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My complaint email to OCR about Biology F215 June 2012

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    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am writing to complain about one of the questions asked in the F215 Biology paper I sat on 15th June 2012. Two sections of a question, worth 10 marks collectively, were directly copied word for word from question 4a and 4b of the 'Mammalian Physiology and Behaviour' 2805/05 paper from June 19th 2003, which can be seen here: http://pastpapers.org/A2/biology/mam...0June%20QP.pdf

    This question was copied word for word into F215 June 2012, with the Figure, marks allocated and wording of the question being exactly the same. This will have given an advantage to anybody who saw the 2805/5 2003 paper and its mark scheme, which will result in some students being awarded marks for simply remembering what they have read on the past paper and mark scheme, and not for applying their knowledge of GCE Biology to the question asked.

    As a student who is depending on the result of this exam to secure my university place, I am very disappointed with OCR. Inevitably, the grade boundaries will be raised for the F215 paper, as every student who saw the 2805/5 paper of June 2003 will have secured the 10 marks allocated to this question in F215 June 2012. This will make it harder for me, and every other student who did not see the 2805/5 paper, to secure their places at university, with students possibly losing out on their university place due to OCR's exact repetition of a question from a previous year.

    I understand that many questions are reworded over the years, using different content and different scenarios, but the exact repetition of a question is unacceptable. I would like a response from somebody who is responsible for setting this paper, not a generic computer automated reply. I would like to know how OCR will set the grade boundaries for F215 June 2012, due to the fact that some candidates will have had an advantage over others, due to OCR's inability to set a fair and original question.

    Yours faithfully,

    My name

    ----------------------

    If you would like to report this to the BBC, which I have done, go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10725415

    I would like more people to complain to both the BBC and OCR to maximise the chance of action being taken by OCR.
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    You'll probably get a better response from a letter sent to multiple people (and noted in the letter who it has been sent to) than an email. Other than that seems pretty good. Although you make the assumption people who've seen it before will get full marks which is unlikely.

    (Original post by Flyteryder)
    I understand that many questions are reworded over the years, using different content and different scenarios, but the exact repetition of a question is unacceptable. I would like a response from somebody who is responsible for setting this paper, not a generic computer automated reply. I would like to know how OCR will set the grade boundaries for F215 June 2012, due to the fact that some candidates will have had an advantage over others, due to OCR's inability to set a fair and original question.

    .
    The former of these two sentences comes off as rude, and the latter is something that invites them to reply that they don't feel any candidate gained an advantage.
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    (Original post by Norton1)
    You'll probably get a better response from a letter sent to multiple people (and noted in the letter who it has been sent to) than an email. Other than that seems pretty good. Although you make the assumption people who've seen it before will get full marks which is unlikely.
    They'll either get full marks for that question, or more marks than they would have gotten if the question hasn't already been asked.

    Who should I send a letter to?
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    (Original post by Flyteryder)
    They'll either get full marks for that question, or more marks than they would have gotten if the question hasn't already been asked.

    Who should I send a letter to?
    I would start with this:

    If you are a candidate or parent/carer

    Each of our examination centres has its own internal complaints and appeals process for dealing with examination issues and you should approach the Head of Centre in the first instance. If you have done this but remain dissatisfied with the outcome, you may bring your concern to our attention
    http://pdf.ocr.org.uk/download/conta...ts_policy.pdf?

