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GCSE and A level exam CD'S

Discussion in 'Music' started by gliss, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. gliss

    gliss New commenter

    Is it just our exams officer or is this now a demand from AQA that the CD'S from the exams have to be sent back to the exam board. This has never in my many years of teaching been the case, but, this year i have not been able to hear the GCSE/AS/A2 listening cd.
    can anyone enlighten me on the listening section to todays A2 AQA paper please.
    gliss
     
  2. It has always been the case that the recordings used on the exam are copyright so the exam board retains ownership. AQA have been demanding their CD's back in recent years. Although they publish past papers on the website they do not give access to CD's of the examples used which makes the exam paper less useful as a resource. We try to get our hands on the CD before the demand comes in to return it then take steps to enable access should we need to *check* anything in the future...
     
  3. gliss

    gliss New commenter

    i have vben teaching for over 23 yrs and have changed to AQA for A level in the last 2yrs.....so i find this very strange. hey ho, learn something new every day......but......would love to be able to assess the paper, seems very wrong when edexcel/ocr teachers have access to the cd.

     
  4. pauljoecoe

    pauljoecoe New commenter

    I noticed this a few years ago when my exams officer sent my music tech CD's back. If you ring the board they will 'loan' them to you.They may even include a stamped addressed envelope for you to return them but in my experience if you ignore it and do not return them they will not chase you.
    I haven't sent any of the exam ones back and have 'borrowed' some that I have missed and it is not an issue.
    I think the exam boards say they must be returned to cover themselves but do not expect them to be returned.
    If your exams officer insist on returning them just ring up the board at a later date and ask to 'borrow' them.
     
  5. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Bung it in the PC and copy it straight after the exam (or even during the exam using the spare if they still send one).
     
  6. pauljoecoe

    pauljoecoe New commenter

    Nowadays I am not allowed to see the paper/CD during the exam. The paper and CD can only be seen 12 hours or something like that after the exam. Those are the rules and our exams officer is a stickler for rules. Can't even take a peek as the exam starts!
     
  7. Our exams officer is the same. The only 'sneak preview' I get is when I have to trawl over to her office to test the CDs, which gives me a fair idea for AS but only a titchy idea for the A2. I think I'd rather have it that way than have any opportunity for cheating though.
     
  8. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Hi, do you not have rules stating that Music teacher must be present at exam incase of a power cut or such like? Years ago I was present when we had a power cut due to a thunderstorm, a pupil had an epileptic fit, brought on by the fright of the storm and I was left with 60+ pupils on my own - against the law but we had no choice.
    As for CDs, I feel very appreciative to SQA for allowing us to keep CDs for future exam-practice. The CDs do say "do not copy" and because they allow us to keep the original I have never had to make an illegal copy.
     
  9. Not any more - I used to like sitting in the exam and listening to the CD but I haven't been allowed in for a couple of years now. Even with the music technology exam, I had to sit outside the door in case there was a problem with the computers but I wasn't allowed to sit in the room, however I didn't mind that as I could get on with work and missed some grotty year 9s!
     
  10. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Current regulations are that the teacher of the subject being examined is not allowed to be the sole invigilator. Of course, some schools will play safe and decree that the teacher concerned is not allowed to take any part in the invigilation, but this can be a problem if there are technical issues with the CD and/or playback apparatus.
     
  11. Well, surprise post in my pigeon hole today - the exam paper <u>and</u> CDs from Thursday's A2 exam.
    I don't suppose it'll do me any good really until the extracts come around again.
     
  12. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Is it not good exam-practice for your pupils? We have to make up our own prelim (mock exam) papers from at least 4 past papers and so need all the past exam papers and CDs we can get.
    that's a bit like cheating! [​IMG]
     
  13. It'd only be good exam practice if their extracts related to the ones in the exam but it is useful for the students to look at past exam papers with the examiners report etc.
    I think it's a complete bind having to prepare mock questions/mock exams by cobbling things together. And people wonder why teachers are so tired!
    I don't think we'll ever get exactly the same questions or combination of extracts though, do you?

