Edexcel English Literature is composed of three papers; paper 1 and paper 2 are examination papers, and paper 3, the coursework, which is an alternative to paper 2. A problem took place in the last examination session – June 2014- when two students asked for remarking their English Literature exam papers since they found that they were only two marks below grade C – the minimum grade for getting accepted in universities- and the huge drop was in their coursework paper.
After 42 days, the students were asked to return the statements of results they have already received before; which indicates that the students have actually failed after remarking their papers. The reason for their failure was that Edexcel moderators found out that the coursework papers of the 2 students along with other students have been taken from the internet. This, however, was not done by the students themselves, rather, by their teacher who claimed that this would be better for them and guarantee them mistakes-free coursework. When the moderators found out that the papers of all the students who took with this teacher were copied from the internet, they considered it a form of cheating –which it is-. The students’ marks where hugely deducted where the two students got E and F.
According to the 2012 specification for Edexcel International GCSE in English Literature (4ET0), paper 3 coursework is an alternative to paper 2 and it is only available in Edexcel-approved teaching institutions. Though the assignment is internally set and assessed, it is moderated by Edexcel.
As for the teacher’s role in the student’s coursework, the specification reads as follows:
“Teachers can advise students about the production of coursework, but should not proof read early drafts or correct every technical error. Teachers may suggest improvements to the content of the coursework, but it is the student’s responsibility to make any corrections…. Teachers should use their professional judgment to select and apply the criteria appropriately and fairly to the work of students.”
Regarding the authentication of the coursework, it is clearly stated that plagiarism must be avoided: “Each student’s coursework frontsheet must contain a declaration by the teacher that the work submitted for assessment is the student’s own work… It is the responsibility of the centre to ensure that Edexcel’s regulations are adhered to and that no student has engaged in unfair examination practice. Teachers should be alert to essays derived from other sources — such as the internet — when signing the declaration on the coursework frontsheet.”
Thus, students should take the responsibility to do their own work and depend on themselves. They should seek the help and guidance of their teachers of course, but when it comes to examinations and assignments, it should be the student’s own work. Firstly, this is the means by which the students can know their level and to what extent they have progressed. Secondly, any attempts of plagiarism and resorting to unauthentic resources to do the coursework –such as copy-pasting from the internet- surely will be discovered by Edexcel moderators, which will cost the students their grade.
Mariam Shalaby (IGCSE’12) – Academic Adviser at The IG Club
Farah Hesham (IGCSE’15)
Coordinated and supervised by:
Mariam Aly Hassan ( Head of Academic Advising section )
For any further information about the plagiarism incident or if you have any information to tell please contact
Noor El Din El Mahallawi ( CEO – The IG Club)