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Picking the best exam board for a department

Discussion in 'Science' started by Gunit24, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. Gunit24

    Gunit24 New commenter


    Considering the new changes in the GCSE spec, how would you decide what exam board is best for your department ( science in this matter)? I am quite confused on which board to follow. Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated.
  2. adg-tes

    adg-tes New commenter

    I've found that the AQA exam board has been the best to teach for the last few years, giving the basics and advanced units of science into the specifications. When the department I work in will start with the 2016 specification, we will stay with AQA, as their new spec is probably the best it's been. It also helps if you wish to move students around different science classes - which is sometimes what we find (double Sci students outperforming some triple students), and with the new qualifications that KS4 students can achieve, I'd say AQA is still the best out there for GCSE for its flexibility and subject content is very good all-round. Hope this helps
  3. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    There are two main differences between the new specs - exam organisation and assessed practicals. The content is pretty much identical though when the specs are finalised differences in emphasis may become apparent.

    I would look at the compulsory practicals and make sure that your school has the necessary equipment (most schools would as the practicals are fairly standard ones). Then check the organisation of the content.

    My centre does AQA for GCSE (actually AQA certificates at the moment) and OCR for A level as we find the specifications, resources and support for the relevant courses most suited to us as teachers and for our students. We have not yet decided on what we will offer next year though the new AQA courses (Triple Science and Double award:Trilogy) are the most likely options.
  4. Gunit24

    Gunit24 New commenter

    Many thanks adg-tes and ScienceGuy for your assistance, your opinions does clarify my curiosity.
  5. sriley1988

    sriley1988 New commenter

    We've spent a lot of time looking at AQA vs edexcel (currently in dept) in our department. I think it's important to weigh up the way the boards are going to split content into different papers (AQA is more rigid in this regard whereas edexcel more synoptic), how "easy" each one is (I'd say edexcel questions are more accessible to lower ability pupils) vs how well they prepare kids for A-level and what impact each board may have on your results. If you have a really good system in place, have been with a board for years, have a good handle on what they like/ask/ question styles etc and have loads of resources made, is it worth the move to a new board?
  6. Gunit24

    Gunit24 New commenter

    Interesting point. Probably might be best to compare their exam papers to one another and see how accessible the questions are.
  7. TeacherBiology

    TeacherBiology New commenter

    We have been with OCR for so long have just changed to AQA and the support they are offering for new GCSE is excellent. I have only just received an email from OCR about a guidance meeting in January that's the first contact I've had with them AQA has already done a web meeting 1:1 meeting and a conference, plus all the transitional resources and schemes of work that can be used as a guide.
    Gunit24 likes this.

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