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GCSE History AQA results

Discussion in 'History' started by timward17, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Afternoon all

    Hoping some other History departments could give some feedback to how the paper 40452 was marked. Our Yr11 grades have dropped by around 12% and this is all to do with this paper across our entire year group. For the same paper last year we were scoring with weaker students far higher and with an extra years preparation we are shocked and staggered by the outcome.

    In other news we had our Yr10 module papers back and although we can't complain about the "rank order" of students we have seen a notable shift from the last two years to this one. We had a handful of A*/A results and again compared to last year it looks like a big discrepancy.

    This is not a woe is me rant; I am interested and very eager to know how other centres have faired; for better for worse and would love to hear from you.
     
  2. I am not a history teacher but work in Primary. My son took OCR and got an A in his course work and had A's in his mocks, he however got a C on his results yesterday. He is gutted as history is his favourite subject and he planned to do this for A level. What do you reckon his chances are of getting onto his history course? Do you think it is worth investigating? I have tried to contacting his school but had no reply.
     
  3. This very much sums up our position. The results are the worst in my 20 years of teaching. The grades are 1 or even 2 lower than predicted. When looked at over the whole school pupils consistently getting A in other subjects score B in history. we always have a fair share of A A* grades this year only 1 A. Its a joke! I am so angry and upset for the pupils.
     
  4. Ours, fortunately, were as expected, but our Paper 1 results were unusually high. We attributed it to the fact that this year is the second year that Paper 2 has been in place and so AQA are perhaps more 'clued up' on what they're looking for. From what I've heard though, they were still looking for examiners very late on in the day, so this shortage could be the reason for unexpected results. Still doesn't make it any easier though, but is further proof that the system of examining needs to be reformed.
     
  5. Can I ask which telephone number you called to register your concern with AQA? It's reassuring that other schools are in the same position - although still gutted and upset for the students.
     
  6. Similar stories at my school... had a number of students who got A* on paper 1 who went down to B grades! All have gone down a grade or 2 from what they got on medicine paper and CA. Gutted. Had such high hopes for this class...Year 10 results are all over the place! AQA.
     
  7. Can I urge anybody who feels that the results for paper 2 AQA were unfair contacts AQA on 0161 958 3865 to register their concern? If enough people do this they just might look into it.
     
  8. Hi star-9 my advice is probably what you have already done. I would first talk to the 6th form in question and explain that the result is lower than expected but your son wants to do it. The provider may be oversubsribed (in which case this will be unlikely) but that is your first call. It may be an idea to talk to your child again; how did he think he did in the exam? After this I would also contact your childs teacher and ask if his result was one of the 1-2 suprises which occurs or if it was part of something bigger in the department. If your child and/or teacher is at a loss to explain the drop I would put in for a remark either through the school or privately. Be warned though his grade can go down as well as up so find out what his current UMS mark is and what the grade boundary is for a "D" with a remark and again your childs teacher who hopefully has over two years built up a positive relationship with him will be able to advise you far better than myself. I hope this helps.

     
  9. I am sure that when we have organised the paperwork with the remarks we will do this as a matter of urgency; We called the standard AQA call centre and got passed through to someone from History but he did not give a name, was not interested in getting our centre number and honestly could have been anyone.
     
  10. Thank you Timward17 for your advice. The enrolment information for the college he has applied for just states to bring along your results even if they are just short of the requirements. When he went for interview the requirements were 5 A-C's with the only specific subject related being English Lit B which unfortunately he got a C in as well! He did state at interview he wasn't very confident about his English Lit and they said that they would like to accommodate him anyway due to his enthusiasm.. He felt he did ok in the exam but then I think that is often hard to judge unless you get a total blank and don't answer anything! Still haven't been able to talk to his school , maybe have more luck next week. Many thanks for your help, it certainly gives me some idea of the direction to go.
     

  11. Thanks for flagging this up Tim. It seems that there is widespread concern about the grading of AQA paper 40452. Many of our GCSE students achieved A-C grades in the January exam and over 80% in their controlled assessment but finished up with a D grade. I have not seen the breakdown of grades yet, but can only assume the grade boundaries have been raised significantly for the 40452 exam!? No doubt I will have to request a remark in the hope that some of the D grades will be raised to a C, putting more money in to the pocket of AQA! Once I have analysed the marks I will ring AQA to query their grading and would strongly encourage other history teachers to do the same.
     
  12. With reference to the the query about the grade boundaries for 40452 there was only a 2 max mark difference upwards between 2011 and 2012 which implies tougher marking as an alternative explanation (or students making major errors).
    A* 46/44
    A 40/39
    B 34/34
    C 28/29
    D. 23/23
    2012 on left.
     
