1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

AQA Drama GCSE results

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by chardmnel, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. I'm not a drama teacher but could all this problem with the grades be caused by a statistical error? The written unit is out of 120 but pupils only had to answer 2 sections each of 40 marks, so maximum 80. Was it then modified to be out of 120 and were only some of the marks not modified? This would explain the very low marks. A basic error rather than needing all remarks? Something clearly is badly wrong and needs addressing quickly by AQA to restore confidence.
     
  2. Very frustrating indeed - my son achieved A* for Unit 2 and was predicted A* for Unit 1 ... result E, therefore overall result B - he doesn't know whether to feel embarrased, upset, unfairly penalised or just confused?
    I have raised it with the school but I would appreciate advice from teachers on this forum (for whom I feel great sympathy) on any further steps a parent in my situation should take - many thanks
     
  3. A massive problem here is the grade boundaries as another poster commented about. If you compare to last years results (old spec) an A has gone from 141 to 164. That is a massive 23 marks difference. B this year was 137. We had 12 students with a B (I don't know the marks yet as I'm not HofD) who may well have got an A last year instead we only got 1A. I don't know what we got in the written exam but it can't have been too high! Then again we never got too high in the exam!!
     
  4. If you look at the changes between the grade boundaries of that published by AQA last year and this year there is an average 7.6 marks difference between each grade. For a grade C you need 14 more marks then the published material.
    Can you tell i have dwelt on this for quite a while?
    In comparison the controlled assessment boundaries moved by an average of 3.6 marks. Far less of a swing - however, that doesn't really make you feel any better when to get an A you suddenly need 10 more marks than you thought. At least most of my students who spoke to me could understand that there would be some movement in boundaries - we always say 'approximate grade'. But no one can explain a 14 mark move - well, at least i can't.
     
  5. I entered my Year 10 pupils for the written exam in June 2010 and was extremely pleased with the results - the majority of the group achieved A*s, As or Bs. I entered a similar cohort of Year 10 pupils this year and the majority achieved Es.
    It is interesting to note the grade boundaries:

    2010
    <table cellpadding="0" class="MsoNormalTable"><tr><td colspan="20" style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">Grade boundaries for Drama Unit 1
    </td></tr><tr><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">Max</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">A*</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">A</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">B</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">C</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">D</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">E</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">F</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">G</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td></tr><tr><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">Scaled mark </td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">80</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">63</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">52</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">41</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">31</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">26</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">22</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">18</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">14</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td></tr><tr><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">UMS/Points </td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">120</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">108</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">96</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">84</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">72</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">60</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">48</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">36</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">24</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">
    </td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td></tr></table>
    2011
    <table cellpadding="0" class="MsoNormalTable"><tr><td colspan="8" style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">Grade boundaries for Drama Unit 1
    </td></tr><tr><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td colspan="14" style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">Grade</td></tr><tr><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">Max</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">A*</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">A</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">B</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">C</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">D</td><td colspan="2" style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">E</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">F</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">G</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td></tr><tr><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">Scaled mark </td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">80</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">68</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">60</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">52</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">45</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">37</td><td colspan="2" style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">29</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">22</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">15</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td></tr><tr><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">UMS/Points </td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">120</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">108</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">96</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">84</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">72</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">60</td><td colspan="2" style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">48</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">36</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;">24</td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td><td style="background-color:transparent;border:#f0f0f0;padding:0.75pt;"></td></tr></table>
    So for example, if a pupil scored 52/80 on the 2010 paper, they would get 96 UMS points (Grade A) whereas this year they would have got 84 UMS points (Grade B). This is a massive difference.
    A couple of Year 11 pupils decided to resit the exam this year and they all got at least 2 grades lower.
    It is understandable that questions will change year on year but Question 1 on Section A always remains the same - the one where pupils have to describe the style, genre, etc. Last year over half the pupils achieved 10/10 on this question. This year, pupils averaged 5/10. I have asked for some papers to be remarked and also recalled so I can see exactly why they have been marked in this way.

