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    (Original post by Kytiane)
    I don't really think it's fair enough, aren't questions regarding practical skills meant to be mainly for the ISA/EMPA/Coursework paper?
    Page 23 of the Spec:

    It is expected that candidates will carry out fieldwork
    involving the collection of quantitative data from at
    least one habitat and will apply elementary statistical
    analysis to the results.
    You're meant to have gone on some sort of fieldwork trip (even looking at flowers/grass in the school field) and that's part of the learning experience. We spent 2 lessons with quadrats and rulers using the ACFOR scale to measure distribution of grass and flowers. That's part of the learning process, it is during the teaching time.
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    (Original post by TheTallOne)
    Page 23 of the Spec:



    You're meant to have gone on some sort of fieldwork trip (even looking at flowers/grass in the school field) and that's part of the learning experience. We spent 2 lessons with quadrats and rulers using the ACFOR scale to measure distribution of grass and flowers. That's part of the learning process, it is during the teaching time.
    I had to go to a place called slapton for mine...
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    (Original post by Yuppie20)
    Looks like I'm one year ahead of the game. score.
    I skipped a year and totally avoided this. The government have been targeting changes to the system to the year below me since primary school.
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    Lol, I can't believe the amount of fuss that's been made out of this. It really is getting ridiculous. That said, I think the problem with it was that there was very little on the paper which tested actual knowledge learnt in class and from the textbook. I suspect the reason behind that is that the biology spec is basically pure memorisation of simple concepts. If the questions had been more straightforward, most people would have got very high marks, so to prevent that, the exam board tried to create questions that would make people think. The trouble is there were just too many - both as a proportion of the paper and for the time limit given that those questions require more thinking time. Also, a lot of it was more common sense than anything.

    Still, the grade boundaries will probably be really low and when people get their results, I bet most will wonder why they were freaking out. I really don't think all this protesting is necessary.
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    (Original post by TheTallOne)
    Page 23 of the Spec:



    You're meant to have gone on some sort of fieldwork trip (even looking at flowers/grass in the school field) and that's part of the learning experience. We spent 2 lessons with quadrats and rulers using the ACFOR scale to measure distribution of grass and flowers. That's part of the learning process, it is during the teaching time.
    Yeah, we took a 6 hour journey to a wet, windy place in Wales for 5 days for our fieldwork.

    Page 5 of the Spec:

    Unit 4 BIOL4 Populations and environment
    Examination paper (75 raw marks / 100 UMS) 6 – 9 short answer questions plus 2
    longer questions involving continuous prose and How Science Works
    Again, the exam had far too many data analysis/HSW questions than the spec suggested it would.
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    (Original post by Meliae)
    Lol, I can't believe the amount of fuss that's been made out of this. It really is getting ridiculous. That said, I think the problem with it was that there was very little on the paper which tested actual knowledge learnt in class and from the textbook. I suspect the reason behind that is that the biology spec is basically pure memorisation of simple concepts. If the questions had been more straightforward, most people would have got very high marks, so to prevent that, the exam board tried to create questions that would make people think. The trouble is there were just too many - both as a proportion of the paper and for the time limit given that those questions require more thinking time. Also, a lot of it was more common sense than anything.

    Still, the grade boundaries will probably be really low and when people get their results, I bet most will wonder why they were freaking out. I really don't think all this protesting is necessary.
    I have to say the paper does seem a bit long (something we don't think about that much at home). It's 20 pages in 1h30, whereas I was getting 16 page exams in the same time limit and similar topics.
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    (Original post by Subcutaneous)
    I actually did a mini search before i made it on a-level, and exam and qualifications forusm but found nothing lol probably cause i never venture intothe biology area unless i have too!
    Haha, sure, I don't mind.

    I have an exam tomorrow, but i'll come back and read through this one too.

    :woo:
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    (Original post by Meliae)
    Lol, I can't believe the amount of fuss that's been made out of this. It really is getting ridiculous. That said, I think the problem with it was that there was very little on the paper which tested actual knowledge learnt in class and from the textbook. I suspect the reason behind that is that the biology spec is basically pure memorisation of simple concepts. If the questions had been more straightforward, most people would have got very high marks, so to prevent that, the exam board tried to create questions that would make people think. The trouble is there were just too many - both as a proportion of the paper and for the time limit given that those questions require more thinking time. Also, a lot of it was more common sense than anything.

    Still, the grade boundaries will probably be really low and when people get their results, I bet most will wonder why they were freaking out. I really don't think all this protesting is necessary.
    QFT. If anybody can be bothered to go back a few pages, I ranted about the lack of time > difficulty of questions in this exam.
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    (Original post by Kytiane)
    Yeah, we took a 6 hour journey to a wet, windy place in Wales for 5 days for our fieldwork.

    Page 5 of the Spec:



    Again, the exam had far too many data analysis/HSW questions than the spec suggested it would.