  13. MarkJH

    MarkJH New commenter

    We also had very odd results for 40452 this year with some candidates scoring well below their marks on the other two Units for no apparent reason. Last year results for Units 1 and 2 were closely comparable for almost every candidate..
     
  14. I've been trying to get my head round this for a couple of days now - Im no statistician so my numbers need checked!
    I think the new spec has made the exam much more difficult for all, but esp for C/D borderline students. Our cohort got 70% A-C with the last year of the legacy spec in 2010 but only 24% on the new spec this year. However, ERA shows that the average raw mark fell by only 7% overall (much of which can be contributed to CA replacing coursework) which seems clearly disproportionate.
    The old grade boundary was 118 UMS for a C, but now 144 UMS, but this is clearly complicated by the change in overall marks available on Unit 1 and Unit 2 from 75 to 60. However, when you compare % of raw marks in 2010 to 2012 you can see that the bar has been raised.
    2010, if a pupil gained 60% of raw marks in Unit 3 and 50% of raw marks in Unit 2 they would then need 20% of raw marks in Unit 1 to gain a C grade
    2012, if a pupil gained 60% of raw marks in Unit 3 and 50% of raw marks in Unit 2 they would then need 43% of raw marks in Unit 1 to gain a C grade.
    Like I said, I am no statistician so would def appreciate anybody who could agree or disagree with above. However, be it right or wrong I think it is clear that there is an issue with AQA 'raising the bar' in exams. Unfortunately, as in school, History is being overlooked at the moment with the focus being on English and I can see a challenge ahead in convincing SMT, who are likely to take the easy option and insist that we have all suddenly became useless teachers, that actually the odds are pretty stacked against us - esp when the panic over EBacc grades starts to set in.
     
  15. lcz

    lcz

    Our results for ocr paper 2 were also shocking. I had 3 hours of revision with one class and was able to guess 5 of the sources that would come up so they were already able to analyse over half the sources. I also compared raw marks and ums marks with last year. In 2011 a raw mark of 47/50 for controlled assessment was scaled up to a ums of 48. In 2012, a mark of 45/50 was scaled down to ums 44 and 41/50 down to 39. Paper 1 in June was a pig of a paper, a colleague and i both thought it was harder than previous years so i can't account for marks being scaled down. It had really affected our c/d borderline students. It may be that students have been victims of harsher making as appears to have happened with aqa board. Is anyone else finding this with ocr?
     
  16. I think harsher marking is a smokescreen really, if people are marking more harshly it is because they are being encouraged to do so by the exam boards. The rise of online marking of single items rather than marking whole papers has also restricted the subjectivity of markers. I also think there is a knock on effect for schools with a lot of borderline C/D students. I think in recent years there has been a big exodus from certain exam boards (AQA, poss OCR) of comp schools, leaving them with mostly grammar / int / private / high achieving schools. This will raise the grade boundaries and leave some of us behind. We are changing to WJEC this year and hope that will level the playing field for us somewhat.
     
  17. Well spent the morning in school today and went through the marks awarded for paper 2 (Yr11) and paper 1 (Yr10) with my HoD who had taken the breakdown of student marks from the AQA website. Our humble impression is that it looks like we have had a marker who has been far too harsh on the students especially for our higher ability students (though there are some descrepencies for C/D students as well).
    We have selected the initial students we feel give us the greatest chance of our year groups being remarked but due to the fact we have over 100 students in each year group this is likely going to be a long drawn out battle. My HoD is adament that last year getting papers remarked was around £15 and was wondering if anyone can confirm this? I have not requested a remark before and although she may be getting crossed wires with a different exam board and/or qualification it does seem that over £30 is a huge figure and I can really see how secondary schools especially can find it near imposible to appeal.
    Our English Dept had a similar problem last year (again with AQA) and it wasn't until Easter that they decided that there was a fault. By then of course most students had retaken the exam in January and I am really fearful this is going to happen again. The extra work the students are going to have to put in (added to that the extra pressure) and I really feel devastated for them.
     
  18. I rang AQA earlier this week. Although very polite and the person let me air my grievances, I felt my only option was to get some papers re marked at £33 per paper. I have sent off for eight to be remarked. Am not holding my breath! It seems they've made it harder to get a 'C' when it was already difficult enough for our students. I also asked him if any other schools had registered any concern and he said no, none!
     

  19. I telephoned AQA today and the gentleman I spoke to said that they were aware about concerns over the dip in grades for paper 40452.
    He advised me to email AQA on: history@aqa.org with my comments and that my query would be investigated and responded to. I would urge other history teachers to do the same.

     
  20. Maybe more people rang after me I have emailed them. Fingers crossed. Lets hope everybody else gets in touch too.
     

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