ASE 2020 Why questions are not graded 9-1 - store.aqa.org.uk

ASE 2020 Why questions are not graded 9-1 - store.aqa.org.uk

ASE Annual Conference: Why questions are not graded 9-1 Elise Reece January 2020 Welcome 2 Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. This meeting will be recorded Exam boards have an Ofqual requirement to record event audio. Recordings are kept for the lifetime of the specification and not shared as an accompaniment to session resources. The recording will begin now. 3 Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Outline for the session 4 Level of demand Why we dont write graded questions Marks and grades Balance of the papers What is different about the different levels of demand Grades within a level of demand Impact on teaching and learning School monitoring systems

Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Levels of demand Questions are written to target a broad level of demand, not a specific grade. Each level of demand targets a range of grades. There are four levels of demand. 5 Level of demand Target grades % marks % marks Foundation Tier Higher Tier Low

1-3 60% Standard 4-5 40% Standard/High 6-7 High 8-9 Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. 40%

60% Why we dont write graded questions Science curriculum and assessment covers: o diverse and large amount of content o wide range of maths skills o wide range of practical skills that include apparatus and techniques (ATs) and working scientifically o range of question styles. Questions are made up of a number of items assessing different assessment skills and parts of the specification. To perform equally well and at the same level in all these is rare. 6 Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Why we dont write graded questions The range and breadth of skills and knowledge required in science means there isnt a clear cut-off where you can say this, a Grade 5 can do but a Grade 4 cant. Rather, it is a continuum, evidenced by the total number of marks across the specification. If questions were graded we would expect all students who achieve a Grade 4 to get the questions targeting Grade 4 (and below) correct, but not any targeting higher grades. This isnt what happens. Student performance across the assessments is spikey, depending on their strengths and weaknesses. 7 Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Why we dont write graded questions Example Combined Science Trilogy 2019 Across the six Trilogy papers 249 items provided the 420 marks available for the specification.

Students needed 200 out of the 420 marks to achieve a Grade 4. Any combination of marks from the 249 items that will total 200 marks will ensure a Grade 4. There is therefore an almost infinite number of ways a student can achieve their Grade 4. 8 Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Marks and grades There are a total of 420 marks on Trilogy Combined and a total of 400 marks on Synergy Combined at each tier Trilogy Combined: 252 marks = 60% Low Demand 168 marks = 40% Standard Demand 2018 9

2019 Marks needed Grade Marks needed Grade 253 5-5 243 5-5 235 5-4

221 5-4 218 4-4 200 4-4 193 4-3 173 4-3

Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Marks and grades Separates 200 marks 120 = 60% 80 = 40% 2018 2019 Marks needed Grade Marks needed Grade 121 127

123 5 130 133 129 5 107 109 107 4 114 115 111

4 80 80 80 3 83 83 80 3 10 Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Marks and grades Students achieve a proportion of the marks available. Students pick up marks across the paper. A grade 5 student doesnt get all the low demand questions right and then move on to the standard demand marks. 11 Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Balance of the papers An experienced team of examiners write and construct the papers. Papers have to be balanced to meet Ofqual regulations on the percentage of marks assigned to each of the following: o assessment objectives o the levels of demand o

maths o practical skills o open and closed questions and extended response questions. 12 Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Characteristics of low demand questions Scaffolded by question structure and language: o multiple choice, link boxes, fill in gap, short response o formulas given for majority of physics calculations o simple data, usually using whole numbers o bullet pointed instructions for graph construction o

phonetic spelling accepted o simple clear language o full range of command words not a hierarchy. 13 Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Characteristics of standard demand questions Some scaffolding to support accessibility More open questions Extended response 4-6 marks Formulas recall and applications,

What formula links ................ (in alphabetical order) If they need to use an equation from the data sheet there is a prompt To show progression, less simple data and use of decimal places 14 Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Characteristics of high demand questions Standard high and high demand Little scaffolding introductory statement at the start of the question Multi-step calculation (3-6 marks) Multi-step calculation using more than one formula/ equation sheet (high demand, 5-6 marks) No prompts as to which formulas to use Linking ideas Need to demonstrate good understanding of the science when a context is used and behind the practicals

15 Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Grades within a level of demand What is the difference between grades within a level of demand? At all levels of demand this comes down to the number of marks achieved. This depends on how consistent the student is in understanding what the question is asking and answering question accurately, using precise appropriate language, that addresses what the command word is asking. There is a development across the levels in depth of understanding and how to apply that understanding of content and skills. 16 Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Grades within a level of demand Look back at the different level of demand questions is one harder than another one? Or is it just: I know how to do that but I am not so good at doing the other? We do assess the same topic at different levels of demand (hub meeting autumn 2018). Look at these questions, how has the examiner made the same material harder? 17 Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Grade boundaries, outcomes and awarding Grade boundaries are set to maintain standards. Grade boundaries vary from one year to the next. Outcomes are a reflection of the cohorts ability, this may change slightly each year but year on year is relatively stable.

At awarding: o there are statistical grade boundaries based on standards and outcomes o scripts are reviewed at each grade boundary to confirm/adjust these boundaries which ensures standards are maintained year on year. 18 Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Impact for teaching and learning What does the next level of demand look like? How are you using these differences in teaching and learning? Are there opportunities to demonstrate understanding rather than recall? Do you model exam technique with students? Do your topic tests have a range of question types? Spikey profile in attainment due to breadth of content,

skills, question types and command words. Confidence and desire to think and process ideas independently. 19 Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. School monitoring systems Points to consider Spikey performance profile Are you monitoring recall or knowledge and understanding? Are you assessing content and skills (maths/practicals/ W/S/extended writing/multistep calculations? Is there any comparison of the above done between the different subjects? Why use grades rather than broader levels for formative termly assessment? 20

Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Any questions? 21 Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. New GCSE science resources Five self-guided modular training packs being released over the next year Helping teachers to better understand the assessment requirements

Pack 1: Extended response questions help your students master the extended response Pack 2: AO2 prepare students to manage scientific knowledge in an unfamiliar context Pack 3: Practical questions coming Spring 2020 Pack 4: AO3 coming Spring 2020

Pack 5: Maths in science coming Summer 2020 22 Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. How did we do? Please rate this session on the Sched Conference app. Using the postcards provided, please write: o one thing you enjoyed about our session or will take away for your teaching o one thing you feel could be improved. Please hand your postcard in as you leave. 23 Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Get in touch For qualification information, resources and support, please visit: aqa.org.uk/science Enquiries: Tel: 01483 477 756 Email: [email protected] [email protected]g.uk 24 Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Thank you 25 Copyright AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved.

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