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OCR AS Core 1 Maths today - DD in floods of tears

(61 Posts)
Lottielo Wed 18-May-16 11:25:17

DD just called and said the exam today was much more difficult than any past papers and there was one question in particular which she felt didn't provide enough information to answer. She is in a terrible state.

Would be interested to hear from others whose DCs took the exam today or those who teach the subject. Was it really as bad as DD says?

If she gets a very bad result (likely), can she retake the exam next year at the same time as the A2? She's also worried about how this will affect her university applications.

Also, could she ask to take the Edexcel exams instead next year (she says Edexcel maths papers are much easier than OCR)?

LineyReborn Wed 18-May-16 12:30:48

I was thinking of starting a thread on this paper. DS should be on for an A* but says he thinks he's only got enough marks on the paper for a B.

I'm now wondering how this will affect his A level result next year. He needs an A for his preferred university course.

Is there anything raging on Twitter?

Not a great start to the exams.

BruceyBaby Wed 18-May-16 13:10:52

Similar thing happened to my DS a couple of years ago. Didn't do as badly as he thought but was devastated after the exam. He needed a better mark to get the top grade he required so he did retake it the next year, and his Core 2, worrying that they would be to the detriment of his A2 exams and other subjects and was amazed he found the retakes so much easier. He realised that another year's learning really helped and he didn't regret retaking. Not sure of the current rules but can sympathise with your DD.

stealthsquiggle Wed 18-May-16 13:14:30

Aren't these things marked on a bell curve? So if everyone found it hard then the grade boundaries will move down? Also, if a question is shown to have been wrong (e.g. they were not given enough information to be able to answer) then as I understand it that question will be discounted from the marking scheme (I may be wrong, this is ancient information from DM that I am dragging up).

HidingFromDD Wed 18-May-16 13:25:58

Dd2 also didn't do as well in some of the maths modules as she needed to a few years ago. She needed an A so retook them. It was hard work but the extra year meant she found them a lot easier the next time and got the results she needed for uni (Exeter)

Lottielo Wed 18-May-16 14:08:44

I don't know whether she will even be able to retake as I think maths is moving over to the linear exam next year. I'm hoping the grade boundaries will reflect the level of difficulty and she'll end up with a better grade than she thinks. She's concerned that her paper will look rubbish in comparison to the overseas students in her group who found it relatively straightforward.

No idea what Twitter says as I don't know how to use it! Wonder whether many of OCR maths students struggled?

teta Wed 18-May-16 14:20:47

Edexcel paper this morning was also very hard this year.Dd1said it was as hard as the overseas students Maths papers they had been practising on.

LineyReborn Wed 18-May-16 14:25:06

How soon would it be possible to sit a retake, does anyone know?

noblegiraffe Wed 18-May-16 14:27:21

Twitter says it was dreadful.

Any DC who need to retake it can resit in June Y13 alongside their A2 modules.

Lottielo Wed 18-May-16 14:28:12

Oh dear teta, it sounds as though they've all had a bad morning. So, Edexcel isn't the way to go either! Tbh I don't know anything about maths, it is just DD's opinion that Edexcel is easier and she could well be wrong. Also, she may have got herself in a state during the exam and be mistaken in saying that a question did give enough information to answer it (surely they couldn't make a mistake such as this?).

Lottielo Wed 18-May-16 14:31:18

Good to know she'll be able to retake next June Noble although don't suppose that will help much with her university applications.

LineyReborn Wed 18-May-16 14:32:21

Thanks, noble. And thanks again for all the very helpful advice and support you gave last year. DS did really well at GCSE in the end.

Today's AS is so bloody frustrating because DS has the ability and did the work.

OddBoots Wed 18-May-16 14:36:50

Do you think that now there are some linear subjects the exam boards want to make sure that the AS/A2 subjects aren't thought of as less robust?

LineyReborn Wed 18-May-16 15:35:07

The Edexcel paper seems to be getting more stick online today than the OCR paper.