     
  6. We still think it's a statistical error. The first thing to note is that although each student only answered 80 marks worth of questions, the mark was given out of 120. The UMS scaling method used by AQA means that the mark out of 80 is then scaled up to give a higher mark out of 120.
    I was awarded 72 out of 120 which was a C grade and one student who is considered one of the best at drama was given 59 out of 120. This simply didn't make sense so I asked people who got higher grades what their marks were. One girl awarded an A in the written paper got 102/120 and another who was given a B got 95/120. These seem like far more likely grades and when scaled back down give marks similar to our low ones. I honestly believe that AQA has simply forgotten to scale some pupils' marks up using UMS and so has left them at their raw mark out of 80 only out of 120 instead. This would definitely account for the low marks and if we can all try and get AQA to notice this then they will investigate it and put it right.
    This AQA site explains UMS and shows the grade boundaries for subjects once marks have been scaled up. If you click on 'Convert marks to UMS' you can also enter your mark and see if the new mark given is more like what you would have expected. http://web.aqa.org.uk/over/stat_ums.php
    Really hope this helps.
     
  7. That makes absolute sense - we are going to challenge AQA when HOD comes back from holiday. So many of our top students were registering D & E but scaled up this would be B-A*. We have a few anomalies which would fit with some being scaled correctly. I sincerely hope they sort this out quickly - it's not fair on those students who worked so hard and affecting their college places. Still feeling absolutely gutted.
     
  8. Crowbob

    Crowbob Senior commenter

    I am not saying this is impossible, but I would be quite surprised if this was the case. This is particularly true if, within a centre, some appear right and some appear wrong. Your centre should have a breakdown of both the raw and UMS mark. Are they the same?
    I wish you the best of luck either way. Do let us know what the outcome is for you and your cohort.
     
  9. The real problem here is that this year AQA have introduced the new system of scaling the raw marks up from 200 to 300. If you look at your students' raw marks and then compare them with what they would have got last year (when it stayed out of 200) you will notice that this procedure has cost students grades. To give some examples from my own centre. A student who gained a raw mark of 171/200 - last year would have gained an A* (the A* boundary was 165) however, this year that same mark when scaled up to out of 300 has given them a middle A. Another student who gained a raw mark of 102/200, would have easily gained a C last year (the grade boundary was 97) in scaling it up this year it has given them a D (and probably cost them their college place). I could go on and on - but the fact of the matter is that this year the new system of scaling the raw marks up from 200 to 300 has cost each of my students a grade.
    This is an issue that I would like AQA to address - why have they introduced a system that clearly disadvantages the students.
    In addition, I took the decision not to enter my students in year 10 for the written exam. If I had put them forward last year and they had gained the same marks as they did in this summer's exam, in scaling up their marks all my students would have gained a grade higher than they ultimately did due to the lower boundaries given last year . I am left feeling extremely guilty that I have jeopardised my students' grades in this way.
    Having taught AQA Drama for over15 years, for the first time I am now seriously looking at other boards.
     
  10. Marty57

    Marty57 New commenter

    Thank you suzieQ12 for your work on this.
    I am in the same (sinking) boat.
    If what you are proposing (and it does seem highly likely) is the case, then this needs addressing by AQA immediately.
    As we know, boundaries do change from time to time, BUT:
    a...not this drastically
    and
    b...not in the middle of a cohort's two years.
    Like you, and I am sure all of us, I feel it is totally out of order for AQA to change the goalposts for the same students. This cannot be right.
    As others have suggested, we have emailed slewis@aqa.org.uk (subject coordinator) for a response, but nothing yet. Either they are concocting their excuse, or don't care. As they have not responded at all, I have to assume the latter.

     
  11. I agree with you SuzieQ12. It is the scaled UMS marks that are the problem I have students whose raw marks were 123/200 and others whose raw marks were 121/200.

    The students with 123 got a D, and the student with 121 got a C. This is because more UMS weighting has been given to the exam than the practical.

    Every one of my students got one mark lower than they should have according to last year's boundaries and UMS marks have weighted to advantage those who are stronger at writing than performing. Having said that, the exam results were awful and I have been in email conversation with AQA about this.

    Really what AQA should do is to alter the UMS scaling for the whole UK. I think this would only happen if every single centre complained. I have told them I am looking at other boards as it will be impossible to predict grades next year and will make it very difficult for students who are weak at literacy to gain a C as the boundary for a C this year is somewhere between 121 - 124 (not clear as demonstrated by my students).

    I know the first year of a new spec is going to be tricky but this is a carve-up and everyone should write /get re-marks etc.
     
