The Edexcel GCSE specification in Italian enables centres to delay decisions on candidates’ tier of entry for listening and reading exams until after formal qualification entries have been made, as students can make significant progress in these language skills after their mock examinations.
Because of this, we send out both foundation and higher tier papers for each student to accommodate any late tier-of-entry decisions.
However, tier-of-entry decisions must be determined before candidates enter the examination room, as students can only undertake one paper (at either foundation or higher tier). This conforms with Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) Instructions for Conducting Examinations (General, Vocational and Diploma Qualifications). In these instructions, invigilators are instructed always to ensure that they tell the candidates to read the instructions on the front of the question paper, and ask them to check that they have been given the examination paper for the correct subject, unit and tier. They must not, of course, have access to both sets of papers in the exam room.
Theoretically, teachers can make entry tier decisions on the day of the examination, but this would be very unusual. They are expected to have discussed and negotiated these with their students some time before the date of the examinations, both to inform students and to aid the planning of practical exams arrangements at their centre.