Belfast Telegraph

Review into severity of GCSE and A-level language exams in Northern Ireland

The have been concerns language exams are being graded to severely (Ben Birchall/PA)
The have been concerns language exams are being graded to severely (Ben Birchall/PA)

The severity of the grading in GCSE and A-level language test is to be examined by the Northern Ireland exam board CCEA.

It follows a similar review of grading in England carried out by Qfqual, which concluded that German and French GCSE exams should be marked less severely from 2020.

The review was in response to concerns from schools and stakeholders regarding the severity of grading.

The majority of Northern Ireland students who sit French, German, Spanish and Irish GCSEs do so through CCEA. These exams were not included in the Qfqual review.

Ofqual said it would consult with exam boards in order to improve GCSE grading and changes could be phase in over several years.

A CCEA spokesperson said its review would consider Ofqual's findings.

"CCEA regulation is in the process of conducting its own review of Modern Languages, which will consider the findings of the Ofqual report.

"In recent years, there has been an overall decline in the numbers of pupils studying modern language qualifications at GCSE and A-Level in Northern Ireland and across the UK.

"It is important to establish why students are choosing to take one subject over another and, indeed, why schools are opting to offer particular subjects."

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