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EdExcel GCSE Unit 1 paper November 2011 - Higher tier (Rant!)

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by MathsHOD, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. Just want to get something off my chest.

    My year 10 class are doing their GCSE Unit 1 paper in March so I've been looking at some recent past papers to help me gauge the style of questions they will face (it's my first group through under the new modular spec).

    This paper is largely statistics with a few random bits of number and algebra thrown in.

    Question 4 is a fairly typical "What's wrong with the questionnaire' type question - the usual no time frame in the question; overlapping response boxes (which are also non-exhaustive in that they exclude 0 and anything >20).

    Part (b) is to write an improved question (although it doesn't ask for response boxes these are required as part of the mark scheme). It's the mark scheme for these response boxes that has my blood boiling.

    I've just read the mark scheme along with the examiners report and I'm shocked by what I have read:

    "As commercial questionnaires do not contain inequalities, those that chose to use inequalities in the response boxes lost the mark for the 2nd aspect."

    and "There were still a number of overlapping response boxes but as long as these were exhaustive they gained a mark."

    So if you produced response boxes that were flawed (in the same manner that the initial question was flawed) you got full marks but if you did something that was mathematically correct you were denied the mark because that's not the way commercial questionnaires do it.

    As a matter of fact I have filled in a questionnaire before which had response boxes with inequalities. Just because some random principal examiner hasn't doesn't mean able students should suffer whilst less able students who make 'classic yet clear mistakes' get full credit despite those mistakes.

    It just seems shocking that students' futures are on the line and such random decisions in terms of marks schemes can get past the powers that be.
  2. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    Spot on. I'd go further. Why on earth are such questions permitted? Any question which depends on students having to know the examiners secret code, should have no place in our crowded curriculum. I've always found these questions completely pointless
  3. lunarita

    lunarita Lead commenter

    Any question whicn penalises students for correct use of mathematics should be held up for public ridicule.
    I'd love to know AQA's response to this - how can they award MORE marks for mathematically incorrect answers than for correct ones?
    Who is writing these bldy markshchemes and examiners reports? Not a mathematician, it would seem.
  4. I believe CIE do this for IGCSE. It's only possible to check all of a student's papers for linear so I guess cos the three big boards have modular and linear they don't do it?
  5. The penalisation of inequalities is scandulous. I always suggest more able students get to grip with double inequalities as they are so universally useful. A recent mark scheme for AQA I saw on All About Maths clearly would not have penalised this method thank goodness!
  6. DM

    DM New commenter

    I'm not at all happy with this. How can we register our disquiet?
  7. Isn't there an AQA bod who lurks, and could comment?
  8. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    We really need someone from Edexcel, though (given the title of the thread!)
  9. DM

    DM New commenter

  10. DT9

    DT9 New commenter

    Did anyone get any where with this?

    I have come up against the same issue marking mocks.

    I can understand why inequalities receive no marks where the data is discrete, but to disallow the marks when the data is continuous seems unfair.

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