How is Spanish GCSE assessed?

Spanish GCSE aims to assess your knowledge of the language across four skill areas; Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Examiners are looking to see that as a candidate you can both use and understand the language in the four different skill areas.

At the end of the course there will be one Listening exam and one Reading exam. Each one is worth 20% of the final mark.

Speaking and Writing are assessed by means of Controlled Assessments. There are two Speaking tasks and two Writing tasks that need to be conducted throughout the course. Altogether they are worth 60%.

So what is a Controlled Assessment? This is an exam but it has a number of advantages:

  • It is not set by the examining board. You have a choice.
  • You can choose the topic areas which suit you best. Decide where your strengths lie.
  • You have scheduled preparation time – so ensure you prepare well and maximise your research from the internet, notes, textbook and dictionary.
  • You will be allowed to make notes in Spanish (as bullet points) and take them into the exam room.
  • If you have the opportunity of carrying out more than 2 tasks you can select the best 2 to send to the examining board. 

Overall the Controlled Assessments (Speaking and Writing) are worth 60% so it is worth preparing well. There is no Foundation or Higher Level in these tasks. All students are entered in the same way.

Listening and Reading are exam based and are worth 40%. There is the possibility of being entered as either a Foundation or Higher Level candidate depending on your knowledge, strengths or level of confidence. The papers are different. The difficulty level varies considerably. However, if you aim to achieve the higher grades you need to opt for Higher Level papers.

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