    And if that doesn't resolve it then;

    By post – please write to:
    Director of Standards
    1 Hills Road
    Cambridge
    CB1 2EU
    And finally if all that doesn't work;

    Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator
    Spring Place
    Coventry Business Park
    Herald Avenue
    Coventry
    CV5 6UB
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    You could send it to the bbc, might make ocr take notice... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10725415
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    me too, I mean, what was the point of reusing the question how does it test the majority who had the advantage of going over the paper? the exam board really did do something wrong this time.
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    (Original post by Flyteryder)
    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am writing to complain about one of the questions asked in the F215 Biology paper I sat on 15th June 2012. Two sections of a question, worth 10 marks collectively, were directly copied word for word from question 4a and 4b of the 'Mammalian Physiology and Behaviour' 2805/05 paper from June 19th 2003, which can be seen here: http://pastpapers.org/A2/biology/mam...0June%20QP.pdf

    This question was copied word for word into F215 June 2012, with the Figure, marks allocated and wording of the question being exactly the same. This will have given an advantage to anybody who saw the 2805/5 2003 paper and its mark scheme, which will result in some students being awarded marks for simply remembering what they have read on the past paper and mark scheme, and not for applying their knowledge of GCE Biology to the question asked.

    As a student who is depending on the result of this exam to secure my university place, I am very disappointed with OCR. Inevitably, the grade boundaries will be raised for the F215 paper, as every student who saw the 2805/5 paper of June 2003 will have secured the 10 marks allocated to this question in F215 June 2012. This will make it harder for me, and every other student who did not see the 2805/5 paper, to secure their places at university, with students possibly losing out on their university place due to OCR's exact repetition of a question from a previous year.

    I understand that many questions are reworded over the years, using different content and different scenarios, but the exact repetition of a question is unacceptable. I would like a response from somebody who is responsible for setting this paper, not a generic computer automated reply. I would like to know how OCR will set the grade boundaries for F215 June 2012, due to the fact that some candidates will have had an advantage over others, due to OCR's inability to set a fair and original question.

    Yours faithfully,

    My name

    ----------------------

    Did anybody else notice this? I would like more people to complain to maximise the chance of action being taken by OCR.

    I also am furious with OCR and fully support this. Also apparently some private school students were given the 2003 paper the night before the exam...
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    (Original post by Flyteryder)
    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am writing to complain about one of the questions asked in the F215 Biology paper I sat on 15th June 2012. Two sections of a question, worth 10 marks collectively, were directly copied word for word from question 4a and 4b of the 'Mammalian Physiology and Behaviour' 2805/05 paper from June 19th 2003, which can be seen here: http://pastpapers.org/A2/biology/mam...0June%20QP.pdf

    This question was copied word for word into F215 June 2012, with the Figure, marks allocated and wording of the question being exactly the same. This will have given an advantage to anybody who saw the 2805/5 2003 paper and its mark scheme, which will result in some students being awarded marks for simply remembering what they have read on the past paper and mark scheme, and not for applying their knowledge of GCE Biology to the question asked.

    As a student who is depending on the result of this exam to secure my university place, I am very disappointed with OCR. Inevitably, the grade boundaries will be raised for the F215 paper, as every student who saw the 2805/5 paper of June 2003 will have secured the 10 marks allocated to this question in F215 June 2012. This will make it harder for me, and every other student who did not see the 2805/5 paper, to secure their places at university, with students possibly losing out on their university place due to OCR's exact repetition of a question from a previous year.

    I understand that many questions are reworded over the years, using different content and different scenarios, but the exact repetition of a question is unacceptable. I would like a response from somebody who is responsible for setting this paper, not a generic computer automated reply. I would like to know how OCR will set the grade boundaries for F215 June 2012, due to the fact that some candidates will have had an advantage over others, due to OCR's inability to set a fair and original question.

    Yours faithfully,

    My name

    ----------------------

    Did anybody else notice this? I would like more people to complain to maximise the chance of action being taken by OCR.
    How many different questions do you think they can make up about the same material?

    I realise that this question was from the previous specification and so is no longer on the OCR website. However, does your school not use questions from old papers and encourage you to look at old mark schemes?

