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Which board is better for our students?

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by Piranha, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    The difficulty is that not many of us have experience of both. We do AQA, and I think that their Maths website gives a lot of support. You ask about what is most accessible "to our students"; the answer must depend on which exam you have best prepared them for. If you use the AQA resources well, then they should be well prepared for the AQA verison; I cannot speak for Edexel.
     
  2. Edexcel papers are more accessible and their support and resources are superb.
     
  3. Have worked with both OCR and Edexcel - the bottom line is they are all standardised. My students find that the questions on Edexcel "easier" than OCR but the grade boundaries are higher making it more difficult to get a C + If the students are likely to get caught out making silly errors on the easy questions, Edexcel not likely to be the way forward.
    Just had outstanding OCR results - the students were extremely well prepared and it showed. Now awaiting some from Edexcel, will be in a much better position once they come in to make a true judgement.
     
  4. Do you mean

    1 "Which is the easiest. to pass?"

    or

    2 "Which will improve their range of knowledge and allow them to 'succeed' at a higher level?"

    or both?

    There is choice ....
     
  5. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Could you expand on this a bit; in what ways are the Edexel papers more accessible?
    I have found AQA accessible for our students, and think it goes some way towards preparing the Higher candidates for AS level. My experience of Edexel is limited to helping my daughter, who is an A/B borderline student, and I have not noticed any major difference between the two. In fact, I gave her the November 2011 AQA Unit 1 to do as she was taking Edexel when only 1 live exam was available, and she did better than she had at school with the Edexel version, despite not having covered one of the topics on the AQA paper. For her, an Edexel trained student, the AQA paper was actually more accessible. Have you experience of teaching the current specifications for both boards?
    My suspicion is that many (but not all) teachers are more comfortable with what they are familiar with, so tend to support that board. I don't think that Edexel students get higher grades on average.
     
  6. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Totally irrelevant but I just wonder why maths teachers are so reluctant to use the word "bodies". We had exam boards in the twentieth century but in this one we have awarding bodies.
    Is it shyness? Or just not knowing? (It hasn't been kept a secret.)
     
  7. lancsHOD

    lancsHOD New commenter

    Questions 'easier' but grade boundaries higher does that make it more difficult to get C+ or just comparable??
    An interesting comment, I'd be interested to hear more about this.
    Your observations after the Edexcel results will indeed be valuable.
     
  8. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    This used to be something they stated explicitly at the start of their specification documents. They then explained this by saying something to the effect that the questions were laid out and printed clearly, but also that each question was based on a single topic, so it tested what the students could do, rather than penalising them for stuff they couldn't. Part of this, clearly, was rather stymied by the new style GCSE questions that link several topics together...


    FWIW lots of my pupils got the wrong answer to a recent exam question (Unit 2, sat a week ago) because they didn't properly understand the bit about a woman reading a signpost. I think the pupils were wrong, but they were able to explain their misunderstanding and reckoned that the question wasn't clear.

    I certainly agree that the support Edexcel provides is excellent.
     
  9. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    historically EDEXCEL prepare papers for London schools with many pupils where English is not their first language, so their questions have been written in a clear and easy to understand way.
    AQA started from SEG who tened to write in a more complex manner aiming for schoold in the Shires with pupils with a generally better grasp of written English.
    Having taught both and been in two schools that changed fromAQA to EDX we found it easier for pupils to read. But the differences have become less marked recently.
    Do also look carefully at the text books that you might choose as they vary hugely in their accesibility for poor readers. Some books hardly give any practice before moving onto harder questions which is a disaster for pupils with poor self confidence. I founf the AQA recommended texts particularly bad for this
     
  10. Yeah, boundaries on OCR this January were generally on the low side.
    <u>New modular higher tier, out of 60:</u>
    Unit A a* 50 a 41 b 30 c 20 d 14 e 11
    Unit B a* 38 a 30 b 22 c 15 d 11 e 9
    <u>New modular foundation tier, out of 60:</u>
    Unit A c 33 d 26 e 19 f 13 g 7
    Unit B c 29 d 23 e 18 f 13 g 8
    <u>Old Linear, out of 200:</u>
    Higher A* 143 A 113 B 83 C 53 D 31 E 20
    Foundation C 129 D 107 E 85 F 64 G 43

     
  11. Module UMS "capping" means that anything over 40/60 on AF or 35/60 on BF represents wasted effort for students btw (I think?).
     
  12. mevdog1971

    mevdog1971 New commenter

    your mind will soon be made up when modular exams are scrapped.
     

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