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2016 Exams


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#1 Mike A

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 08:47 PM

Just wondered how everyone has found any of the exams this year?

We have done OCR A at A2 and OCR SHP at GCSE with AQA AS Government and Politics. All questions have seemed very straight forward this year with no surprises.

#2 rfu

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 09:25 AM

We do OCR SHP for GCSE and I thought the paper was quite nice.  No random sources for a change.  Similarly the A Level for Edexcel was straight forward too.


Edited by rfu, 14 June 2016 - 09:26 AM.


#3 bhgroom

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 03:21 PM

OCR Modern World B (J418) at GCSE

 

Paper 1 - Cold War & USA 1919-41 was very fair, no surprises.

 

Paper 2 - Britain 1890-1918 was very specific, on  he issue of opposition to women's suffrage.  While this is a valid issue that extended across the period I feel that it is far too narrow, especially after getting pupils to think about including knowledge from all three areas of the spec in response to broader 16 mark questions, as they had to do in the 2015 paper and the specimen.  It almost seems like OCR have taken a step back with it. A bit miffed.



#4 Sarah Gooch

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 03:48 PM

bhgroom - you've pretty much echoed what we've just been saying about the OCR papers. We did 1919-1939 and felt that was quite fair and USA civil rights paper was much better than last year, although a few awkwardly worded questions which might catch the weaker kids out. We did the same as you for paper 2 and I think our C/D kids will have really struggled with such wordy sources for the first couple and the very narrow focus. So glad we're switching to Edexcel next year!



#5 Mr. B

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 03:51 PM

OCR Modern World B (J418) at GCSE

 

Paper 1 - Cold War & USA 1919-41 was very fair, no surprises.

 

Paper 2 - Britain 1890-1918 was very specific, on  he issue of opposition to women's suffrage.  While this is a valid issue that extended across the period I feel that it is far too narrow, especially after getting pupils to think about including knowledge from all three areas of the spec in response to broader 16 mark questions, as they had to do in the 2015 paper and the specimen.  It almost seems like OCR have taken a step back with it. A bit miffed.

We do the same papers.

 

I agree with you on Paper 1; It was very predictable and a good paper.

 

Paper 2 was focused on a very niche topic. I also prepared pupils for topics spanning the whole period, as that is what the spec change said would happen. It seems quite sad that pupils revised huge swaths of content for a very small topic to come up which didn't really get into the nitty-gritty debates of the suffrage movement's successes. With that said, I think the paper was generally good and sources C, D and E were very easy to interpret. Question 5 was a bit wordy, but pupils got there in the end.


Edited by Mr. B, 14 June 2016 - 03:53 PM.


#6 Tommy

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 05:27 PM

I agree with the comments on OCR.  I thought Paper 1 was straightforward - perhaps could have been more challenging if anything. Paper 2 was very frustrating.  After OCR's move towards a broader approach particularly with the final question last year they appear to have moved the goal posts again. It was very narrow and as Mr B says it didn't really get to the heart of the debate.  I also wonder why there is such a focus on interpreting cartoons and posters on this spec.  While a valid skill for an historian to develop it feels as if it has come to dominate the source based questions on both papers.   



#7 Pam C

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 11:34 AM

I would echo all other criticism of OCR MWB Paper 2. We're incredibly frustrated at how they seem to have tried to trip students up, especially given the idea of 'breadth' pushed so much in the new spec. We had OCR into school as the new one was launch and they said 8 mark questions would be on one source, 9 mark questions would be on 2, and they didn't even follow this. Source E's language was very challenging- 'cogency' without a definition is just harsh.

 

Another department grateful to be leaving OCR GCSE after the end of this spec.

 

Fingers crossed for fair grade boundaries to reflect an unfair paper.

 

Pam



#8 j hewson

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 06:26 PM

While I understand your frustration with some of the aspects of what you are arguing, I have to raise some exceptions, in the interest of fairness, if nothing else.

You say that you are frustrated that a 9 mark question is not based on two sources but one. Surely this is a more straightforward exercise for students? Previous incarnations of this paper have produced challenging questions using two sources. This year's asks "How similar are they?" This, by its very nature, is not a challenging question, neither are the sources used to support this question. As for a narrow scope within the overall theme of the paper- the idea that women were faced with negative attitudes across the whole period is a fair one to assess. 