APRMCK Wed 18-May-16 16:05:57

My son did OCR Core 1 Maths As today and says it was a disaster. He did 15 past papers last week and got 95 -99% in all of them so he was pretty confident. The paper was nothing like any past papers and he really struggled. Everyone felt the same. I am hoping that the grade boundaries are adjusted to take the level of difficulty into consideration. We will be talking to his school to as not only was this paper a nightmare but it also has left him in a state of shock and no doubt has knocked his confidence for all the other exams coming up in the next few weeks. I have also emailed OCR to ask them what they were playing at!

kitkat1968 Wed 18-May-16 16:06:36

A difficult paper is a good sign for brighter pupls.Low grade boundaries mean careless mistakes (which even the brightest make) don't hammer their grade as much.

Lottielo Wed 18-May-16 16:16:51

APRMCK my DD was also getting marks above 90% in all the past papers she did, so went into the exam feeling pretty confident. Now she's feeling really demoralised. It obviously isn't a great way to kick off the exams.

I should probably email OCR too. I just wanted to find out whether others found it difficult before putting in any sort of complaint.

Was this paper different in the style of questioning or was just the level of difficulty (I know nothing about maths, I'm afraid!).

GeorgeTheThird Wed 18-May-16 16:25:35

I don't think there is much to be gained by parents emailing OCR to be honest.

APRMCK Wed 18-May-16 16:26:36

Style of questions were different and the level of difficulty had increased significantly. Today's paper was the most difficult paper since 2005 (2 papers a year up to 2010). The whole idea of grade boundaries is to reflect the levels year on year so that a particular year's cohort is not penalised by the level of difficulty. If a young person is confidently getting on average 97% in under an hour for 20 previous years papers then it then it is obvious that the 2016 exam was in any way of equivalent standard. Not a single pupil at our school was able to confidently complete the exam in the full 90 minutes allotted for it.

OddBoots Wed 18-May-16 16:31:28

Maybe I should be more worried about ds who found it to be a good paper - he probably got a lot wrong. I guess there is nothing to be done about it now though, we shall cross that bridge when we get to it - FP1 is on Friday.

APRMCK Wed 18-May-16 16:33:19

Dreadful english in my previous post! I hope you get the gist! Our school is a high performing independent school and the pupils would all be expected to get A*/A in their Maths.

hayita Wed 18-May-16 16:42:31

So if everyone found it hard then the grade boundaries will move down?

Partly true. The number of top grades at AS and A level is being reduced.

Within a few years one would expect that university entry grades will be reduced to reflect the increased difficulty of the revised A levels.

petrova Wed 18-May-16 17:10:20

My son did edexcel paper this morning. He had regularly been getting 95%+ in practice papers. Said it was much harder this year , so I wouldn't bank on edexcel paper next year being easier!

SoupDragon Wed 18-May-16 17:14:14

If this is the one DS1 sat this morning, he said it was easy. I'm wondering if he sat something different now!

noblegiraffe Wed 18-May-16 17:34:10

I've just sat the paper and it is significantly different to previous years, with far fewer straightforward questions (no 'differentiate this' for example) and some questions have weird answers (like 13/3) which is off-putting because you think you've gone wrong somewhere. If they could make it harder, they have. An odd indices question, completing the square had a negative x^2, the graph transformation wasn't very nice.

The problem wasn't really that this paper was hard though, it was that previous C1 papers have been too easy. You needed 64/72 for an A (and 65 the year before) which is ridiculous when C2 and S1 are mid-50s for an A.

I would expect that the grade boundaries for this paper will be more in line with the other modules this year.

However, it's not just about grade boundaries. Students who have gone into this exam feeling prepared have totally had their confidence knocked. They're now worried that the other papers are going to be much harder too, which is unnerving, and some are worrying about university applications which is not good at the start of the exam season when they need to focus on the next exam.

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