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There are loads of exam boards out there for GCSEs and A-Levels. In fact, there are five! You have AQA, Pearsons Edexcel, OCR, WJEC and CCEA. All of them have slightly different ways of going about their work. Plus, they also have their own textbooks, their own exam specs and much, much more.
However, all of the boards offer you the same results in the end. All five boards must follow the guidelines set out by the Department for Education (DfE) and cover all of the content, skills and knowledge that it demands. That way, the DfE can be sure that all students around the country will be leaving school with the same level of preparation. So, all five of the exam boards have the same end goal, but the execution of the courses is different for each.
On Shani’s Tutoring, I don’t go for a specific exam board. Instead, I make sure that my content is in line with the DfE’s standards. Therefore, I know that I am covering content that has to be covered on all five of the boards. I make sure that I cover all of the required topics and skills. Then, I move on to the suggested, non-essential content just to be sure. I have subscribed to the DfE’s website, too, so that I’m on top of any changes.
Then, I supplement my in-depth study of the DfE’s guidelines by getting as many resources from as many different exam boards as I can. That means I have textbooks, revision guides and exam specs from each of the boards, just to make sure I’ve got everything covered!
The short answer is Yes. The long answer is yes, and a lot more. Allow me to explain.
I make sure that the content on the site covers info that can help you to prepare for any of the five boards. You’ll get the basics that any student should know. Then, I give you some extra info specific to each board. That means that you’ll have what you need to prepare for your exam, plus the info that other students need for other exams, too!
Try to do all of the tasks that you can, though. There’s no such thing as unnecessary information in English. All of the exam boards have great resources that can be used to help you! And I choose the best and the most important ideas from each board.
The beauty of English is that no knowledge that you learn will ever be irrelevant. If you have learnt something extra that isn’t on your exam spec, there’s nothing wrong with that! As long as you cover everything that your exam board requires of you, extra knowledge is just another chance to boost your marks! It will help to wow the examiner!
When I started making worksheets for Shani’s Tutoring, I was going to make different resources for each exam board. I started with my AQA Command Words worksheet (which you can purchase in my shop), willing to make something similar for each of the five boards. However, when I had a look at some of the other boards, the command words were very similar!
Sometimes, the other exam boards had a few words that AQA didn’t have. Other times, AQA had a few words that other boards didn’t. The definitions stayed the same, though, so it would make sense to just combine them into one big source! I realised that it would be much more beneficial to do this for all of the topics we covered. So, I changed my tactic and based the work on the DfE standards. I then added the extra content that was specific to certain boards on top of that as supplementary info and tasks!
However, the old worksheets still have a lot of great value to them. There was no point in getting rid of them all together! So, I decided that I would keep them as they were and just change the format in the future.
I think that this new way works better. As well as being less confusing as a whole, I can avoid misleading people by making it seem as though my content has been made by the exam boards’ official creators. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with learning more than you need! And compiling the content into one big resource gives me more time to make new stuff.
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