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AQA GCSE marks

Discussion in 'Music' started by fretless, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. I received the marks for each of the units from our exams officer today. There were a few suprises in the unit 2 marks. On looking more closely at the marks for this unit it appears that those pupils who used Sibelius generally achieved higher than those who did not even though their compositions were not always better. I know that the appraisal accounts for half of the marks but even taking that into account it seems to be skewed. Has anyone else noticed anything similar?
  2. pauljoecoe

    pauljoecoe New commenter

    I haven't looked that closely as they weren't my colleagues class not mine. But I do have concerns about unit 2.
    firstly the grades were generally lower than unit 4.
    One student who got A* A* A inthe other 3 units got a U in unit 2!!!! He scored 3/20 for the composition. How can that be when he got A* for the unit 4 composition?
    Another student got an F in unit 2 and a B in other units.

    Incidently the Composition grades at A level were poor too.
  3. Hi guys, first time poster, long time lurker!
    Just wondering how you found out the different marks for Unit 2 ie. composition / appraisal. I've looked everywhere on AQA and can only see the total mark for Unit 2.
  4. I am appalled at the marking of unit 2 this year. Not a mark above 14 with marks as low as 2 for composition. Seems that the marker did not appreciate minimalist or serialist compositions and their link to western classical tradition. We had problems with the moderation of out unit 4 marks and all candidates were penalised 5 marks, yet 4 teachers moderated these marks before send off, including an external moderator to the school. I am certainly asking for a remark!
    TheWeb - you can find the breakdowns for unit 2 in e-aqa enhanced results analysis.
    The translation of marks in unit 1 to UMS is also appalling. A candidate scoring 16 out of 80 scores less marks yet someone scoring 55 gets a 17 mark boost! Something far wrong there.80 marks scaled to 80 UMS should be mark for mark. This UMS is a nonsense and penalises pupils who do badly in unit 1.

  5. Crowbob

    Crowbob Senior commenter

    No, it shouldn't. That is not how UMS is intended to work. It is about creating a fair standard of equivalence between different series of exams.
  6. All marks were generally lower for Unit 2 but a candidate who was A or A* for the other units got a D for this one. I have just read the examiners reports for the units and in the report for unit 2 there are comments about originality and formulaic compositions. This candidate produced imaginative work yet scored significantly lower than others whose work was formulaic (the best way for them to meet the demands of the task). This seems to have been a gereal trend in my results.
    Is it possible to get the breakdown of the marks for unit 2 - ie the mark for the composing and the mark for the appraising?
  7. musicheart

    musicheart New commenter

    Unit 4 marking - I totally agree with you over unit 4 marking and am glad your school is allowing you to go for a remark. Unfortunately my school will not, as it is prioritising maths, English etc for remarking. Apparently the whole cohort would have to be sent off as it is coursework. This costs a lot!
    I have confidence in my own marking and I got them moderated by another music teacher. Yet, like you, all were marked down by either 5 or 6 marks. So my top pupil - who got an A* for paper 2 - went down from 28 to 23/30 in paper 4. Which is a lot in UMS terms.

  8. Thanks andrewliv, that is great. I had looked at the enhanced results analysis but hadn't gone through all the links.
  9. Mine were a nightmare,
    Unit 1 ok.
    Unit 2 in line with overall grade.
    Unit 3 moderated down either 13 or 16 marks. Our best candidate who did a pretty much perfect moonlight sonata got moderated down to a C and our weakest candidate who played a 4 square, 8 beat drum pattern with no elaboration was left as C. Appalled.
    Unit 4, all students 2 grade boundaries below Unit 2. They all obviously forgot how to compose here. All marks moderated down.
    I've never had my marks altered historically before.
  10. gliss

    gliss New commenter

    Out of interest can I ask which comp unit your pupils tackled first - mine did unit 4 in yr 10 and unit 2 in yr 11. Out of the two units, 2 was the more successful, 2 A*s for unit 2 then they dropped to B's for unit 4, 2 A's at unit 2 dropping to B/C unit 4 - the others did well and got the estimated marks - Q,I ask myself - were our lower marks in unit 4 inevitable because they in reality only had a term and a bit of teaching before tackling the composition?

  11. The Unit 2 was tackled first through summer 2010 and into Autumn and up to Christmas.
    Unit 4 was Christmas through to Easter.

  12. I was very disappointed with the Unit 2 marks. It effectively brought each pupil's mark down by a grade. Having read the examiner's report on the website, I still am not clear what went wrong. We had spent a lot of time linking their pieces to Western Classical Music within the 2 AoS they had chosen. I had also ensured that pupils had carefully worked out how to answer the appraisal. I attended the AQA moderation day, where unit 2 was briefly touched upon. Yet still the marks seemed unfairly low. My pupils all composed on Garage Band and created a detailed, annotation including screen shots.

