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    *and sorry, yes i did take the test.
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    (Original post by okelly5)
    mate i wasnt trying to be arrogant
    i meant the discussions had gone from

    "this exam is a disgrace, we should all write complaining letters to the exam board" (a generalisation i know but reasonably fair)

    to people offering answers to questions people had, and explaining how the specification fitted in with the exam.

    i just wrote 'clever' cos i was busy watching a film and didnt wanna put too much effort into the comment
    Fair enough. I just found some of the comments to be condescending at times, but if there was no bad intentions then there isn't a problem. Personally, I was kind of expecting the shift in emphasis from the exam boards, although I wasn't expecting it to be this extreme. I was upset by the absence of the traditional 7-mark questions more than anything. Without these and with a series 1-mark questions the exams come to resemble 21st Century Science GCSE, which can never be a good thing. There was nothing to get my teeth into -- too nebulous. (I did OCR by the way)
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    (Original post by okelly5)
    "two specific words" -- the defined purpose of a statistical test is to fine the 'probability that a correlation is due to chance' -- both the words it mentioned, clearly you only learned what numbers to plug into the test and not what it does.
    At what point did I state that I couldn't do the question? I know how to interpret the test (although the point that we weren't expected to is a partly valid one), but if I want to write a correct answer that doesn't contain those two exact words, or only contains one, why can't I? It's totally arbitrary.

    Okay, sure, that's the definition we were expected to learn. It's not, however, the only way to phrase that sentence. And isn't thinking over mindless regurgitation of exact sentences meant to be the very thing this new style of paper encourages?

    well done, hair tube index serves only to confuse the reader, intelligent people can think, ive never seen that before but by reading the question and thinking about it i can still answer the question.
    I don't doubt that it required more intelligence to understand. The problem is that it doesn't test skills that are relevant to Biology! Perhaps I should "test the candidates' intelligence" by writing the whole paper in Wingdings and providing a key on the front page -- it's just as valid as a test of intelligence as this obstruction, and no real scientist publishing papers will deliberately use obscure terms for the sole purpose of confusing the reader.

    The ability to decipher what words that the author has used is irrelevant to Biology, because field scientists won't make up words without a good reason.

    you couldnt pass a gcse maths paper off as biol4, because it contains no application of biological principles (like sampling techniques, explanations for processes etc. ) but contains a lot of application of maths principles... that comment honestly makes no sense.
    The entirety of the material within a GCSE Maths paper is what could be included within this exam. I was using this comment to refute the claim that "everything included was touted as possibly appearing", which, as you rightly state, ignores the fact that much of what was on the syllabus did not appear in the paper.

    i agree 'its reasonable to expect the paper to contain a significant portion of what you have been taught',, and the paper did that, but rather than saying "explain photosynthesis. explain respiration. explain succession. use hardy weinburg. etc.", they ask questions that you couldnt answer without understanding all of these things.
    Yeah, those questions weren't too bad. I had no issue with the questions that asked us to practically apply our knowledge (although I thought there were too many), and I can't see what was wrong with the ecology question.

    My issue is that much of the syllabus was completely ignored, and the parts we were expected to use were greatly simplified to the point where the main challenge was interpreting the question, which wouldn't have been a problem at all had they just written the questions sensibly. Additionally, the questions that did test our ability to apply skills usually didn't apply Unit 4 skills, with the net effect that I could have done almost as well in the paper without actually studying Unit 4. In other words, the syllabus material was largely irrelevant to the exam.

    Call me radical, but I think that candidates should actually be rewarded, at least to a certain degree, for knowing the topic material. Knowledge of Biology should be rewarded in a Biology qualification, with practical application testing the best of applicants rather than being the only requisite for the exam.
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    wow i can't believe this more than 2,000 members for ocr biology lol
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    yeah it was a pretty condescending way of putting it,, ill work on my sensitivity but i was gettin stressed :P
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    (Original post by Who's N?)
    i don't see the point in having low grade boundaries because the paper was totally rubbish at distinguishing between the higher high grade students with the lower grades ones, because of its lack of biology content! So lowering the grade boundaries would probably just give a disproportionately high number of candidates A/A*, not all of whom who deserve it.. :/

    Maybe they should think of doing an feb/march resit with actual biology questions this time?!
    Whoa whoa whoa. Slow down there. Don't throw away a potential A grade. See what happens first.
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    (Original post by wind-swept)
    I saw this thread, and decided to drop in.....
    I've just had a look at the paper, and can honsetly say that, despite having not studied biology or stats since GCSE level, I could have done all the questions aside from 1 or 2 corners of question 5. It isn't necessarily difficult, but it will be completely useless for differentiating between any A*, A and B grade students, as the marks for all reasonably able candidates will end up being almost randomly spread due to the low level of biology on the paper
    Question 8 was all biology. At least 8a and b were. You wouldn't have done well on 8.
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    "Iota null" , in terms of being rewarded for knowing the topic material,, the reward doesnt only come from the exam. we've got a unit 5 which will presumably buiild partly on unit 4 understanding, if people go to uni and do biology then the reward of working hard at this will pay off because it'll help when your learning further. also developing a skill of coping with unfamiliar things is universally useful.