  12. mandimac

    mandimac New commenter

    Whilst acknowledging the fact that the grade boundaries have soared and this has impacted on what we expected our students to get, there are a couple of points that need considering: Surely the grade bouandaries rise in accordance to the marks that have been awared, that is, if lots and lots of students got , high marks on written or practical units, then in order not to have everybody who got those marks getting A Grades, then the grade boundaries have to rise accordingly, otherwise people will say it is easy to get an A grade in Drama! I suspect that is why they have gone up to such a degree..
    And even though our centre's Written Grades are worse than expected, in terms of the rank order and what they have been producing over the 2 years, the actual marks are very much in line. Maybe I just have to accept that there are a lot more students than I expected who have done better than we!
    Afterall, when one looks at the breakdown of Drama results for all boards, there stiil seem to be about 25% getting As and A* (and we did better than this) Also, I have spoken to the Head of Drama at a highly academic private school and her students all did well...
    It just seems a little bit of a mess but the answer is connected to the grade boundaries and the UMS which were not part of the equation last year...
     
  13. You are not alone. Nearly all my students gained A/A* for Unit 2 and were well prepared for Unit 1. I was horrified to see the results - our highest mark was 49/80 and the majority of pupils were awarded E's and F's. I have also been in contact with AQA and have to pay for 8 script remarks and only then if there is a pattern of incorrect marking will they remark the whole cohort. I am at an utter loss as to why they scored such dreadful marks. Many of my pupils achieved a string of A/A* and Drama was the only subject that let them down. I feel awful about it and am having to find answers for the Head, pupils and parents who are disappointed and angry.
     
  14. Oh my goodness, have just come back from Holiday and am truly horrified! Last year we entered our Year 10 for the exam and got just under 60% A-C was pleased to be honest. We used the knowledge we learnt from last year, meetings, recalling of papers, exemplar stuff and work packs. We worked hard on this. This year we expected to 75%. A - C as a much brighter cohort. We got ... . Wait for it, 10%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yes just 4 out of 40 getting C's !!! Not even A's for our top students!!! All students have been entered for their Humanities etc and did well. I actually feel physically sick!! How on earth can we drop 50%!!!! I dread going back to school!!!!!!
     
  15. After literally a sleepless night from shock and worry, I relooked at the marks and all students are pretty much 2 grades below what was expected. I have taught aqa for 11 years and have never seen so many F, G grades. Senior Management will question the course now and I really feel I need to challenge these marks as they are completely in comparable to last year and all the work etc we have done and I honestly can not explain them. How can I challenge a whole cohort? The other implication is obviously getting them reentered next year will cost a fortune as they will all need to retake. I am really at a loss here and it is awful as I am sitting here in my summer break questioning my worth as a teacher. Seriously 10%!!! When we were expecting 70%! What are my
    Next steps?
     
  16. I am in a similar situation to you, Binner. I teach at a selective girls' school and our results for Drama are usually some of the best in the school. This year - with a cohort of 54 students - 91% achieved A*/A in their Unit 2 exam; clearly these girls are talented and able but they can also WRITE really well!! The majority of these students achieved A/A* in their English, they were (I presumed) well prepared for this exam but some came out with the similar scenario to others on this forum - D,E,F grades. I e mailed Sue Lewis basically to outline what had happened and asking her to look into this as a matter of urgency. I too am having 8 scripts re-marked...the girls were SO upset and disappointed with their grades. I too feel as if I've let them down and have begun to stress over how I now deliver the course to the new Year 10's and Year 11's. Should I have done it differently?? I'd be very interested to know exactly how many centres are going through this, as we are.
     
  17. Can anyone get a ballpark figure of how many schools feel unfairly treated by AQA this year?
    There is strength in numbers and if we ALL complain to AQA, they might consider reassessing the written paper.
    Like many others I have used AQA for years, feeling that the rigour of the written paper gave a weight to the subject, but the results this year mean I will seriously question moving to another exam board.
    GCSE AQA is taken in fewer numbers than edexcel for instance, so if we ALL threaten to ove exam boards, then AQA will surely look again at this new spec?
     
  18. I am also in a similar situation with my Y11 cohort. Same overall raw marks on 2010 exam would have given them all one grade higher. Have just emailed Sue Lewis at AQA (slewis@aqa..org.uk) regarding it all. Anybody else who has not yet posted feeling the same way?
     
  19. Can I ask what your percentage was, Garyball? ( I went from 100% last year - a general average of around 85% over the last few years to around 60% this year) And no A*s.
     
  20. Just been on the AQA website and the C and above figure in Drama is 79.3%.

    So, someone is passing with flying colours. Just not the posters on this forum.

    Link

    http://store.aqa.org.uk/over/stat_pdf/AQA-GCSE-FC-STATS-JUNE11.PDF
     

Share This Page