General FAQs

Some Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t live in the UK can I still use your courses?

Absolutely! Our courses are designed to work just as well for international students. Just check which boards your local exam centre covers and you can get started. Your course is delivered as a PDF download and you can send your scanned Follow Up Work to your tutor by email. Our tutors are available by email to support you and answer questions. We have welcomed many international students recently.  It’s lovely to have them onboard!

 Can your courses be covered in a year ?

Most of our students find that they are able to cover the courses and take the exam in one academic year. So for example, if they start in September of one year and they study, on average, one topic per week, taking 4 to 6 hours to do so, they will complete the course in good time for revision and practise on past papers.
What are the exam boards’ plans for the curriculum?
Upcoming changes to the Edexcel Exams:

Edexcel state:

All our current Edexcel International GCSE subjects will continue to be available until a last assessment date of May / June 2018 or January 2019 for subjects with current January availability.

They state:

“We plan to introduce more up-to-date content so it reflects the latest thinking in each subject and to ensure that the content and assessment standards are comparable to the new GCSEs. This is to ensure that these qualifications are even more relevant and engaging for students, and that they are of comparable demand to the new reformed GCSEs.

With the introduction of a new 9-1 grading scale for GCSEs in England,  the A* grade available for the current International GCSEs does not neatly align with the top grade 9. Grade 9 represents a higher level of attainment than the current A* grade. After extensive consultation with schools and wider stakeholders, we have taken the decision to introduce the 9-1 grading scale for the updated suite of International GCSEs. This is to give the very highest performers the opportunity to achieve a grade 9, rewarding outstanding academic achievement.

With 9 levels of performance rather than 8, there is greater differentiation of the most able at the top end of the grading scale, which better identifies students’ potential, putting you in a stronger position to help students make informed decisions about their A level and university choices.”

Edexcel Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Human Biology and Double Award 
Last examinations of the current specification is January 2019.
The new specification will be available for September 2017 and the first examination is Summer 2019.

Edexcel Geography
Last examination of the current specification is June 2018. The first examination of the new specification is summer 2019. The exam will become a 3 paper exam of 1.5 hours each.
Edexcel Maths
The specification for the Edexcel Mathematics ( specification A ) is changing, but our course has been written to take these changes in to account, so you do not need to take any action regarding this.
The old specification, which was written in 2009, will have it’s last examination in January 2018 – and has the code 4MA0, it will be graded under the old system of A* to G.  Study using the new specification can start from this year, for first examination in June 2018, with code 4MA1, it will be graded 1 – 9. It will then be available in both the January and June sittings thereafter.
Cambridge (CIE)

Upcoming changes to Cambridge (CIE) Exams

Cambridge (CIE) have announced they are not changing their IGCSEs in the near future, so these will remain on the A*-G scale.

They did introduce new 9-1 IGCSEs in English and maths, which are OFQUAL accredited, when they thought state schools would be able to continue to choose between IGCSEs and GCSEs. However, the government decided not to allow any competition to the new GCSEs at first, so these specifications are on hold. They have kept the original A*-G specification as the ongoing standard.

All CIE Courses are current for the 2016 – 2018 specifications. There are only slight changes for the science courses planned for 2019 and they state all books used for 2016 can still be used.
 CIE History
The current history spec (0470) was new for 2015 and exams are currently planned up until Nov 2019. It is the old style A-G kind.  There are no details yet about after that.
There is a actually a new spec also running alongside (0977) which is the new 1-9 style. First sittings are for June 2018. It is exactly the same as the other one and the exams are going to be exactly the same. The only difference is this one can only be sat in the UK. I’ve been watching it to see if it is going to be available to external candidates and it now says that it is, so our UK students can choose which one they sit.
IGCSE English from Catherine Mooney
 The new IGCSE specifications in English Language and English Literature that will examined for the first time in Summer 2018. As a course provider it is always difficult knowing when to time the introduction of a new course – indeed I am still taking enrolments for students who want to sit the exam in summer 2017. However this is the third time the specs have been updated in the life of Catherine Mooney Tutoring, and as with each of the previous occasions, the changes are fairly minimal when everything has been boiled down. Most of the changes are only visible on the exam papers themselves where the same old questions appear in a slightly different order (and of course the grades are now 1 – 9 rather than A – G; not that this makes much difference in practice). Indeed the situation reminds me of those updated menus you sometimes get in chain restaurants in which everything looks startlingly different but when you look closely burger and chips is still available, if located in a different place… 
So as with previous upgrades the following will happen:
For English Language:
1) Existing students who choose to take the exam in summer 2018 will receive an updated section enabling them to orientate themselves to the new exam paper. This will be provided free of charge and the extra assignment will also be marked free of charge.
2) Students who enrol from March onwards will receive the new course (unless they are aiming for the summer 2017 exam and need to fast-track). 
For English Literature:
The situation for English Literature is a little different because there will be four, rather than three, texts to study on the new spec. However the first half of the course (Pride and Prejudice and the Poetry Anthology) remains the same (apart from a few changes to the poetry anthology). The new texts I will be introducing will be Of Mice and Men and An Inspector Calls. So for English Literature students the following will happen:
1) Existing students who choose to take the exam in 2018 will receive an updated section on Of Mice and Men and An Inspector Calls.
2) Students who enrol from March onwards will receive the new version of the course. 

My child has a learning disability, are your courses suitable ?

We have worked with children with learning disabilities, particularly dyslexia, and are confident that with the correct support from us, married with a continuation of their usual working practices and support from home, most students will be able to use our courses to help them pass their IGCSE exams.
This from a parent about a student who took the Biology Cambridge CIE exam this year ‘

‘… he got a C, which is a big accomplishment bearing in mind he had only come out of school a year before really struggling with learning due to his dyspraxia n dyslexia, the purpose of this GCSE was for me to show him he can learn and help build his self esteem n confidence (which was not in a good place at school)…and I have achieved that.
Big thank you, you were so helpful and patiently answered all my questions.”

 

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