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Effective Examination Strategies - A matter of carts and horses

Richard Gent | Tuesday October 27, 2020

Categories: A Level Media, GCSE, A Level, Other Topics, Blogs

 

Although A Level examination has been displaced, the next ‘for real’ terminal assessments now being the Summer 2021 series, there is – as they say – no time like the present for making a start on embedding in working practices the key skills for ensuring examination success.

There are still issues to be resolved – the most pressing being how we make up the lost ground of 5 months work for the 2021 cohort. There has been some suggestion that QCA may direct exam boards to outline a ‘reduced’ specification or a restricted number of tasks based on the Set Products, possibly even reducing the number of Set Products to be covered. How this would work when centres do not study the same product at the same time, I leave to those in the position to make such decisions. It may well be that the 2021 cohort will forever find an Asterix attached to their awards.

What we do know, is that terminal examination assessment there will be.

I was commissioned to author and present online INSET material for AQA on Effective Examination Preparation for the 2020 Series – something that went ahead despite there being no examination in 2020. The reason being that AQA consider the material to possess validity and relevance beyond 2020, applying to all future A Level Media examination. As such, I thought it might be useful to share some of those ideas/strategies I see applying across all three boards. Having authored the Edusites A Level lessons for the AQA, EDUQAS and OCR specifications involving writing some 700 distinct lessons, I’m probably in an ideal position to tie in approaches that are consistent across all three of the examination series.

So, as Lewis Carroll suggested, Let’s begin at the beginning.

The single key idea that most hampers students writing effective – defined here as to the point; focused – responses is misunderstanding the heart of A Level Media Studies examination:

The Set Products are case studies, not set texts.

Or, to put it...


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