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Which exam board Edxcel or OCR? (Psychology A Level)

Discussion in 'Social sciences' started by mairuzu, May 6, 2011.

  1. mairuzu

    mairuzu New commenter

    We currently teach AQA Psychology A spec, but want to change as we feel that it is too challenging for our students.
    Please could anyone let me have a couple of pros and cons for Edxcel and / or OCR Psychology.
    Our students are mainly EAL and mixed ability (tending towards the lower end).
    Any comments gratefully receieved.
  2. Hi,
    I am about to start teacher training in september, so although I am not equipt as a teacher (yet) to advise either way, I had experience of the OCR Psychology AS and A-Level a few years ago.The boards scheme was very interesting and engaging due to core studies, so would be good for that reason, however, the marking was awful by the exam board. Infact, the school has since swapped it was that bad, with marks going up sometimes by two grade boundaries on re-mark. They now take the Welsh board, which has a very simular design, focused on core studies. Hopefully they have since improved, but I felt I must warn you!
  3. Hello

    I am due to teach Psychology at AS from September and am unsure which awarding body to go with?
    I have some experience teaching it through AQA, but I currently teach Health and Social Care on the Edexcel award.
    Any feedback in relaiton to AQA, Edexcel, or OCR for AS psychology would be very much appreciated!
  4. Hi,

    I am currently teaching AQA A- taught OCR last year and found it DULL to teach. Teaching 15 core studies in so much detail gets boring, and the students find it a slog. I also don't feel it gives students a true insight to psychology the way AQA A does. I have also taught AQA B and enjoyed that- both AQA specs are more thematic and test conceptual knowledge of psychology rather than OCR which seems like a memory test. And at A2 it's even worse!
  5. Hi
    Thanks I have some experience teaching it at AQA but am between AQA and Edexcel at the moment as I teach Health and Social Care at Edexel.
    Thanks for your advice
  6. Mairusu

    I prefer AQA A as that is what I have the most experience of teaching. I also feel that this spec best prepares students for University and I think that the teaching resources on the website are helpful (many sample answers and extra questions, which AQA B and OCR do not have). However, I also think it's worth considering AQA B or Edexcel as AQA B covers more practical topics, such as Health and Forensic, which may suit your students better and the general structure of the Edexcel spec is more like the old A-Levels (the pre 2000 ones), which I like. The only downside is that the AQA B spec will require a lot of head scratching in terms of how to fit the materials into the number of weeks available, especially at AS and Edexcel students have to do inferential statistics at AS Level which might put off some of your students. For this reason, many teachers choose WJEC as an alternative. I've never taught it, but I've had a quick glance at the spec and question papers and also quite like them.

    As for OCR, many teachers like it because it's more accessible and easier to fit into the time available for the course. However, I'm not keen on it because I find it dreadfully vague and repetitive (in terms of course content and marking, esp with regard to units G42-4) and am not impressed with the poor quality and scarcity of resources available. I apologise to any OCR teachers on here who do like the spec and are using resources which are much better than the ones that I've seen, if you feel offended by my review of the spec, but as I said I'm not keen on it for these reasons.

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