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New AQA Science A (Core) Specimen papers

Discussion in 'Science' started by little_emz, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. Hello,
    I have just completed the new C1, B1 and P1 H Tier specimen papers with students and was hoping someone could help me out with the approximate grade boundaries for the papers which are out of 60 max.
    If anyone has done these with students and applied approximate boundaries, or if you know roughly what percent AQA usually assign to each grade would you be able to advise me? (I know they are going to be massively different to the old spec papers probably but it would be good to hear your thoughts!)
    Kind regards,
  2. I've multiplied old Aqa boundaries by 1.33 to reflect the fact that these papers are out of 60 not 45. It seems to work. To get the old boundaries just type "ums convertor" into the searchbox on the Aqa website
  3. Sounds good to me!

    I've taken the summer exams and done as you suggested. To make t easier on everyone I've then averaged the grade boundaries for each subject. It seems to work for my Chem group

    Thank you
  4. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Occasional commenter

    It is very hard to come up with grade boundaries for speciment papers as they haven't been tested with a large cohort of pupils so they often suffer from ridiculously easy questions or very obscure ones. This can also lead to inflexibility in the markscheme. To some extent I base it on prior performance at my centre trying to get a similar spread of grades as previous cohorts, taking into account if a cohort is more or less able than previous ones, and erring on the side of caution (though experience leads me to believe that pupils grades go up whenever their is a syllabus change at GCSE).
  5. I wonder if the grade boundaries for the new specification might be a bit lower. Some of the longer answer questions appear more difficult than the legacy questions and might skew the marks. I think the advice from ScienceGuy might be the best way to go about getting grade boundaries. Our mock exam marks (specimen paper) all seem very low. I know the students will revise much harder for the real exam though. Is anyone else getting lower marks than expected using the specimen paper?
  6. We went up by the same boundaries from 40 to 60 and our grades are all about 2 below what we'd expect.

    Mostly because pupils aren't answering questions fully, the COMPARE question in the oils section and the photo mining question were answered the worst.

    They're getting to grips with the 6 mark one now though.
  7. We have been in the same position - we set the specimen paper as our mock and have made up the grade boundaries to an extent looking at the spread of attainment in relation to target grades. They have all done very poorly, and I can't help but feel this is all because this year group have never had to do "official" exams before, and have no idea about exam technique whatsoever!
    In addition - Foundation isn't really any easier than Higher (on P1 anyway!)
  8. We are doing the combined paper route and students have just done the specimen. The students found it incredibly difficult - in part due to lack of learning - but also, I hope, it was an unrealistically difficult paper. If not, we are all doomed!
  9. Drquantum

    Drquantum New commenter

    Pretty much the same with OCR gateway. The onger questions are a nightmare for most of our studetns due to poor literacy. As for calculations etc. The foundation paper reminded me of an old style o level paper. SHowing my age here. Agree if actula exam is just as diffucult I may as well get my coat!
  10. My group have just faired really poorly too!
    We are all doomed anyway with MG!

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