    It's not necessarily data analysis the questions asking though, more giving a reason as to what the data shows
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    (Original post by punkyrocker)
    The problem is that the majority of A level students do not do their own reading, and learn outside of the course - by including 80% unknown material in an exam paper, you're effectively failing half the country, and therefore making standardising marks very difficult - it's irresponsible of the exam board.
    well the solution is very simple then, the students should go and learn the material as they are meant to. the whole purpose of a level lessons is to give pupils a spring board to do their own reserch and learn independantly thus giving them a fighting chance at university. if the exam board inculde material the students don't know about then it is the students fault for not doing work outside of the classroom
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    (Original post by Subcutaneous)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8480563.stm

    I think this campaign set up by the students is ridiculous. I know I've come out atleast of one of my GCSE/a-level exams thinking 'we didn't do that in class' but then realising that- it was touched on, but it was my responsibility to also learn it.

    The whole point of a-levels is to promote an independance and different approach to your learning, to take responsibility for it. If a teacher doesn't cover a topic- big deal! You go and make sure what you need to learn for yourself, those who were spoon fed students at school now struggle in the first semester at university, complain about 'but the lecturer only spent 5 minutes on that topic, what are we going to do?' - how about go and do your own work?!
    Another huge part of a-levels, is also collaberating your knowledge as a whole, and coming up with more detailed and analytical answers- thinking outside the box, putting 2 and 2 together- yes so the questions may not have been about directly what they were taught, but i'm ready to bet a huge part of it was linked in, and they had to use their brains to answer it!

    If the exam board looked at it, agreed that the questions covered the specification- and i'm sure the exam standards board (can't remember the name!) will look into it and also come up with the conclusion


    What does everyone else think about this? to sum up, i think on the students part its very petty and immature
    I think it's a very thorny issue because while I respect your point that you're supposed to do your own reading around subjects taught in class, if I wanted to just read books I would have quit formal education and joined a good library.

    For me, the point of being in education is to be taught, and if that doesn't mean being spoonfed and actively assisted to learn the material, it should at least mean clearly pointing out what information should be committed to memory on the students' own time. Although this is only an A Level exam, I find myself sympathising with these students because of my own recent experience with my fourth year final exams at uni. The whole year found the exams incredibly unrepresentative of what we had been taught and what we had been asked to learn. The papers hardly covered what had been emphasised as important (both for exams and for being in practice) and went into huge amounts of detail on subjects that had been covered in ridiculous brevity, or in some cases things that had actually been emphasised as NOT being clinically important. As a result, an unprecedented third of our year has failed - thankfully not including me, although I see this more as a result of luck than anything else.

    Of course the college's response to complaints has been to say that it is our responsibility to further our learning independently, but when most of our days are spent in lectures from 9 til 5 (and most evenings and weekends spent subsequently writing up, understanding and committing to memory the material taught in college) I must question how much more reading we can possibly be expected to do, and furthermore what the point really is of having lecturers to teach us if the information they impart to us is not going to be respected when the exam papers are written.
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    (Original post by TheTallOne)
    I have to say the paper does seem a bit long (something we don't think about that much at home). It's 20 pages in 1h30, whereas I was getting 16 page exams in the same time limit and similar topics.
    I found the main problem was having to work out what those bubble graphs and such were about and read all the information for the questions as it was all unfamiliar. I didn't have time to read any of the shrew info or study the graphs so just had to guess. It was difficult to process it all under time pressure and try and work out what exactly they're looking for. Biology mark schemes tend to be unpredictable anyway in my experience. Still, I think when it comes to the actual marking, they seem to be a lot more flexible.
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    Dump people complain about exams. Lol.

    The problem is that students rote learn and so when the exam isn't on the thing you did a hundred times so you can perfectly puke up the facts you have memorized you are screwed. Hmm, reminds me of maths class and the teacher would explain and then 85% of the class would switch off. Since, lol A levels aren't about thinking.

    P.S. Can't really say about biology in that exam, but the stats is really basic so can't really complain about that.
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    (Original post by TheTallOne)
    I skipped a year and totally avoided this. The government have been targeting changes to the system to the year below me since primary school.
    I believe the definition is a "player", don't quote me on that thought!?!?!
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    It's all very well saying that students should have read around the subject but really, do you think the paper is going to provide a consistent and fair assessment of the ability of the people taking it? Probably not.
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    I don't buy this nonsense. Exam boards (I think) set questions according to the specification or syllabus of the subject. From my experienece, although some questions may be new, they are within the confine of the syllabus.
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    (Original post by SiaSiaSia)
    In some of my classes


    "Is this on the exam board?"
    "No... it's just good for your extra know-"
    - class stops writing and stares blankly. -


    it's quite sad really
    If you're not going to be rewarded for additional reading then why bother? I felt I never got rewarded for this for my law 'A' level, though I might have done for my politics 'A' level. Even at degree level additional reading may be risky because of pre-defined conceptions on what is relevant, especially for social science topics. For example, at my university, I get told crime is a social concern only really. Not sure what psychiatrists and other related disciplines make of that with drugs and mental health (victims moreso than perpetrators) but there you go.
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    (Original post by Meliae)
    I really don't think all this protesting is necessary.
    It probably isn't, the generally poor marks will lower the grade boundaries.

    However, when the uni you end up at can be determined by the results of these exams, would you really want to
    sit there just hoping they'd be nice?
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    That exam was ridiculous! 7 out of the 8 questions required you to interpret some sort of graph or table, and question 7 had about 12 parts to its. i came out of the exam thinking i had done ok, but that i needed none of my knowledge. This is why OCR is the best exam board, they ask you direct question.
    remember, theres no smoke without fire.
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    On Facebook, how banal
 
 
 
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