What did everyone make of Paper 1 on Monday?
We did International Relations 1919-39 and the USA 1945-75 and I was very disappointed with the paper this year for a number of reasons...
Cartoon question on the Corfu crisis - not the most straightforward cartoon to answer and frustrating that they chose one of the more obscure League of Nations crises rather than Manchuria or Abyssinia.
Both the 4 marks questions in the International Relations section were tricky. One on the Treaty of St Germain (I've been at OCR exam INSET where the OCR examiners had made clear they wouldn't ask specific questions on the peace treaties with the other defeated nations) and the alternative was on German foreign policy actions in 1935 specifically. Why can't OCR give students a chance by making the 4 mark starter questions more accessible?
The remainder of the International Relations section wasn't too bad although I didn't like the 10 mark causes of WW2 question - if you are going to ask students to reach a judgement on reasons for the outbreak of WW2 why choose the Rhineland rather than the Nazi-Soviet Pact or the failure of appeasement?
The source questions in the USA section were tough. The 'How far do you agree with this interpretation' question is very wordy and I think hard for students to identify what they actually need to do with the source. Then the McCarthyism cartoon relating to the denunciation of the Girl Scouts by the American Legion was I felt hard to decipher if students did not know the particular story behind it (which they could not be expected to!).
All in all probably the toughest paper I've seen for several years and that was the view of most of our students. Am really starting to lose faith with OCR as they seem to be making it as difficult as possible for students to access the paper... this is going to make my choice of exam board for the 2016 specification fairly easy.