AQA Literature - War Synoptic

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Davido
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Aargh AQA has put up the examiner's reports for the literature exams of january 2002.

Some very worrying findings.

They fail to realise that if you're doing the coursework option, you have a massive advantage of
having hours to do it, redraft... Instead, for module 5 you needed 16/20 for an A if you did the
coursework,
15/20 for an A for the exam. That's hardly any difference at all considering they're marked
exactly the same.

Look at module 2 iirc, the average coursework grade was a B, the average exam grade was E [that's
after scaling too!] I'm gonna yell at my lit teacher, why on earth didn't we get the Cw option...

I've now realised why our school's done so **** in some modules - "Assessment Objective 3". When
doing Taming of the Shrew or Volpone, it simply asks in the latter to discuss 2 statements. AO3
means you have to integrate "how the author uses language, form and structure to shape meanings" -
in poetry such as Keats this is integral but for plays I would never have thought of including
that. D'oh.

I like how when I asked my lit teacher abt how the mark scheme works she sez "That's irrelevant,
don't worry about that". FFS, it appears to be the most important thing if you want a good grade.

Whilst in the AS modules they multiply your marks by up to 1.20 if you're @ Grade A, for the A2
modules you need abt 78% to get UMS 80. Crazy...

Anyway, war synoptic... no idea how they're gonna scale it. No idea what the paper looks like
considering they've never done one before. No idea how to manage the time in a 3hr exam... great...
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-=Rg=-
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"Davido" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
[q1]> Aargh AQA has put up the examiner's reports for the literature exams of january 2002.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Some very worrying findings.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]

But also quite pleasing... they clearly recognised good work and provided very useful feedback.

[q1]> They fail to realise that if you're doing the coursework option, you have a massive advantage of[/q1]
[q1]> having hours to do it, redraft... Instead, for module 5 you needed 16/20 for an A if you did the[/q1]
[q1]> coursework,[/q1]
[q1]> 15/20 for an A for the exam. That's hardly any difference at all considering they're marked[/q1]
[q1]> exactly the same.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]

They are not 'marked the same'. Even the dumbest examiner will know that an exam is different to
coursework. Similarly, by not having to spend hours and hours redrafting coursework you **should**
be able to devote more time to other units... thereby doing better.

[q1]> Look at module 2 iirc, the average coursework grade was a B, the average exam grade was E [that's[/q1]
[q1]> after scaling too!] I'm gonna yell at my lit teacher, why on earth didn't we get the Cw option...[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> I've now realised why our school's done so **** in some modules - "Assessment Objective 3". When[/q1]
[q1]> doing Taming of the Shrew or Volpone, it simply asks in the latter to discuss 2 statements. AO3[/q1]
[q1]> means you have to integrate "how the author uses language, form and structure to shape meanings" -[/q1]
[q1]> in poetry such as Keats this is integral but for plays I would never have thought of including[/q1]
[q1]> that. D'oh.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]

AO3 is crucial to all modules. Failure to examine what is in essence the very crux of literature is
a big mistake. I mean, what can you say about any piece of literature unless you do look at the
language, style and structure of the piece? Equally, the text is the source of all evidence - be it
a play, a novel, a poem or a letter. What on earth did you use as evidence for assertions you made
on plays if you did not fulful AO3? If you made unsupported assertions it is of little surprise (as
you point out) that you did so badly. I hope I don't sound too rude, but did you not realise that
given some of the modules are "open book" the idea was to use it?

[q1]> I like how when I asked my lit teacher abt how the mark scheme works she sez "That's irrelevant,[/q1]
[q1]> don't worry about that". FFS, it appears to be the most important thing if you want a good grade.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]

It is... of course this applies in all subjects: be it economics, history, maths or eng lit. Failure
to fulfil AOs will result in poor marks. My initial fear that AOs in A-level english lit were making
it too 'scientific' was unfounded - indeed, the jan 2002 examiners report validly points out that it
is because of these general AOs that examiners ARE able to reward original responses.... which suits
me down to the ground; but (unfortunately) at the same time allows people who are spoon-fed the
opportunity to do well too :-( [if you want to be spoon-fed why choose english?]

[q1]> Whilst in the AS modules they multiply your marks by up to 1.20 if you're @ Grade A, for the A2[/q1]
[q1]> modules you need abt 78% to get UMS 80. Crazy...[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]

Crazy yes, but I believe it is crazy because almost 20% of people got A's in January... tho to be
fair i think ppl who entered exams in january are likely to be at the higher end of the attainment
spectrum anyway.... hence the lower multiplier - and don't forget this *is* A2, so it has to be at
least a bit harder.

