Saz142
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Hi, so I was looking at the grade boundaries for last year's (2016) A spec unit 1 + 2 and the grade boundaries seem to be ridiculously low, something like 60% for an A* in paper 1 and 75% for an A* in paper 2, correct me if I'm wrong though. From what I've heard this seems to be quite common, can someone explain why??!! I've also heard that AQA markers can be very tough.
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username2395571
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I took the Geography exam last year and the exams themselves were quite difficult. I think the exam boards are trying to make exams more challenging across all subjects, not just Geography. At the end of the day though the exam might be more difficult but you have a better chance of getting the grade you want because the boundaries will be lower, good luck with your upcoming exam!
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SFK537
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It's because of how many marks are dropped in the 40 markers, it is rare for people to get above 30, which means 10 marks have already been dropped from the get go
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AlevelBiologist
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(Original post by Saz142)
Hi, so I was looking at the grade boundaries for last year's (2016) A spec unit 1 + 2 and the grade boundaries seem to be ridiculously low, something like 60% for an A* in paper 1 and 75% for an A* in paper 2, correct me if I'm wrong though. From what I've heard this seems to be quite common, can someone explain why??!! I've also heard that AQA markers can be very tough.
You are correct. We are looking at between 66-74% usually for an A* on the outgoing specification (who knows what it shall be on the 7037 series) The main reason for this is the presence of the 40 mark essay based responses. The huge scale of marks that can be awarded leads to vastly inconsistent awarding, which is why they have been phased out of most subjects, including geography.

This means that those 1 and 2 mark questions are near enough meaningless when you consider the fact that different examiners may award identical responses 5/6 marks apart.

This is why. AQA examiners are no stricter than any other awarding organisation. Many casual examiners mark for several boards. I hope that helps.
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rickH123
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(Original post by Saz142)
Hi, so I was looking at the grade boundaries for last year's (2016) A spec unit 1 + 2 and the grade boundaries seem to be ridiculously low, something like 60% for an A* in paper 1 and 75% for an A* in paper 2, correct me if I'm wrong though. From what I've heard this seems to be quite common, can someone explain why??!! I've also heard that AQA markers can be very tough.
unlike other subjects, there are too many topics in aqa geography and this means that in a year paper, there are atleast 2 or 3 topics that turn out extremely hard to students to do. This means if u get the other topics and get easy questions, those students who did bad in the other topics bring down the grade boundaries. However, adding on, loads of people country wide do this exam, and this brings the grade boundaries even more, and only certain students know the level 1 and 2 and 3 criteria for the 8 marks and so are able to get 8/8 for them. Others just waffle on the right thing, but not to that level 3 standard to get 8/8. Unfortunately, a lot of teachers (excluding mine) don;t tell their students about this, so the essay questions tend to be marked quite harshly for students.
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Saz142
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(Original post by AlevelBiologist)
You are correct. We are looking at between 66-74% usually for an A* on the outgoing specification (who knows what it shall be on the 7037 series) The main reason for this is the presence of the 40 mark essay based responses. The huge scale of marks that can be awarded leads to vastly inconsistent awarding, which is why they have been phased out of most subjects, including geography.

This means that those 1 and 2 mark questions are near enough meaningless when you consider the fact that different examiners may award identical responses 5/6 marks apart.

This is why. AQA examiners are no stricter than any other awarding organisation. Many casual examiners mark for several boards. I hope that helps.
Oh I see, so marks vary based on the examiners judgement? Thank you!
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Saz142
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(Original post by rickH123)
unlike other subjects, there are too many topics in aqa geography and this means that in a year paper, there are atleast 2 or 3 topics that turn out extremely hard to students to do. This means if u get the other topics and get easy questions, those students who did bad in the other topics bring down the grade boundaries. However, adding on, loads of people country wide do this exam, and this brings the grade boundaries even more, and only certain students know the level 1 and 2 and 3 criteria for the 8 marks and so are able to get 8/8 for them. Others just waffle on the right thing, but not to that level 3 standard to get 8/8. Unfortunately, a lot of teachers (excluding mine) don;t tell their students about this, so the essay questions tend to be marked quite harshly for students.
My teacher, despite being an excellent one, throughout the 2 years of the course has been drilling into our head that the standard 60% is a C, 70% is a B and so on. Bare in mind I'm at a school in Northern Ireland, and all of our other subjects are with NICCEA. So I really was shocked there when I learnt about those boundaries, and just a few days before paper 2!! I'm familiar with the level 123 criteria, I guess the best thing to do till then is to work on those 8 markers. Thank you so much.
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rickH123
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(Original post by Saz142)
My teacher, despite being an excellent one, throughout the 2 years of the course has been drilling into our head that the standard 60% is a C, 70% is a B and so on. Bare in mind I'm at a school in Northern Ireland, and all of our other subjects are with NICCEA. So I really was shocked there when I learnt about those boundaries, and just a few days before paper 2!! I'm familiar with the level 123 criteria, I guess the best thing to do till then is to work on those 8 markers. Thank you so much.
np
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