     
  14. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    I never had enough time to do anything like that. I always used one of the good commercial sets (Peters Edition or Rhinegold for Edexcel) for mocks. Although a determined pupil could, I suppose, buy these and try to memorise the answers, there are enough available for any such pupil never to know which precise set might be used - and, in any case, there is no advantage in them "cheating" in a mock, so why bother?
    I've never understood why so many music teachers seem to spend so much time creating their own resources when teachers in most other subject research the best commercial resources available and then use those. If, say, a town planning officer decided to write his own his own software, or a buyer for a high-street chain decided to do similarly for wholesale purchasing, they'd more than likely be fired for wasting company time. But in music teaching, at least, there seems to be some notion that it is heroic to re-invent the wheel.
     
  15. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    In Scotland we are not allowed to use any commercial bought-in music exams. There is discrepancy about whether we can exchange such papers between music teachers. Do you really think we have enough time to re-invent the wheel Florian?
    there is no need to be facetious - part of my teaching contract states that I have to develop resources appropriate to my pupils' needs, and that has to include question papers; planning officers and buyers don't have the time to do this, or maybe they don't have the training enabling them to do so.
     
  16. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Having recently examined for the ABRSM in at least 10 Scottish schools, I don't think that is literally true. Perhaps you are referring to just the exams run by SQA? Even so, that seems like a degree of state-control that would not be welcome in many English schools.
    And I can't really see why companies such as http://www.pegasyspublishing.co.uk/ supply SQA-compliant exam materials if they can't be used.
    How would a mock exam paper developed specifically for your pupils' needs help them to pass the actual paper set by SQA? Surely, like pupils in England, they need to practise past papers or, where these are not widely available because of a change in specification, papers supplied by publishers?
    I do realise, though, that the situation in Scotland is very different to that in England, where all three examining boards have close links with publishers, and where one (Edexcel) is actually run by a publishing company.
     
  17. Got to say that I do use the commercially available mock papers but it's always useful to do more than one set of questions for the year's extracts (at least it is for my students). Also, the new spec' is so new that I think it's useful to explore the different types of questions in case they come up. Perhaps I'm just over-preparing my students and therefore doing more work than I really need to do but I blame management for breathing down my neck about results. Achievement! High Grades! Blah blah blah[​IMG].
    You may, if you wish, attribute some paranoia to me!
     
  18. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    I'm a bit confused, but maybe that's my fault for not being clear enough. I am referring to the written/listening SQA exam and thought that we were discussing the English equivalent. As I am not familiar with any of the 3 examining boards (altho' I am familiar with AB exams, for which the system is a UK one I believe?) I think I've got my wires crossed somehow.
    I feel that compiling my own exam questions makes up for the less marking I have to do compared to my Maths, Geog, History et al colleagues - they buy in their past papers from a publisher - it all works out at equal-ish workloads.
    Anyway, our exams are now over and we are looking forward to holidays, apologies for sounding cranky but it's been a hard year [​IMG]
     
  19. I, like FG write my own paper although I have adapted some of the questions that came with the spec.
     
  20. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    No, it was me being provocative by mentioning AB exams. I guessed you were really referring to SQA.
    However, I think you are placed in an impossible situation if you have to piece-together a mock from four past papers if the specification changes. As I recall, Scottish teachers threatened to boycott SQA some years ago when a new spec appeared (was it called "Still Highers"?) because SQA hadn't produced support materials.
    This is not a situation that I can recall happening in England. The three exam boards generally produce only one specimen paper if a syllabus changes (and sometimes that resource is pretty half-hearted - e.g. teachers may be left to source their own recordings), so teachers either have to produce their own material or rely on that from commercial publishers.
    The quality of material from the latter can be variable, but it doesn't take long to research whether the authors are well acquainted with their material (in fact, they are often the chief examiners) or not.
    It does seem to me to be quite an imposition to insist that teachers produce their own resources - not only do many not have the expertise for higher-level exams, but also the demands of organising peripatetics, running co-curricular activities, organising a concert programme, putting on shows, and supplying music for carol services, speech days, and the like, as well as day-to-day teaching and marking, don't really leave time for teachers to perfect the art of writing exam papers (which even the professionals find difficult, despite copious checking and editing, if recent reports of errors in question papers are anything to go by).
     

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