  • What were the arguments for and against female suffrage?

This is a bullet point from the specification for this examination. The examination can come from any aspect of the specification, so long as it covers the whole period 1890-1918. It then becomes a case of working out which elements of the specification can be examined- How effective was government propaganda during the war? This could not be an examined unit as it does not cover the whole period.

 

There are only two written sources in this paper. The need to interpret cartoons and posters is one way of allowing all students of all abilities to infer something from the evidence. The changes imposed by Ofqual will see the amount of historical evidence halved in the new specifications, regardless of which exam board you are with- sources like these allow students of all abilities to respond. I wonder how all students will cope with the narrative they are expected to churn out in three exams (for most boards) from 2018? 



#9 bhgroom

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 06:25 AM

While I understand your frustration with some of the aspects of what you are arguing, I have to raise some exceptions, in the interest of fairness, if nothing else.

You say that you are frustrated that a 9 mark question is not based on two sources but one. Surely this is a more straightforward exercise for students? Previous incarnations of this paper have produced challenging questions using two sources. This year's asks "How similar are they?" This, by its very nature, is not a challenging question, neither are the sources used to support this question. As for a narrow scope within the overall theme of the paper- the idea that women were faced with negative attitudes across the whole period is a fair one to assess. 

  • What were the arguments for and against female suffrage?

This is a bullet point from the specification for this examination. The examination can come from any aspect of the specification, so long as it covers the whole period 1890-1918. It then becomes a case of working out which elements of the specification can be examined- How effective was government propaganda during the war? This could not be an examined unit as it does not cover the whole period.

 

There are only two written sources in this paper. The need to interpret cartoons and posters is one way of allowing all students of all abilities to infer something from the evidence. The changes imposed by Ofqual will see the amount of historical evidence halved in the new specifications, regardless of which exam board you are with- sources like these allow students of all abilities to respond. I wonder how all students will cope with the narrative they are expected to churn out in three exams (for most boards) from 2018? 

 

I agree with your point that this is an issue that can be assessed across the whole period, and the example you give of WW1 propaganda no longer being appropriate is a good one.  However, The idea that women 'faced negative attitudes' across the period is far more valid than the issue posed in the exam due to the narrow focus in the paper.

 

"Women were well respected during this period" covered  the same idea in the specimen.  If we look at the spec then from the 'focus points' at least:

 

What was the social, political and legal position of women in the 1890s?

• What were the arguments for and against female suffrage?

• How effective were the activities of the suffragists and the suffragettes?

• How did women contribute to the war effort?

• How were civilians affected by the war?

• Why were some women given the vote in 1918?

 

 

Can be used by students to answer a question on that theme, using their own knowledge.  Similarly, on last year's paper, about the lives of people being affected by government action, the following 'focus points' could be used:

 

What were working and living conditions like for the poor in the 1890s?

• How effective were these reforms?

• What was the social, political and legal position of women in the 1890s?

• How did women contribute to the war effort?

• How were civilians affected by the war?

 

The 'strengthening' of the paper was meant to be about increasing the amount of knowledge, both depth and breadth, that pupils should be using, particularly in their response to the final question.  The guide to the changes and markschemes ask pupils to show understanding of change and continuity over time regarding the issue at hand.  I would suggest that only the very top end could produce a decent answer to the final question that demonstrated a thorough understanding of how the arguments against suffrage changed/stayed the same.  I know for a fact that we teach the 'arguments for and against' aspect for a few lessons and then other dimensions to this e.g. government opposition to suffrage due to militant action so as not to set a precedent for say, Ireland, are not explicitly taught as 'Opposition to suffrage'.  I think it is quite demanding for pupils and while their knowledge on this issue will be thoroughly tested, on such a niche topic some aspects fo the spec are not adequately met, in my eyes.

 

Why couldn't they have set something along the lines of 'the campaign for female suffrage was largely unsuccessful until 1918' HFDYA, or 'the actions of female suffrage campaigners had little effect on women winning the vote between 1890-1918' ?? These would have been fairer questions, requiring a broader set of knowledge, I feel.



#10 dwiliamsmts

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 09:33 AM

Anyone done EDEXCEL SHP crime and punishment?






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