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British Depth Study OCR Paper 2 January 12


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#1 ghaines

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 12:19 PM

My school has just received back our results from the OCR British depth study January exam, and are bitterly disappointed with the erratic grades given. D pupils receiving F's and U's and A* pupils attaining B's or C's. Thrown in a couple of very odd cases of weaker pupils attaining B grades making the results analysis completely bonkers.

Looking at the statistics, A-C attainment in this exam is approximately 15-20% lower than the June 2011 Module nationally.

Has anyone else found their pupils have performed markedly worse than expected?

I felt the exam was difficult but this would be reflected in terms of the thresholds being adjusted accordingly. I would love to hear of others experience.

p.s We are used to attaining between 80-85% A*-C and have only achieved 55% A*-C grades on this exam! The department is incredibly strong therefore it certainly is not due to ineffecitve teaching.

Edited by ghaines, 08 March 2012 - 12:22 PM.


#2 Kath M

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 12:51 PM

I am writing to agree wholeheartedly with the above post. We had very low and erratic grades for a cohort expected to reach 80% + A* - C as we do most years. My colleague is also a very experienced paper 2 OCR marker and he's completely at a loss. I'm writing no more than to say I echo every point made by the the previous contributor.

#3 Dan Moorhouse

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 04:27 PM

Interesting this. I'm doing some exam prep materials for a company at the moment so have the joys of looking through past papers from all of the boards. Must say the OCR stuff I've looked at so far looks significantly harder than some alternatives (certainly for Medicine, haven't looked at the British Depth Study just yet).

#4 Alex Ford

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 05:34 PM

Had the exact same issue with a971 in the summer, almost to the letter. In the end we reckon it was down to a pedantic interpretation of the mark scheme, especially on explicit interpretations. Had 120 resitting with better results in January, still not our usual expectations though. OCR seem to have gone utterly mad and refuse to admit there is a problem with formulaic questions, poor quality badged books and inadequate rewarding of knowledge and detail. We have jumped ship to aqa who only have 3 question types and seem less hell bent on an ideological crusade to make kids write in a certain way. If you want to chat would be more than happy. Also have some resources from when Ben Walsh came in a couple of years ago. Honest opinion...it is probably the board not you..


Alez

Edited by Alex Ford, 09 March 2012 - 08:11 PM.

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#5 Stobbsy

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 08:19 PM

We too are baffled but I am encouraged to see that perhaps we are not isolated case. I have been dealing with students all day who I have seen write amazing answers but have really under performed. Last year only a few resat in summer, this year it looks like most of the cohort. :crazy:

#6 Mark H.

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:06 PM

This all sounds eerily similar to the problems we and other centres have had with OCR A-Level History. If you search back through the archive of this site you will find various threads talking in virtually identical terms about erratic marking, overly pedantic application of markschemes, unwillingness to admit that there were any problems etc. We moved to AQA in the end because of this although we liked the course itself.

Edited by Mark H., 09 March 2012 - 06:32 AM.

In memory of my boyhood hero Jim Clark (1936-1968): 'Chevalier Sans Peur et Sans Reproche'.

#7 Martyn Ellis

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 01:39 PM

Straight after the British Depth Study exam I posted about how hard it seemed to be compared to previous OCR British exams.

I found exactly the same pattern with the results - much lower than expected.

For the first time in 16 years I find myself considering abandoning OCR especially if this continues.

#8 Jenjane

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 03:23 PM

Just had our OCR Jan AS resit results back, anyone able to beat a U achieved last summer and A achieved in the Jan resit?

No revision classes, just a few informal discussions and went over the recalled paper.
(We did appeal the summer result, but it was not overturned)


Jane

#9 JenniferJames

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 07:41 PM

Our Medicine OCR paper 2 results are VARIED!
Some of our middle kids seem to have shifted up but our top kids did not do the same- in fact, our very best did not get the grades expected at all. Just seems odd! Guess we'll pay AGAIN for copies of papers but with no comments- it's hard to see why/why not marks are given sometimes

#10 Alex Ford

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 10:23 PM

The whole thing is rotten to the core!! We had many kids jumping 4 or even 5 grades in the A971 resit this January vs last summer... could've done without the stress to be honest!

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#11 Juana La Loca

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 10:41 PM

The markscheme for BDS 1939-75 (on OCR Interchange now) was really nit picky. Lots more levels and very specific answers being looked for. I'm losing my confidence about how to prepare my students for this exam. I have yet to crunch the statistics, but over half the cohort will resit in the summer. A third did last summer and they all improved bar one (mitigating circumstances) some from Ds to A*. The return of linear might not be such a bad thing.

The depressing thing is that science module results came back on the same day. Our Yr 10 Dual Award Science were getting the first results from the 'new, more difficult (ie they have to write 5-6 lines for some of the answers) exams' To get an A, they needed to 'achieve 48%' a D, 19%. This is obviously difficult for my Science colleagues - 'Yes, I know you got an A but I still don't think that 3 sciences at A level is a good idea.' But it doesn't do much for the perception of History either. 'Miss, everyone got As and A*s in Science, but they didn't in History, did they?'

Fortunately, my Head is a historian and 'understands'.

Catherine

#12 Mark H.

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 05:14 AM

As I said before this is just like my experience of OCR A-Level. I once had a candidate on a Crusades paper who went from 16% in the Summer to 94% in the January resit. Do you think they've transferred the A-Level markers to GCSE?
In memory of my boyhood hero Jim Clark (1936-1968): 'Chevalier Sans Peur et Sans Reproche'.

#13 j hewson

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 11:59 AM

Very often the "answers" that are included in mark schemes are not what the author of the examination is wanting pupils to write- they are often a reflection of the kind of responses that pupils are giving. A mark scheme is not a document to teach to; it is a document that allows examiners to do their job. If a question has 7 marks and has 6 levels, it is actually clearer for teachers to see where and how marks are awarded and, ultimately, makes it fairer for the kids. If there are 3 marks available in a level, that leaves things open to interpretation. A fixed mark for a level means that if child x has answered at level 3, then they get the mark for that level. There is no debate or discussion or "harsh marking" or the opposite- ultimately resulting in kids getting the mark that they should be getting. The questions for the OCR MWH depth studies are not formulaic- if you read them, especially for the 1890-1918 paper, they are very much open-ended and allow pupils to interpret the question and sources accordingly. This is also why the written sources are longer- to allow more able pupils to access more evidence and use it in their answer.

#14 arthur hull

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 03:56 PM

We teach the OCR Medicine paper 2 and received our best results ever with 30 students scoring an A* grade out of 52 entries. I have looked at the markscheme for the British Depth Study and, yes, it is fussy in contrast to our source based paper. I have often found that this difference can be due to the nature of the topics. A Medicine source based investigation on an aspect of the Middle Ages does not lend itself that well to questions about provenance etc. , (which are harder!) whilst more modern topics can create questions which are more difficult for some students to approach.

I agree that the markschemes are designed to guide the examiner but no teacher can ignore the fact that a degree of prescription exists within these. For example, the inference based questions that exist on many papers can only be dealt with through the evidence provided (own knowledge is not rewardable) and students need to know this.

#15 Alex Ford

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 09:29 PM

It may be open ended in terms of how the sources are used but there is an ideological crusade on how answers should be structured which seems to penalise the more creative students. I can honestly say that the main difference between our June and Jan grades was forcing the kids to write in a formulaic manner!!

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