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Discussion in 'Music' started by princess_moose, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. Anyone got results?

    I had a B, and E and U, composition marks were very very low. My B student got A for exam and performance but an E for comp? What on earth?!
  2. gliss

    gliss New commenter

    Yep, yet again stuffed by AQA - comp and perf at both AS and A2 low marks, a B performance at A2 graded as an E!
    as you say
    what on earth?!
  3. AQA are useless. This happens every year. See here for example:


  4. We moved AS and A2 over to edexcel last year and it was the best decision. The mark schemes are so much easier to use and for the first time ever I feel like our results reflect our students abilities and efforts!
  5. Aliscoot - I'm sick of the composition marking too. Has the move to Edexcel worked really well for you? I chose AQA due to the performance percentage at AS, but am sorely tempted to change. Would love to hear your opinion.

  6. Yes, 40% of the AS composition mark comes from a written assignment and the mark scheme is so clear. We got 2 As, 2 Bs and 2 Cs in composition. I am not 100% happy with the performance marking but we still managed 3 As, 1 B, 1 C and 1 D, my AS performance marks were moderated down but my A2 one wasn't (candidate got a B at aqa AS last year and full marks this year bucause of how clear the mark scheme is and how the mulipliers for difficulty work). Still much happier than with AQA lat year. I would recommend the change!
  7. Regarding the composition marks; it has seemed to me in the past that AQA pay more attention to the written commentary then they do they actual piece. - If the commentary talks about dominant sevenths, second inversion chords and so on, then it gets an A (regardless of whether these things actually appear in the piece).
  8. pauljoecoe

    pauljoecoe New commenter

    No commentary required or allowed at AS. I think that is an error. Students have no opportunity to explain their work.
  9. Sorry, I meant "score", which for a lot of candidates is essentially a "commentary" :)
  10. rainynightmusic

    rainynightmusic New commenter

    I managed to get all of my A2s through in the end with 2 Bs and a C but what has caused this is the shift in grade boundaries. Did anyone notice that they have moved from bell-curve to linear assessment? It is a flat 80% = A, 70% = B and 60% = C etc, etc all the way to E = 40%. This is now the same for all units. It meant a hike in grade boundaries for the exams particularly for A 2. They went up 14% for A; 10% for B and 6% for C. AS was also affected in exact same way.

    If any of you have GCSE AQA students (as I do) next week, you will be disappointed (at the very least!) to hear that they've done the same damned thing. 20% = G all the way up to A* is 90%. If you look at the figures this means that they have moved the grade boundaries for A* to D in the unit 1 exam by over 15% and the top 4 grades have increased their boundary by over 20% each! The unit 2 boundaries D, C and B boundaries have gone up by 15%+ on last year. The performance is largely unaffected and offers the only good news at the lower end - D minus students will find it easier to get Ds, Es and Fs but that is the only good news. Unit 4 boundaries for top 2 grades have not changed on last year but significantly, C and D grades have been hiked by 7%.

    Overall, this is going to have a catastrophic affect on my cohort and it is most unfair.

    AQA have now adopted a linear model of grade boundaries starting at 20% = G and there is 10% between each boundary going right up to 90% = A*. That is the new world and it is very unfair.

    Moan over.
  11. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    I think perhaps you are confused between raw and UMS marks. The raw grade boundaries for AQA Music A level Unit 2, for example, hardly moved from 2011 at all and are not linear.
    I don't think you can know the GCSE RAW mark grade boundaries until the results are released.
    You seem very confused (!) and I suggest you go and read up on UMS and Raw Marks before getting you knickers into too much of a twist.
  12. rainynightmusic

    rainynightmusic New commenter

    You can access the 2012 grade boundaries on the AQA website. Type in results day 2012 and you can access it.

    Unit 2 for AS level moved less than 5% but MUSC 1 and MUSC 4 moved significantly. You now need 80% for an A in the MUSC 4 exam whereas last year you needed 66%. That is clear. You now need 70% for a B and last year you needed 60%. You now need 60% for a C but last year you got a C for 54% in the exam.

