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OCR Modern World Paper 1


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#1 Paul M

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 02:18 PM

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.



#2 jenniephipps

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 05:26 PM

Hi,

I agree with every point you have made below. I thought the paper was really difficult. My kids were very confident about the a International Relations section, yet the questions were obscure. I also thought that the image quality of the source wasn't good.
My kids came out saying that it was really difficult and I don't hold out much hope for my C/D borderline candidates.
OCR have again changed the phrasing of the questions without warning, which I think is really unfair. An exam is stressful enough without having to decipher the questions. I thought the one about Lloyd George and his 'role' was off putting and am not sure how many panicked and doubted their knowledge at this point. I know a few came out saying that there were things that they had not been taught (they had been taught everything, but the phrasing threw them)
The questions on the specimen paper were nothing like the style of the ones on the actual paper and my only hope is that everyone found it difficult! Why make an incredibly difficult exam even harder? It is now almost inaccessible for anyone predicted less than a C!
We are looking to do the OCR/SHP spec for the new GCSE, but I'm not convinced that this will now be the best option!

#3 bhgroom

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 06:39 AM

We do Cold War 1945-75 and America 1919-1942.

 

Personally, our questions were quite straightforward.  There were no contextual surprises as you seem to have had.  OCR have a track record for doing things like that, especially on the Inter-wars paper. 

 

Our specimen had the 'interpretation' source question for the USA section so our pupils did have experience with answering that sort of question though.



#4 j hewson

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 07:21 AM

We did the Cold War but with Germany as our depth study. Thought the questions were accessible; most of our cohort were happy with the variety of questions and there were no surprises. Regardless of which study you do for paper 1, surely there should be consistency between different topics and depth studies- it is unfair on students and teachers if this is not the case. 



#5 jilljam

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 09:05 AM

I think this is one of the biggest problems with OCR.  Having examined for them for a number of years I was always amazed at how much easier the Cold War section was (and in particular the Vietnam section of the Cold War option) was compared to the 1919-39 section.  We have swapped our pupils to studying the Cold War and we were happy with the questions that came up. Most of our pupils answered the Vietnam section and commented about how straightforward they thought the questions were.  Having read what the questions on the Treaty of Versailles were this year I am very relieved our pupils didn't have to do them, I don't think cartoons on the Corfu crisis or questions on the other peace treaties compare to questions on what happened at Potsdam or explaining US tactics in Vietnam!!

 

We are looking to move to Edexcel for the new GCSEs and this is one reason why.



#6 Sarah Gooch

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 04:56 PM

We do the same topics as Paul and I think we said almost exactly the same things when we looked at the exam paper. Not feeling very confident about our C/D borderline students. We are also looking to move to Edexcel.



#7 Roy Huggins

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Posted 07 June 2015 - 10:00 PM

Hi Folks,

 

I agree with everything said above about international relations 1919 to 1939.

 

We've taught Corfu and St Germain but that was three years ago.  The official OCR text books barely cover these topics.  Luckily  I had some notes in my AFL booklet.

 

Looking at the bigger picture, everyone in the country will be in the same boat.  It felt as thought the exam board was deliberately trying to catch out the students.  If was for that reason that I switched from AQA to OCR.  We all expect a fait test for our students, not deliberately obscure topics!

 

Maybe next time the League of Nations comes up, they will do a cartoon on the Aaland Islands or even the Bulgarian Crisis! :no:

 

Kind Regards

 

Roy :jester:


"Men are disturbed, not by the things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen." - Epictetus

#8 Daniel Smith

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 02:42 PM

I thought the Germany and Cold War sections were pretty good - simple sources despite the strange "do you agree" interpretation question coming up - they could write a 10 mark answer for this?

 

Paper 2 on the other hand was very strange for British Society 45-75. The final 16 mark question didnt really link to the sources in the paper and the kids found it very hard to incorporate evidence from the sources in their answer for this. 



#9 Roy Huggins

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 08:43 PM

Hi Folks,

 

I didn't like the what is the message cartoon on the Liberal Reforms.  It was nasty.  LG playing is trumpet - singing his own praises about tackling poverty? Playing keep the home fires burning whilst the shops are out of coal and matches? 1917? What's that got to so with the Liberal Reforms? At a guess the U-boat campaign was causing price raises and shortages which meant that the poor suffered the most due to voluntary rationing and the need for compulsory rationing?  That was after having studied it for 30 min with my team?  A really nasty cartoon.  The rest of the paper was ok.

 

Roy :jester:


"Men are disturbed, not by the things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen." - Epictetus

#10 David Bryant

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 08:54 PM

I believe that they are no longer allowed to use sources that have appeared in earlier examinations.  So, we may get more sources like this one.



#11 Paul M

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 09:57 AM

I was happier with Paper 2 (1939-75) but like Daniel I thought the final 16 mark question was poor. 

 

"Immigrants made a valuable contribution to British society in the period 1939-75" is not really a historical statement but a political one as it depends what you interpret to be valuable!

 

It would have been FAR better to ask candidates to evaluate a statement such as "The most significant impact of immigration on British society was on public services". 



#12 Pam C

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 06:54 PM

Hi Folks,

 

I didn't like the what is the message cartoon on the Liberal Reforms.  It was nasty.  LG playing is trumpet - singing his own praises about tackling poverty? Playing keep the home fires burning whilst the shops are out of coal and matches? 1917? What's that got to so with the Liberal Reforms? At a guess the U-boat campaign was causing price raises and shortages which meant that the poor suffered the most due to voluntary rationing and the need for compulsory rationing?  That was after having studied it for 30 min with my team?  A really nasty cartoon.  The rest of the paper was ok.

 

Roy :jester:

 

I think this is because of their change in approach to Paper 2. They said it would be more of a study of themes through the whole period in the 16 mark question, rather than on one particular topic. We were expecting something on government help for the poor, as having the spec question on women didn't leave them many other options. However, we did think the sources might be a bit more evenly spread, rather than being just a Liberals paper with a war source bolted on the end. I don't think the changes they made to Paper 2 were that well thought through given the topics that they already had. We're counting down to leaving OCR with quite a bit of enthusiasm- moving to Edexcel with 2016 reform.

 

Pam






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