GCSE English or Maths, but meet the other entry criteria, you may be able to take a Level 2 functional skills qualification to meet the entry requirements.").

However, I think you'll potentially have far fewer university options available to you if you opt for Level 2 Functional Skills instead of the English Language retake (assuming you don't pass it first time, that is). Did you have a particular university in mind?
Original post by Anonymous
oh yeah sorry it is, even so the grade boundary’s this year are already said to be 8% lower than 2019 minimum so don’t worry


No problem! That is a relief! I just did really bad on Q5 with the picture. I did ok in the other questions so hopefully it adds up. Do you reckon you need 40 marks per paper for a pass or less?
Original post by DataVenia
I've never see it mentioned in university entry requirements before. However, I've just done a search and it's occasionally mentioned. For example, Bournemouth University accept it ("We accept the qualifications listed below as suitable Level 2 literacy and numeracy equivalences.", "Functional Skills Level 2 in English") as does London South Bank University ("We’ll also accept Functional Skills Level 2 Maths and English in place of GCSEs"). University of Portsmouth also mentions it as an option ("If you don't have your GCSE English or Maths, but meet the other entry criteria, you may be able to take a Level 2 functional skills qualification to meet the entry requirements.").

However, I think you'll potentially have far fewer university options available to you if you opt for Level 2 Functional Skills instead of the English Language retake (assuming you don't pass it first time, that is). Did you have a particular university in mind?


Oh, ok. I am going to stick with re taking if I do fail. I also just spoke with my teacher on teams and she advised me not to do Level 2 Functional Skills so I'm going to stay away from that. I don't really have anything in mind yet - I will be researching soon. Just fingers crossed tomorrow will be fine. I like the Q5 on paper 2 better anyway. So I might be fine.

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