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unit 3 GCSE Drama - Edexcel - query

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by nwyllie, May 2, 2012.

  1. Hi
    I had my unit 3 performance last night and although I feel the students performed really well; I was a bit disappointed in my examiner because I felt that there was too long a gap between group performances and was wondering if anyone else had had this experience. I had more students last year and the gap wasn't as long as it was last night.
    I had three groups yesterday and the examiner had 30 minutes marking time between groups; last year i had 31 and the examiner took only 10-15 minutes between groups. Apparently examiners have been told that they are to take 5 minutes per candidate per group between performances.....is this right or is it just a suggestion? I'm an AS examiner and I'm not told this sort of specific info but what's more; I cannot find this specific information anywhere.
    I've complained to Edexcel but I'm not holding my breath for a suitable reply..... grrrrr!!!!
     
  2. Hi
    I had my unit 3 performance last night and although I feel the students performed really well; I was a bit disappointed in my examiner because I felt that there was too long a gap between group performances and was wondering if anyone else had had this experience. I had more students last year and the gap wasn't as long as it was last night.
    I had three groups yesterday and the examiner had 30 minutes marking time between groups; last year i had 31 and the examiner took only 10-15 minutes between groups. Apparently examiners have been told that they are to take 5 minutes per candidate per group between performances.....is this right or is it just a suggestion? I'm an AS examiner and I'm not told this sort of specific info but what's more; I cannot find this specific information anywhere.
    I've complained to Edexcel but I'm not holding my breath for a suitable reply..... grrrrr!!!!
     
  3. Not correct.
    Not suggested either.
     
  4. corblimeyguvnor

    corblimeyguvnor New commenter

    Hi Nwyllie -
    This was not explitly said at the Standardisation meeting for Unit 3 exminers BUT...
    In the past I have taken up to 20 minutes to mark groups of 5/6. Some examiners like to fill the forms out in detail at the time, others do notes and write them up in detail later. As a centre, you are supposed to be governed by the examiner in timings so theoretically they can take as long as they want. Might have been a new examiner who was really trying to be accurate and detailed. For each student we have to make a comment (approx two sentences) for each of the four criteria. We also have to write a lengthy comment on the whole piece. So it is quite a lot of work if you were writing it up in full.
    I would assume that you have a very thorough examiner who was trying hard to get it right for you and your students. I know it's a hassle when the kids are nervously waiting (and audience too). As a general rule I try to go with the timings that the centre wants, but as examiners we are told every year that WE are in charge and that 'adequate' marking time must be given. That's what it says 'roughly' in the ASG too I think.
    Annoying but I don't think she/he has done anything 'wrong'...
     
  5. Thank you for your feedback and advice.
    However; I had given theoretical timings for breaks between groups (15 mins between group one and two and another 15 minutes between group two and three knowing that they would probably be around for another half hour or so AFTER the exam) and there were a number of issues surrounding the security of the school (our school officially closes at 7pm) and the exam started at 4.30pm thus giving (in my estimation) plenty and "adequate" time for marking in between.
    Granted; it may have been a new examiner but I was a new examiner last year and didn't take anywhere near that length of time between groups and my team leader felt I was one of the most accurate markers on his team.....
    My school are filing a complaint - it's gone beyond me now so it's out of my hands......just wanted to know if this was an official thing or a choice thing.
    Thanks :)
     
  6. I have a feeling you will get absolutely nowhere with your complaint - marking time is at examiner's discretion.
    However, one way of looking at it is - each 20 students buys you 3 hours' of exam time.
    Performances should last 5 mins per candidate - therefore 20 students = 100 mins.
    This leaves approx 80 mins "spare" for marking.
    If your 20 students were in 4 groups of 5, that's 15 mins between groups if examiner uses up all his/her allotted time.
    If the examiner takes 30 mins to mark each group, they don't get paid for the additional 1 hour they spend at your school.


     
  7. I agree with the above posting...an odd thing to complain about. I would be more concerned if the examiner took 5 minutes between the peices rather than 30 minutes. Some performances have alot to write and it is more important that the examiner gets down as many notes as possible on the paperwork there and then as they are not able to adjust their comments later on reflection. Not quite sure why you have complained really.
     
  8. Basically because I felt it was too long a break for students to wait. I'm not the only one who felt it was too long either; I had Leadership in watching their performance and they asked me why it was so long too.....
    I am an examiner and if a centre says to me: Can we have about 10-15 minutes between pieces? then I say yes - I asked if it could be 10-15 minutes (I felt it was a fair enough length of time - I've marked 9 students in that time - maybe not written up my notes but still allocated the marks).
    Anyway; leadership have instigated the official complaint - I asked the question if this was a directed time bracket that had been announced to examiners but not to teachers and from what I can gather from people; it's not. If it was; I'd be saying to Edexcel that we should be told about this and not have it sprung on us.
    I had estimated the time giving 15 minutes between group one and group two and again between groups two and three then I'd be able to send the kids home (there were lots of students watching including younger children who were siblings coming along to support with families) home at a decent time and then I would wait until the examiners had finished at the end but it didn't work out like this....
     
  9. In my own experience, the centre should dictate the time between groups in order to ensure that the performances are between bells, avoiding noisy breaktimes etc The candidates' needs are paramount
    This seems an excessive amount of time to me, and I would not have wanted my own students to wait so long
    Examiners are NOT meant to write up their final notes in the centre, but are expected to make detailed notes, with examples, and award marks based on the criteria, matched against the marks awarded at standardisation
    My examiner this year was 10 minutes between groups, which seems just right to me
    Had there been much longer, those pupils waiting to perform last would have been aggitated
     
  10. My examiners have always been 10 to 15 minutes between groups, I think. I had 4 groups of 4/5, so similar to you and the timing between pieces felt about right. This year that is what she took and then after the last piece stayed a bit longer (maybe 25 minutes) I thought probably to check that the rank orders, etc. were right, but that meant the audience could leave and we tidied up, etc.while she did that in another room. If you have an audience it makes it hard if it drags on too long between pieces and it is hard on the last groups. The examiners are making notes during the pieces, plus they can finish their notes at home, so I'm surprised it would take 30 minutes. Having said that, I was worried one year when an examiner didn't stay to make notes after the last piece - said she would do that home and I wondered how fresh her ideas would be.
     
  11. Thanks for your comments everyone.
    Received an email this week from the exam board as an examiner and; although it was a generic email it DID state that examiners shouldn't take too long between pieces as writing up etc could be done at home. The final line of the email stated that the students were to be kept at their ease throughout the examination and that performances should not be "delayed". I think that answers my query!!!!!!!
    [​IMG]
     

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