    You have demonstrated that papers this old are freely available online.
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    (Original post by Rory_M)
    You could send it to the bbc, might make ocr take notice... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10725415
    Thanks. I just send it to the BBC.
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    (Original post by Flyteryder)
    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am writing to complain about one of the questions asked in the F215 Biology paper I sat on 15th June 2012. Two sections of a question, worth 10 marks collectively, were directly copied word for word from question 4a and 4b of the 'Mammalian Physiology and Behaviour' 2805/05 paper from June 19th 2003, which can be seen here: http://pastpapers.org/A2/biology/mam...0June%20QP.pdf

    This question was copied word for word into F215 June 2012, with the Figure, marks allocated and wording of the question being exactly the same. This will have given an advantage to anybody who saw the 2805/5 2003 paper and its mark scheme, which will result in some students being awarded marks for simply remembering what they have read on the past paper and mark scheme, and not for applying their knowledge of GCE Biology to the question asked.

    As a student who is depending on the result of this exam to secure my university place, I am very disappointed with OCR. Inevitably, the grade boundaries will be raised for the F215 paper, as every student who saw the 2805/5 paper of June 2003 will have secured the 10 marks allocated to this question in F215 June 2012. This will make it harder for me, and every other student who did not see the 2805/5 paper, to secure their places at university, with students possibly losing out on their university place due to OCR's exact repetition of a question from a previous year.

    I understand that many questions are reworded over the years, using different content and different scenarios, but the exact repetition of a question is unacceptable. I would like a response from somebody who is responsible for setting this paper, not a generic computer automated reply. I would like to know how OCR will set the grade boundaries for F215 June 2012, due to the fact that some candidates will have had an advantage over others, due to OCR's inability to set a fair and original question.

    Yours faithfully,

    My name

    ----------------------

    Did anybody else notice this? I would like more people to complain to maximise the chance of action being taken by OCR.
    Hey there I'm so angry about the fact that 10 marks could have easily been gained by someone that had previously done this paper - I would have never gone that far back to get past papers and I've actually also complained about this and the more people do the more OCR will take it into consideration at least!
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    OCR keeps on doing this. They put a question in the MEI C3 paper this january that was a worked example in the book, and they put a question from the book in the C4 paper last week. It's just ridiculous, and to be frank, lazy.

    However both times I'd done the questions a few days before so it doesn't bother me so much It's still wrong though, and yes, gives people an unfair advantage.
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    You didn't realise OCR did this?! I did most of my revision for chemistry from the legacy spec for OCR as they just copy questions. Anyone who wanted to secure a good grade would use this for revision as some of what is being examined is a candidates ability to recall information and some is the ability to apply this information. That's why past papers are made available to ensure that you understand the format, type of questions and topics that may come up.

    I would suggest that this issue you are having is caused by yourself failing to revise from the past papers effectively enough.


    EDIT: sending it to the BBC would be your best option though, as it is unimaginative on OCRs side but I maintain that every candidate (if they were revising effectively) should not be disadvantaged.
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    (Original post by Flyteryder)
    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am writing to complain about one of the questions asked in the F215 Biology paper I sat on 15th June 2012. Two sections of a question, worth 10 marks collectively, were directly copied word for word from question 4a and 4b of the 'Mammalian Physiology and Behaviour' 2805/05 paper from June 19th 2003, which can be seen here: http://pastpapers.org/A2/biology/mam...0June%20QP.pdf

    This question was copied word for word into F215 June 2012, with the Figure, marks allocated and wording of the question being exactly the same. This will have given an advantage to anybody who saw the 2805/5 2003 paper and its mark scheme, which will result in some students being awarded marks for simply remembering what they have read on the past paper and mark scheme, and not for applying their knowledge of GCE Biology to the question asked.

    As a student who is depending on the result of this exam to secure my university place, I am very disappointed with OCR. Inevitably, the grade boundaries will be raised for the F215 paper, as every student who saw the 2805/5 paper of June 2003 will have secured the 10 marks allocated to this question in F215 June 2012. This will make it harder for me, and every other student who did not see the 2805/5 paper, to secure their places at university, with students possibly losing out on their university place due to OCR's exact repetition of a question from a previous year.

