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Clification needed on Edexcel AS Level Unit 3 - Part B ii

Discussion in 'Music' started by katanga, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. katanga

    katanga New commenter

    Hello,
    I was wondering if you could clarify something regarding the 'compare and contrast' question worth 18 marks inthe Unit 3 exam. Presently, I teach the students to write a paragraph for each feature explicitely comparing the two pieces, e.g. "Haydon uses rondo form whereas Webern is in modernised sonata form". However, I have been informed that the students can answer the question in bullet points or even a table detailing the features of each piece but not directly comparing them.
    Looking at the sample assessment answers in the specification they are not comparing the two pieces of even writing in full sentences but I don't understand why if the question says 'compare and contrast' how the students can write notes or a table.
    I obviously want my students to get the best possible mark so can you let me know how you advise your students to answer the question so I can get a better idea of which method to use.
    Many thanks in advance

     
  2. katanga

    katanga New commenter

    Hello,
    I was wondering if you could clarify something regarding the 'compare and contrast' question worth 18 marks inthe Unit 3 exam. Presently, I teach the students to write a paragraph for each feature explicitely comparing the two pieces, e.g. "Haydon uses rondo form whereas Webern is in modernised sonata form". However, I have been informed that the students can answer the question in bullet points or even a table detailing the features of each piece but not directly comparing them.
    Looking at the sample assessment answers in the specification they are not comparing the two pieces of even writing in full sentences but I don't understand why if the question says 'compare and contrast' how the students can write notes or a table.
    I obviously want my students to get the best possible mark so can you let me know how you advise your students to answer the question so I can get a better idea of which method to use.
    Many thanks in advance

     
  3. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    The examiners' reports always provide the most reliable guidance. That on the 2009 exam, in reference to this question, said:
    How the candidates actually structured their answers to the comparison type question varied considerably. Some simply discussed, for example the harmony and tonality of the Brahms first, then simply made points about the Debussy in the second half of their answer. The best responses, however, tended to be those in which each musical element was discussed in turn – ie a comparison of the use of harmony in the Brahms compared to the Debussy, and then a consideration of the use of tonality in each work. The most impressive answers contained a summative paragraph too. As in part (i), prose responses tended to flow well, and often resulted in a detailed and coherent response to the question. Many candidates were disciplined in the art of making a point and then backing this up with a reference to the score for an extra credit mark. Up to six credit marks were available in part (ii) answers: these often allowed candidates to secure full or almost full marks.

    The 2010 report refers to "essays" and gives examples of two 3-4 page essays. It follows these up by saying ...
    The best essays had a plan (often in tabular format) which was then converted into prose ... if candidates have difficulty with written prose, a bullet pointed answer/ tabular format might be best for them.
    I think those are pretty broad hints that tables and bullet points are very much a second-best option. Furthermore, I see that the principal examiner for the paper (who wrote the Rhinegold Revision Guide) says that while answers in note form or bullet points are suitable for questions (a) to (c), it would be difficult to demonstrate logical thinking if using such methods in (d) (the 18-mark question).
     

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