[q1]> Anyway, war synoptic... no idea how they're gonna scale it. No idea what the paper looks like[/q1]
[q1]> considering they've never done one before. No idea how to manage the time in a 3hr exam...[/q1]
[q1]> great...[/q1]

I doubt the board know how they're going to scale it either yet - so don't worry yourself about
that. I don't mean to be rude, but you do seem to worry about scaling a bit too much. I mean, you
should not and cannot rely on how you think they will scale it to determine how much work you
should put in.

Your teacher should have a copy of the specimen paper. Made up of two parts. One is an unseen
comparison the other is a more ranging, demanding and (thankfully) open-ended question asking for
your opinion on the typicality of given examples of war literature. I believe the specimen comes
with information on managing your time.

By the sounds of it your teacher is a bit shoddy - she should and ought to have a copy of the
specimen papers for each module. If she does not I would get in touch with her and demand that she
sorts it out. To enter candidates for an exam that they have not been 'briefed on' as it were is
ludicrous.

Unfortunately AQA do not post specimen papers on the net, so you may want to order it direct from
them by post - I think they may do express (next day?) delivery? Worth checking.

Anyways, good luck to any others sitting the exam on Friday. I have the additional joy of being in
isolation as it happens to clash with an economics unit - oddly, the clash affected quite a number
of students, so at least i'll not be alone.

RG

p.s. anyone else doing the military history option of the OCR paper on Thursday?
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Peter Lloyd
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"Davido" <[email protected]> wrote:
[q1]> Aargh AQA has put up the examiner's reports for the literature exams of january 2002.[/q1]

And last June's WOW.... I've been checking every month or so but missed both of them! Thanks very
much - I've now read all the maths ones and I only wish Edexcel would post theirs too.

Peter
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Davido
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[q1]> They are not 'marked the same'. Even the dumbest examiner will know that an exam is different to[/q1]
[q1]> coursework. Similarly, by not having to spend hours and hours redrafting coursework you **should**[/q1]
[q1]> be able to devote more time to other units... thereby doing better.[/q1]

Ah thank God for that - it's just how it appeared, they were marked by the same criteria etc...

[q1]> What on earth did you use as evidence for assertions you made on plays if you did not fulful[/q1]
[q1]> AO3? If you made unsupported assertions it is of little surprise (as you point out) that you did[/q1]
[q1]> so badly.[/q1]

I didn't actually do that badly, I got an A at AS, it was 1 module we all did badly in. I don't
think I quite understand AO3 - when making assertions I always used quotes as evidence. For Brave
New World / 1984, it asks to compare two characters. I wouldn't have thought of trying to integrate
AO3 into that - "Look how the structure of Huxley's novel plays a crucial part in this character..!"

[q1]> My initial fear that AOs in A-level english lit were making it too 'scientific' was unfounded -[/q1]
[q1]> indeed, the jan 2002 examiners report validly points out that it is because of these general AOs[/q1]
[q1]> that examiners ARE able to reward original responses....[/q1]

Exactly. At GCSE there was the ability to be original, the mark scheme showed for A* "Shows flair,
creativity..." Whereas here for an A you should know the mathematical distributions of the
respective AOs per module to succeed.

[q1]> Crazy yes, but I believe it is crazy because almost 20% of people got A's in January... tho to be[/q1]
[q1]> fair i think ppl who entered exams in january are likely to be at the higher end of the attainment[/q1]
[q1]> spectrum anyway.... hence the lower multiplier - and don't forget this *is* A2, so it has to be at[/q1]
[q1]> least a bit harder.[/q1]

That's a bit daft, it means that how you do depends on whether you're doing it with people at the
"higher end", so if you did the same performance in June you'd do better. This was evident in
Edexcel's M1 January, you needed 89% for an A not because it was difficult but because all the
"higher end" people were taking it.

As for A2 being harder, apparently marks should be similar to AS Level
- so for geography in the demanding module 4 you only need 62 for an A, compared to 75 at AS.

[q1]> I doubt the board know how they're going to scale it either yet - so don't worry yourself about[/q1]
[q1]> that. I don't mean to be rude, but you do seem to worry about scaling a bit too much. I mean, you[/q1]
[q1]> should not and cannot rely on how you think they will scale it to determine how much work you[/q1]
[q1]> should put in.[/q1]

I'm not relating UMS scalar to work input. I go on abt scaling cos I'm very close to the A border,
and thus them scaling it by 1.07 or 1.05 could be enough to change the rest of my life lol.

