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OCR vs AQA - advice please!

Discussion in 'Media studies' started by oxy, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. oxy

    oxy New commenter

    Hi all,
    We are thinking about changing exam boards for A level from AQA to OCR. We are not happy with the current spec and after some poor coursework results were looking for something a little more focused. The OCR spec seems good - can anyone recommend it or give any advice?
  2. mediadave

    mediadave New commenter

    We teach OCR and it works pretty well for us. There's a lot of choice over coursework tasks and over some of the exam topics. Support isn't quite as good as AQA but that's OCR in general rather than for this subject.
  3. I've got settled into OCR now after teaching AQA at another school. I do find certain irritations. The textual analysis exam in particular is frustratingly reductive - never more so than when the examiners plead with teachers not to let it be so. The focus on audience and institution risks being a bit dry, and there's no television unit (which I had liked about the AQA spec.) The coursework options are varied, if demanding, at both AS and A2. The A2 exam is an odd beast. The first part requires students to write about the coursework for an hour. This requires some planning up front across the two years, and a rather boring teaching unit to get students prepared (I've just started this process for the third time). The second part requires very contemporary knowlegde and an in-depth grasp of theory across media and sociology. After an AS year of pretty narrow channels and rigid structure, the open-ness of the second year is both welcome and challenging - to me, it's a bigger step up from AS to A2 in OCR than in AQA.
    Lastly, the official OCR textbooks are... let's be polite and say 'insubstantial'. AQA's materials were far superior, in that students could actually use them to prepare for their exams!

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