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AQA GCSE Drama Written Exam 2011

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by boston31, May 21, 2011.

  1. Has anybody had chance to talk to their students about section b, they said it varied differently from the past paper they had been given by me.
  2. Agreed. There seems to have been some confusion, some students answered questions 5 & 6 as were on last years paper, and as advised to do so, but some answere questions 7 & 8 as they felt these were more relevant if contribution was as an actor?
  3. Thanks for the reply. What is going on? I went to the support meeting just over a year ago for the written paper and I regularly check their website and I was unaware of this change of format. I also have a suspicion that the questions also confused them. I notice that another teacher has also expressed concerns about this issue on the TES Drama forum. I am dreading seeing the question paper. I felt for the first time that my students were prepared for the written exam, but many of them were uncertain whether they had answered the correct question after the exam. I feel we must get an answer from AQA if this year's paper is massively different from the past papers we have been given at support meetings and on the website. It seems misleading now. Let me know what you think.
  4. I think the wording of the question in comparison to the support and advice given to teachers and to the advice given in the Nelson Thorne publication (Written by the chief examiner) was very confusing and will certainly leave a good number of pupils confused and misled.

    I guess it is the nature of the beast when a new specification is launched, however, the only thing that seemed to bear any relevance to our support sessions was Section A Part 1.

    I trust my students were not thrown by this and very much look forward to seeing what the outcome is in August.
  5. I agree that there are always unknowns with a new exam and in all honesty students should read all the questions to make sure there are no changes but I think this is a major gamble for an exam which has been shortened by half an hour. If the paper confirms my suspicions it will put me in a compromising position with students and parents as I directed them to questions five and six. Any confusion no matter how small in a pressured exam environment benefits no one. I feel the board could have at least warned us about these changes, the question I assume is completely legitimate for a drama written exam, but not one that I or my students had prepared for after following advice from past papers, support meetings and the website. I encourage you and others to seek an answer from AQA. I know I will. Good luck with your results in August and thanks for your reply, it's nice to know that I am not the only one who is concerend about these changes.
  6. I totally agree with this and feel exactly the same - I feel very frustrated at the way things have turned out. I really felt I'd done my best to prepare them, using limited resources and feel like the goal posts were moved at the last minute leaving no time for prep.
    Again, couldn't agree more, we rang the exam board and got very little in terms of a reply. Many of my students were confused and cross, and to be honest so was I! Of course there are no guarentees that the questions will be exactly what you have prepped them for but I feel the lack of past papers to work from made it unacceptable to change the exam so much!
  7. So will I. Like you all I am gutted at this year's GCSE drama paper. I feel misinformed, misdirected and more than a little bit stupid. I never thought I'd say this but lets petition to bring back the dusty old 3241 specification. With that at least you had a fighting chance to let your students fulfil their true potential because it did what it said on the tin. This faux paus by AQA makes me feel like the old saying that refers to mushrooms, the dark and the excrement of a male cow.
  8. I emailed AQA about a month before the exam asking them to clarify certain aspects of the exam because I saw gaps between last years past paper and the sample questions. And I got back a really generic, unhelpful response which basically said 'get lost'. We did Section C and wanted them to answer on design and i tried to get students to understand that they had to read both questions and work out which one was about design because i couldn't say for sure which question it would be. So hopefully they've used their common sense here. I think that the only real curve ball in Section A was question 3 about teamwork but hopefully they'll be able to think of ideas in response to that.

    As for the numbering system- I find that really complicated!
  9. I'm on paternity leave at the moment and haven't managed to get my hands on the paper. My students seemed confident when I saw them briefly but can anyone tell me what the questions were in Section B? I'd told my students they had to answer 5 and 6 as they would be about a character they played. Was that not the case??
  10. Question five and six from Section B asked how they realised the playwright's or their original intentions. The question in regards to research, rehearsal preparation and performance was moved from five and six to seven and eight. All four questions could be answered from the perspective of a designer, actor or technician. Basically, a new style of question was introduced and the question from past papers had moved.
  11. Hmmm, well the students seemed farily confident and it sounded as though there was room to talk about research and stuff there but yes that does sound like an entirely new type of question. What a ruse. It's so annoying when you drill drill drill your students and then they change it. Grrrrr.
    I hope their marks are OK. :(
  12. Sorry that I did not reply sooner. I had a response from AQA. They gave me a link which was supposed to advise teachers about the written exam. The link did not work.The letter basically stated that the questions and the changes were legitimate. We will have to wait when the results are announced to see the true effects. Good luck.
  13. See forum string headed 'Good Luck AQA Teachers' for a discussion of this very issue.

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