    I understand that many questions are reworded over the years, using different content and different scenarios, but the exact repetition of a question is unacceptable. I would like a response from somebody who is responsible for setting this paper, not a generic computer automated reply. I would like to know how OCR will set the grade boundaries for F215 June 2012, due to the fact that some candidates will have had an advantage over others, due to OCR's inability to set a fair and original question.

    Yours faithfully,

    My name

    ----------------------

    Did anybody else notice this? I would like more people to complain to maximise the chance of action being taken by OCR.
    I swear students and young people now a days will find everything and anything to complain about. You do realise over half the questions in our AS exam are copied word for word, if not altered slightly. There is only so much an exam board can ask you and this question is really nothing to complain about. As students you should know that the BEST form of revision is to do exam papers, because the same questions are always appearing. If anything , take it as a brilliant thing that this question came up, because it would have been an easy way to gain good marks. Don't get angry just because you didn't take it upon yourself to go that extra mile and have a go at past paper questions, both from the current and legacy papers. If anything i'm happy they repeated the question.


    If anything, they might bring down the mark scheme and it might not. But don't blame the OCR exam board if you don't get the grade you wanted and if you don't make it into uni. It most definitely will not be because of this question.


    Give the exam board a break, we complain no matter what they do!
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    Why is it OCR's fault that your dont have enough common sense to do some past/mock papers before an exam, especially recent ones because they will be more likely to have similar styled questions than the last one. ''Oh its not fair lalala'' you put yourself at a disadvantage by not looking at the past paper. The response your gonna get is ''There's nothing we can do'' and ''We're the exam board we decide the questions'' all stretched into a fancy letter. Shame. And I hope you get the grade you deserve.
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    (Original post by jesse111)
    Why is it OCR's fault that your dont have enough common sense to do some past/mock papers before an exam, especially recent ones because they will be more likely to have similar styled questions than the last one. ''Oh its not fair lalala'' you put yourself at a disadvantage by not looking at the past paper. The response your gonna get is ''There's nothing we can do'' and ''We're the exam board we decide the questions'' all stretched into a fancy letter. Shame. And I hope you get the grade you deserve.
    The paper was from 2003, it was not a recent paper, and it was not available on the website or to most teachers. There are rumours that private school students were given the paper the day before the 2012 exam and told the question would come up.
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    OCR have every right to reuse the question - it is based on our syllabus (explain, with the aid of diagrams and photographs, the sliding filament model of muscular contraction) So there is no need for complaints. As people have said on here, papers are easily available online and you should have used these as part of your revision. OCR repeat questions all the time!
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    (Original post by sheldon93)
    OCR have every right to reuse the question - it is based on our syllabus (explain, with the aid of diagrams and photographs, the sliding filament model of muscular contraction) So there is no need for complaints. As people have said on here, papers are easily available online and you should have used these as part of your revision. OCR repeat questions all the time!
    The paper was from 2003, it was not a recent paper, and it was not available on the OCR website or to most teachers. There are rumours that private school students were given the paper the day before the 2012 exam and told the question would come up.
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    (Original post by Flyteryder)
    The paper was from 2003, it was not a recent paper, and it was not available on the website or to most teachers. There are rumours that private school students were given the paper the day before the 2012 exam and told the question would come up.
    You type the legacy papers into google and they come up. So they are not difficult to find and should have been used as part of your revision.

    And I don't believe that thing about private schools at all. As you said, it is a rumour. They were probably just given the paper as part of revision, because it was the only question on muscles that I could find to revise from.
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    There are only so many questions the exam board can ask. If people did well in that question it is because they had looked at previous papers in their revision. I don't see why you're complaining.
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    (Original post by Flyteryder)
    The paper was from 2003, it was not a recent paper, and it was not available on the website or to most teachers. There are rumours that private school students were given the paper the day before the 2012 exam and told the question would come up.
    thats cheating you mean that the teachers might have saw the paper and told their students i go to a private school but my bio teacher did not say anything?

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