There is a thread going on about the new Physics papers, does anyone have any comments on the Chemistry specimen papers? My groups have been doing the AQA papers as homework, and are finding them extremely tough. I have no problem with challenging papers, but am very worried that these papers do not seem to differentiate between students (other than the multiple choice questions, which produce a nice spread of marks). With my students, these papers would produce very narrow grade boundaries. There are five to eight mark questions based on practical work, which many students are getting very low marks on because they are missing the point of the question. If you spot what the examiner is after, then there are often easy marks. We did one quite easy numerical question (5 marks) which lots of students got 0/5 because they didn't realise where to start. Those that did, got 5 marks. There are other one mark questions which require maybe three different inputs, and no differentiation between someone who doesn't have a clue, and someone who has got two of the points. A couple of students are getting 80%+, a few more above 60%, and then the vast majority between 45 and 55%. If the papers were done under exam conditions, marks would be a lot lower. What are other exam boards like? I hope this is just the specimen papers and the difficulty has been under-estimated. However, If AQA do not produce exams with a better distribution of marks, I will be looking to swap board next year.