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AQA Specimen Papers - 2nd set

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by cake4tea, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. cake4tea

    cake4tea New commenter

    Have used these for mock exam and the listening and reading papers seem extremely hard. Some answers on the mark scheme seem to be very specific in what's acceptable - almost to a "read my mind" level. Many good pupils have really struggled and come out with relatively low marks. Has anybody else found this?
    LadyPsyche likes this.
  2. ferrolana

    ferrolana New commenter

    Absolutely agree with you. Our students have just sat their mocks with the second set of papers and the passive skills were incredibly hard especially the reading. Our best students also did struggle with some questions, and as you say, the mark scheme is very specific.Some of it seems more difficult than A level! If the word spreads that it is too difficult, our numbers at gcse will drop!
    We also thought that some of the role play tasks were a bit random.
    Very concerned and hope the exam board support us with changes in the future!
    Would be very interested to see how others have done and what they think of the exams.
  3. cake4tea

    cake4tea New commenter

    We're doing the speaking after Christmas. Only hope is that the thresholds are low!
  4. aranbyrne

    aranbyrne New commenter

    Totally agree with you on the AQA Listening. 26 students did the Higher Listening and only TWO achieved more than 50% - something wrong there. Reading was better but the highest mark was still only 72%, most got below 55%.
  5. toadman

    toadman Occasional commenter

    Our kids find it taxing- more from a vocab point of view but marks were as I EXPECTED.
  6. cake4tea

    cake4tea New commenter

    Couldn't agree more. Vocab's the sticking point - all 4 skills are basically a massive vocab test, and if you don't have the vocab., you're snookered!
  7. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    Utterly horrific.

    We feel the Writing and the Speaking are fair. They're not easy, but we can train pupils in the skills required and think they should be able to perform well. I feel reasonably in control.

    The Reading and Listening are just so far removed from anything we've seen before. Some questions on the Foundation papers seem harder than the old Higher papers, and Higher is like AS-Level. The vocabulary and contexts seem so wide ranging that I don't actually know how to prepare our students effectively for these.

    We did an AQA online course as a department earlier this week but it focused on Writing/Speaking skills (which I'm more confident with), not how on earth we're supposed to prepare pupils for the receptive exams.
  8. Belindaphilips

    Belindaphilips New commenter

    Have already posted a comment after students sat listening paper beginning of Dec - they have since done the reading paper. Alarmingly low scores for a top set - agree its more like an AS paper - hope AQA get this sorted before disaster in Summer
  9. laloca

    laloca New commenter

    I couldn't believe the Lorca extract on the FOUNDATION Spanish reading - it's not just the higher that is like AS level! We are seriously considering moving all 3 languages over to WJEC before this summer. Does anyone have any experience of WJEC? Any thoughts?
  10. Duorts

    Duorts New commenter

    How did you work out the levels achieved across all four papers? We're doing our MOCKS this week and I'm not sure how to use the percentage data that will emerge from their results. I read on a different thread that we should use the grade boundaries from the Maths paper from the summer, is anyone else doing this?
    I also tried doing it by looking at the levels that appear in the grade descriptors of the specimen papers but for Higher the highest that appears is a level 6. Very confused...
  11. cywial

    cywial New commenter

    Just finished marking the listening, it's depressing. My best students have achieved 26 and 28/ 50, they're predicted a grade 8/9. How is this possible? Even native speakers can barely get past 30/50. The kids are really depressed and demotivated now. Watch the A level numbers drop down to 0! Thanks AQA!
  12. LadyPsyche

    LadyPsyche New commenter

    I've only done the Higher Listening and agree with all the above. Unfortunately I was only in the room with them for the first half, where I could quite happily 1) answer the question and 2) predict their answer. Where we can reassure them about their abilities, with trick questions like that, and low marks, it will be hard to keep them motivated. Pupils used to seeing 60-90% on listening papers now getting 26-40% so 13-20 marks. It's not as if there are lots of practice papers so they can practise looking (or rather listening) out for the traps. Really looking forward to marking the Reading next week. At least after the summer, and the examiners have had to mark the papers, we can expect a mark scheme that takes into account the wide variety of perfectly acceptable answers, rather than the 'read my mind' prescriptive one that accompanies the specimen. I hope.
  13. joanneedithwilliams

    joanneedithwilliams New commenter

    We have had EXACTLY the same experiences with the unrealistic demands of listening and reading. I wrote to AQA on behalf of the department and I would STRONGLY encourage as many people as possible to do the same.

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