    im not intending to massively criticise everything, im just sayin, the exam isnt the be-all-and-end-all of biology, its just like an oppurtunity to prove you understand things.
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    (Original post by Ashnard)
    Personally, I was kind of expecting the shift in emphasis from the exam boards, although I wasn't expecting it to be this extreme. I was upset by the absence of the traditional 7-mark questions more than anything. Without these and with a series 1-mark questions the exams come to resemble 21st Century Science GCSE, which can never be a good thing. There was nothing to get my teeth into -- too nebulous. (I did OCR by the way)
    I was wondering if any current students would say something like this. I thought it lacked depth due to the high number of short-answer questions. Despite the fact I have done next to no ecology for 4 years I could still answer the majority of the paper (although I suppose I won't know if I was correct or not). So, in contrast to what most are saying I think this paper is actually too easy and you will end up with 2 very distinct groupings of students - those that can apply knowledge and those that can't - although UMS will somehow have to even this out and this is where problems could arise.
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    (Original post by Who's N?)
    i don't see the point in having low grade boundaries because the paper was totally rubbish at distinguishing between the higher high grade students with the lower grades ones, because of its lack of biology content! So lowering the grade boundaries would probably just give a disproportionately high number of candidates A/A*, not all of whom who deserve it.. :/

    Maybe they should think of doing an feb/march resit with actual biology questions this time?!

    YES! i agree! tht would be MUCH better than lowering the grade boundaries
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    (Original post by little_penguin)
    I was wondering if any current students would say something like this. I thought it lacked depth due to the high number of short-answer questions. Despite the fact I have done next to no ecology for 4 years I could still answer the majority of the paper (although I suppose I won't know if I was correct or not). So, in contrast to what most are saying I think this paper is actually too easy and you will end up with 2 very distinct groupings of students - those that can apply knowledge and those that can't - although UMS will somehow have to even this out and this is where problems could arise.
    ya might be on the right lines with the too easy thing.
    some people seem to just have clicked with the style of questions and others didnt,,

    someone should plot a graph of AS UMS score with score on this exam and use a statistical test to test the correlation (or somethin :P )
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    Tbh...it is how I expected it. They've brought in a hell of a lot of how science works stuff recently and I didn't really think it would be much else. I don't know what the fuss is about - the other units have had similar stuff (though not to the same degree admittedly).
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    (Original post by *MJ*)
    I don't disagree, I was told about the OCR paper.

    It's just with ours (which may be true about yours), you could have gone to Pakistan all year, chilled all day, smoked some cheap weed, put your feet up (you would probably want to do this elsewhere than Pakistan) but yeah...and you would have got the same mark as you will get come March 11th.

    It was just totally random irrelevant stuff apart from question 8 which was cool.

    Also, "you will not be tested on Spearman's rank for examination purposes." is published on Page 9 of the AQA A2 Textbook...there was a question on interpretation of Spearman's rank.

    :lolwut:
    OMG! does it actually say that?! what the hell!
    god knows what was going through the exam writers minds when they wrote that paper!
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    Applied science is good and all, but surely its relevance in the exams should be proportionate to its relevance in the real world.

    Do we really want to breed a generation of scientists who have great practical and applied skills but have a dire understanding of the core biological principles that they are supossed to apply?
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    (Original post by okelly5)
    someone should plot a graph of AS UMS score with score on this exam and use a statistical test to test the correlation (or somethin :P )
    Sounds like you're volunteering... :p:
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    (Original post by Big.Juicy.Orange.)
    OMG! does it actually say that?! what the hell!
    god knows what was going through the exam writers minds when they wrote that paper!
    sorry,, where was the question on spearmans rank?
    someone's put a link for the paper on here,, have a look on it cos i dont remember one
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    (Original post by little_penguin)
    Sounds like you're volunteering... :p:
    i might write to the exam board and offer to do it as a substitute for coursework or somethin
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    To everyone talking about the Spearmans Rank thing, the AQA textbook was not written by or published by the examiners. It was just endorsed by them. Judging by the overwhelming volume of mistakes in all of their nelson thornes textbooks, they probably just overlooked the SR bit on p9
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    (Original post by *MJ*)
    The pupil wrote: "Science does not have a definitive answer and AQA are right to do what they have done. If you are worried about going to university now, due to struggling with the named paper, perhaps you are not good enough for university where exam papers do test you."

    ^^^ This kid has a point.

    A-level papers are meant to be something out of the ordinary.

    I just want to reply, this was taking it a bit too far...

    And we can't blame AQA as much as they are being blamed, it's their first time as well as ours so lets just hope for low grade boundaries and future papers to include more Biological content.



    Also, does anyone know why the title got changed? :dontknow:
    Point is though, AQA's markschemes aren't like what they'll be at uni. I've seen a chemistry (not bio I know) question at uni level, and it demanded an essay type response. AQA operate on a penny points system, so thats not going to work is it? And the people that are saying "it'll be fine, june re-sit" do you not realise that the same people who wrote the original wrote the resit, at the same time? it's likely to be quite similar, and thus, almost unrevisable for.
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    hey guys...i don't do biology but my friend does...she never cries in front of me and this paper made her cry!!!! so i really do have the deepest sympathy for you all...i hope something good comes out of all of this good luck
 
 
 
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