    This is linear. 80-70-60 etc. Last year it was 66-60-54-49-44.

    UMS and Raw mark makes no difference when you are working on percentages. The percentage of Raw mark is exactly the same as the percentage of UMS.

    I'm telling you: they've moved the grade boundaries for MUSC 1 and MUSC 4 significantly and the boundaries for GCSE unit 1 and 2 ridiculously. Check it out for yourself. You now need 60% for a C in all units. 70% for a B in all units and 80% for an A. I'm not confused.
  13. rainynightmusic

    rainynightmusic New commenter


    UMS/ Grade boundaries on right hand side of above page. It is clearly 2012 Thresholds. Hope you find it useful reading and that it doesn't confuse you!
  14. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    <u> </u>You are looking at the UMS grade boundaries for this year and comparing them with the raw grade boundaries for last year. You are not comparing like with like and your rant is unwarranted. The UMS Grade boundaries NEVER change (that is central to their rationale).
    The Unit 4 RAW grade boundaries for Music this year are: 68-62-56-50-45. So, very slight movement, as it to be expected.
    I reiterate, you are looking at the UMS grade boundaries and not the raw.
    Oh, but you are.

  15. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Those are the UMS grade boundaries, not the raw grade boundaries.
    Here is what you should be looking at A level (if you wish to compare to the RAW grade boundaries of last year):

    Hope that you find it useful reading and that it doesn't confuse you! [​IMG]
  16. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    BTW, this is bogus and demonstrates a dangerous misunderstanding of the system of conversion from Raw to UMS.
  17. rainynightmusic

    rainynightmusic New commenter

    It's hardly dangerous, Bob. It's not like I work for AQA.

    This has been a difficult year and I only qualified a year ago. I'm doing a head of music job with no experience or training for it. I was given a sheet of paper yesterday and told "these are the grade boundaries". What I was given was a pile of nonsense from what you have said. I put my faith in the people I know and trust what they say. Turns out I've been given false information and so I apologise for the rant.

    I reiterate though, it's hardly dangerous. I understand it now and no animals have died whilst the understanding took hold. Why would they give me UMS marks if they never ever change? What a waste of time...
  18. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    I think that, as a minimum, you should understand the system that you are teaching. Sorry if you think this is harsh.
    This makes it even worse. I do happen to think it dangerous when somebody in a position of responsibility does not understand how the examination process works and is then waggish when corrected. Indeed, I have known people on this forum to issue "predicted grades" based on such lack of understanding.
    Then hopefully you have learned the valuable lesson of not being so quick to dismiss the wisdom of strangers [​IMG]
    Anyway, best of luck with the GCSEs next week. Hope your mind is now more at ease!
    (BTW you are welcome)

  19. rainynightmusic

    rainynightmusic New commenter

    Yes, well, I didn't ask for the responsibility - no one else would do it and students were left with unqualified music teachers without me offering to do it. I, at least, am a qualified music teacher. PGCEs do not train anyone in UMS and in the exam systems. It is more important that teachers understand a syllabus and can teach. I did at least have a 100% pass rate at A-C. But, yes, I believed what I had been told about grade boundaries.

    Also, my mind is a bit more at ease with GCSEs now - those kids have worked so hard from a serious losing position (literally a year behind!) and on the information I had been given, it looked like their hard work would account for nothing. So thank you.
  20. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Well, now I feel bad. I am used to people biting back at brusque comments! You have shown a good deal of humility, so please also accept my apologies for my overly harsh coments. You may find this booklet useful for the future, if you wish to learn more about the process:
    It is of mild annoyance to me that amongst all the nonsense they seem to teach on the PGCE, that UMS isn't even mentioned. Similarly, the SMT of schools should be shot for it not being part of an inset. I am not a teacher and wonder whether there may be a sideline in consultancy on UMS!

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