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Edexcel A2 unit 5- 2 tech studies for a safer grade?

Discussion in 'Music' started by numberwang, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. I have a pupil who is very good at harmony and is desperately hoping for an A grade for his Music A Level. He's produced a composition under controlled conditions, and will do the Bach chorale after the 1st April. Can anybody advise whether he would be sensible to prepare for one of the other tech exercises and then submit these 2 (probably chorale and baroque counterpoint) and sinmply leave the composition out? With a strong candidate, is the marking of the exercises less 'risky' than the compositions?
    He's happy with his composition, but wouldn't mind not submitting it if it means his predicted grade is safer.
    Thank you.
     
  2. I have a pupil who is very good at harmony and is desperately hoping for an A grade for his Music A Level. He's produced a composition under controlled conditions, and will do the Bach chorale after the 1st April. Can anybody advise whether he would be sensible to prepare for one of the other tech exercises and then submit these 2 (probably chorale and baroque counterpoint) and sinmply leave the composition out? With a strong candidate, is the marking of the exercises less 'risky' than the compositions?
    He's happy with his composition, but wouldn't mind not submitting it if it means his predicted grade is safer.
    Thank you.
     
  3. I am in exactly the same situation. Currently all three students doing 1 comp + 1 tech exercise (they fancied the pop song - trap me fears). One has produced a 'clever' composition on the bizarre Ice Skating brief - that widely known genre of music! A score would be appropriate, and yet I think the composition would be given greater credit with a annotation highlighting the compositional methods (particularly to a rushed examiner).
    Last year many AS composing grades were increased following re-marks. Having done this job for 20 years I can't believe, as you put it, the assessment of compositions is 'risky'. So much at stake too.
     
  4. Sorry - my suggestion that the assessment might be 'risky' is probably unhelpful.
    I'm really thinking that the mark scheme for the tech exercises is less subjective (more prescriptive) than that for the compositions. My particular candidate has probably dropped a grade in one of his other subjects, so his predicted A grade for Music is extremely important to him. I'd be confident that his composition is of a high standard (having worked through the mark scheme with him), but it does seem a shame that there isn't the opportunity at A2 to complement the music with a commentary or sleeve note to explain the techniques used.
    I now wonder whether he could feel more secure about his result on the basis of 2 tech exercises where the marks for good work are easier to predict.
    If he doesn't produce good work in one of the tech exercises, he could always revert to Plan A and submit the better exercise along with his composition.
    Any thoughts or advice would be gratefully received.
     
  5. Mrs Music

    Mrs Music New commenter

    I went on a course run by EDEXCEL last year on units 2 and 5 and we were told that on the whole, compositions score a lot higher than technical studies.

    I have two pretty weak candidates and a predicted grade C candidate who are doing two technical studies. I have a very able student who is doing two compositions. Time will tell!
     
  6. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Given that these are alternatives, was it also explained how Edexcel use lower mark boundaries for techniques to ensure that the alternatives are evenly weighted?
     

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