[q1]> By the sounds of it your teacher is a bit shoddy...To enter candidates for an exam that they have[/q1]
[q1]> not been 'briefed on' as it were is ludicrous.[/q1]

Take it like this. After AS one teacher left to become a social worker, the other went on a VSO to
Nepal. So for 6 weeks we had no teacher. Then one comes from Liverpool, her father has a heart
attack so we have no lessons for a week then she leaves to look after her father. Then the other
teacher's father died, so that was another 2 weeks of no lessons. Then we had to get a teacher who
was taken out of retirement to teach us, in our first lesson we told her we'd done our AS Levels
last year. She asks "What's an AS Level?". Then she leaves to go back into retirement 2 weeks before
study leave starts. So we've spent about 2 weeks in total going over war, worth 40%. And for
BNW/1984 our lessons consisted of roleplaying chapters...

The wonder that is state school education!!!

[q1]> I have the additional joy of being in isolation as it happens to clash with an economics unit.[/q1]

Well at least you need 4/120 :-P I need abt 100/120 !
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Davido
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[q1]> I don't think I quite understand AO3 - when making assertions I always used quotes as evidence.[/q1]
[q1]> For Brave New World / 1984, it asks to compare two characters. I wouldn't have thought of trying[/q1]
[q1]> to integrate AO3 into that - "Look how the structure of Huxley's novel plays a crucial part in[/q1]
[q1]> this character..!"[/q1]

RG or someone, can you please [preferably before friday morning!!] explain what AO3 is on about - I
don't think I quite understand how to show understanding of "form, language and structure" - when it
asks to compare to characters in a novel or about a theme in a play, how do you relate the author's
"structure" to this?!

Seems possible for war poetry, but I gave this no mention at all for Brave New World/1984 and
Volpone. But RG you asked "how on earth did you provide evidence" - I did this by obviously using
quotes - have I covered AO3 without realising it?!

Thanks a lot.
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-=Rg=-
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"Davido" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
[q2]> > I don't think I quite understand AO3 - when making assertions I always used quotes as evidence.[/q2]
[q2]> > For Brave New World / 1984, it asks to compare two characters. I wouldn't have thought of trying[/q2]
[q2]> > to integrate AO3 into that - "Look how the structure of Huxley's novel plays a crucial part in[/q2]
[q2]> > this character..!"[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> RG or someone, can you please [preferably before friday morning!!] explain what AO3 is on about -[/q1]
[q1]> I don't think I quite understand how to show understanding of "form, language and structure" -[/q1]
[q1]> when it asks to compare to characters in a novel or about a theme in a play, how do you relate the[/q1]
[q1]> author's "structure" to this?![/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Seems possible for war poetry, but I gave this no mention at all for Brave New World/1984 and[/q1]
[q1]> Volpone. But RG you asked "how on earth did you provide evidence" - I did this by obviously using[/q1]
[q1]> quotes - have I covered AO3 without realising it?![/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]

Well given you did well on some/most (?) of the english units you must have addressed AO3 - and i'll
be honest to *not* do AO3 you have to be quite stupid. Therefore, I expect you are doing it
automatically.

Good luck for friday.... i mean tomorrow (arghhh - for eco, not eng ;-))

RG
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Davido
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[q1]> Well given you did well on some/most (?) of the english units you must have addressed AO3 - and[/q1]
[q1]> i'll be honest to *not* do AO3 you have to be quite stupid. Therefore, I expect you are doing it[/q1]
[q1]> automatically.[/q1]

Lol. Well for today's war poetry it seemed fairly obvious to address AO3 - the language and
structure can easily be identified for their contribution to the texts AND how typical they are of
the genre.

How did everyone find it? I'd guessed Oh What A Lovely War would certainly come up, as the other
play "Journey's End" was in the mock paper. Getting the timing right for the 3hrs had a bit to do
with luck but there you go. 1b was quite nice I thought, same as the mock. Wasn't too keen on
analysing the description of death in the short poems for 5 pages though!
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Good luck for friday.... i mean tomorrow (arghhh - for eco, not eng ;-))[/q1]

No more exams! No more whinging about edexcel from me ever! [well until august 14th maybe] 3 months
of clubbing. Clubbing. More clubbing.
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Tom Salls
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[email protected] says...
[q1]> No more exams! No more whinging about edexcel from me ever! [well until august 14th maybe] 3[/q1]
[q1]> months of clubbing. Clubbing. More clubbing.[/q1]

There's going to be a lot of dead seals where you live.
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