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Another Impossible Question (Edexcel S1, Q5)

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by D Franklin, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. Apolgies for the tenses here DM - as you know I'm seconded from OCR to CIE this year - but any complaints including anything resembling a reference to a paper for which I am/was responsible always found me pretty quickly and I investigated them personally, along with the Chair of Examiners where appropriate.
    I can even dig out a response I wrote to a centre last summer from my outbox (below). We do exist!

    We believe that Q.16 is valid as it stands. The first sentence introduces the idea that the box includes information, and the demand underneath the box mentions one item and asks candidates to show how it ‘can be obtained from the other information.’ However we appreciate your point that the phrase ‘the other information’ may not be completely clear to some candidates, particularly those whose literacy skills are not as strong as others’. OCR uses language specialists to check that question papers are as clear as possible. In 2011, for some papers, the specialist was asked to produce modified language versions of questions where he or she felt that there can be an improvement made to clarity without detracting from the nature of the question. A modified language version of this paper was available, free of charge, to any centres who requested it. The language specialist in this case did decide to alter the wording of Q.16 to 'Show clearly how to calculate the total area of 20.6m2 from the first three lines of information.' We accept that the modifications produce papers which are generally clearer not just for those with certain access needs but for all candidates. Because of this, all OCR GCSE mathematics papers from June 2012 will be sent to the language specialist before the final version is printed, so that the question paper is ‘pre-modified’ for language and all candidates will receive that version, rather than being ‘post-modified’ only for candidates for whom the modified version is requested. For Q.17, there was some evidence on checking scripts before the standardisation meeting that some candidates were adjusting the time interval to try to account for the time difference between the two countries. I raised your concerns with the Principal Examiner and they were considered at the meeting, where the mark scheme was finalised. The final mark scheme will therefore give candidates appropriate credit for making such a response and will be available to centres when results are issued.
     
  2. DM

    DM New commenter

    Thanks kev so can you confirm that OCR MEI are aware of the disquiet over the Core 2 logarithm question or do they intend to wait until a formal complaint lands on someone's desk before doing anything?
     
  3. I don't know any of the specifics.
    There's no requirement, for any exam paper, that awarding bodies trawl message boards looking for comments. Comments have to be sent to the awarding body. But complaints don't have to be formal written ones - an email or phone call is sufficient.
    Examiners also come to decisions about the application of any mark scheme only after provisionally marking a sample of scripts. This means that if there is a common alternative, it will nearly always have been identified by the time the mark scheme is finalised.
    For MEI in particular there is also a feedback form on the examinations: http://www.mei.org.uk/index.php?page=news&newsid=301
     
  4. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    exceptable - what the heck kind of a word is that - even for me!! (Mind I have had a bad day!)
     
  5. I think we all " except" your apology Mike. Hope you have a good day tomorrow!
     

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