    It is frustrating when so much time and effort is put into unit 2. I completely accept that some compositions simply lack creativity but I struggle to accept that I, and the pupils. misunderstood the unit. I would like to have a remark of unit 2 but know this costs too much money.

    In addition to this, I was surprised by some of the performance marks. Vocalists, who of a similar level last year would have received a C, were marked down to an E this year.

    A disheartening set of results which makes me feel that despite the claim that GCSE Music is open to all, and does not discriminate between those who already read music and have instrumental lessons, those who have had these experiences are at an advantage. It also makes me slightly concerned about this year's cohort...

    Thanks for the other comments, it's nice to know I'm not alone!
  13. In the 2011 results there has been a national decrease in A* - C in music, drama, performing arts, art & design, design technology, home economics, media & social sciences whilst there has been an overall increase nationally in all subjects combined.
    There are obvious implications here in terms of the EBAC.
  14. We did Unit 4 first - starting in year 10 and finishing it in the october of year 11. We then started unit 2 just before the christmas holiday.
    It is now much more difficult for pupils to achieve a C for performing - the % of the marks needed has been raised. I used to do OCR before moving schools and have found AQA more sympathetic towards those who receive formal tuition and read music. I too had pupils get an E or D for performing who previously would have managed a C.
    Things aren't helped when schools expect pupils to achieve their FFT target irrespective of their musical ability as a performer.
  15. hoildaysrule

    hoildaysrule New commenter

    I too start with Unit 4 in year 10 and on to unit 2. Hopefully finishing before Xmas. I can say that i am pleased (after a complete disaster with our grades last year) with my grades. We had a good cohort for performing no one getting below a B in the performing.

    "Things aren't helped when schools expect pupils to achieve their FFT target irrespective of their musical ability as a performer"

    Yes i totally agree with that . Its a absolute nightmare but it will never change EVER. My head hurts from all the walls its banged on over the years on that subject. I suppose the only way to get over it is to limit the intake to gcse music to students above grade II/III so they can get a pretty decent mark. THis is what we do. It has really helped.
  16. So you think it is fair for a candidate scoring 55/80 to be given 72 UMS marks but a candidate scoring 17 to be marked down? So inflate those scoring high marks and penalise the poor candidates at the bottom who have managed to get some marks? 80 mark paper, 80 marks UMS. The system is a joke.
    In my borough nearly every school has had a mark down in one of the the units 2,3,4. And everyone seems to be 5 marks below.... now to me, it;s funny all the subjects with declining marks happen to be non Ebac subjects.
    I smell a rat.
  17. Crowbob

    Crowbob Senior commenter

    They are not "marked down". There is even a mechanism to ensure that marks above and below a notional point are comparable.
    If a paper is of a different difficulty from year to year, you end up penalising everybody with a 1:1 ratio.
    I smell a conspiracy theory. Go look at the Modern Foreign Languages forum. Lots of complaints on there. They are a cornerstone of the EBac.

  18. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Andrew, the conversion to a UMS mark doesn't affect the candidate's grade in the slightest. Let me explain:
    If the examiners have determined that the lowest mark for an A* grade in unit 1 this year is 55 out of 80 marks, then candidate A who got 55 raw marks will get 72 UMS marks. That is because 72 is the lowest mark for an A* on the UMS.
    Now consider candidate B who got 38 raw marks. The examiners have decided that 38 is the lowest mark for a grade E in the unit. That will convert to 32 UMS marks, because 32 is the lowest UMS mark for the unit.
    Now, while it appears that candidate A's mark has gone up by 17 in the conversion, and candidate B's mark has gone down by 6, neither candidate's grade has changed at all. Candidate A is still on the lowest possible mark for an A* and candidate B is still on the lowest mark for a grade E.
    All that has happened is that the UMS spreads the examiners' rather narrow range of marks to a wider range that is comparable with other examination years. No candidate's grade changes.
    Had the examiners adopted a much wider range of raw marks when grading, you would find that candidates with high raw marks get <u>lower</u> UMS marks while those with low raw marks would have received <u>higher</u> UMS marks. For instance, if the lowest raw mark for a grade E had been 25/80 that would have gone up to 32/80 UMS marks, as 32/80 is always the lowest UMS mark for a grade E.
    Remember that the grading of the unit happens before the conversion to UMS marks. The conversion doesn't alter the grading at all, it just expresses it using a different set of numbers.
    Do you see?

  19. pauljoecoe

    pauljoecoe New commenter

    e - aqa. Enhanced results analysis/marks analysis

  20. I am so glad that other people are in a similar position, I have candidates with A in unit 1, A* in unit 3 and E in unit 2. I am asking for a remark but I've never been in this position before and I don't like it.

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