In the past weeks, we’ve been running online Q&A events to give you a chance to ask subject-specific questions about this year’s advance information (AI). This followed our more general FAQ blogs for teachers and for students. In this blog, I’ve summarised the questions asked at our A Level Design and Technology Q&A event, along with other questions that have been sent in.
The nature of the different courses and their assessment structure mean different approaches need to be taken. For each subject it was important to ensure that the amount of information released was comparable between the different exam boards qualifications.
While AI for some subject areas will cover all examined components, it will not necessarily cover everything within the exam itself. In many subjects, questions in the exam will require students to draw upon wider subject knowledge not listed in the AI.
Therefore, it is important students have a good understanding of all the specification content across all their subjects to be able to answer exam questions.
The purpose of AI wasn’t to reduce content, but to focus student revision for the forthcoming exams.
While this will vary between different specifications and assessments, ‘Tariff’ refers to the number of marks allocated to a given question.
Higher tariff questions are not necessarily the hardest questions on the exam paper. Often these longer mark questions are the ones designed to test all ability ranges, to enable every student to get some marks based on their relative ability. It is entirely possible that some questions worth the fewest marks on the paper are designed to be some of the hardest.
We know that providing AI coverage for higher tariff questions in Design and Technology could also provide coverage for some of lower tariff questions, due to the nature of the theory content and its breadth.
is important to note that AI is a part of the overall package of support being given to students this year. Grading itself forms a key part of this alongside the adaptations for the NEA in summer 2022.
No, all the subject content should be taught to students to ensure their learning is not limited. There is still an expectation that all content is covered through teaching and learning, and all should be revised. Nothing has been ‘cut’ from the specification, but the AI should be used to help focus student revision on the areas worth the most marks.
No. You can download our past exam papers from Interchange or use ExamBuilder to create mock assessments for Design and Technology as appropriate. If we use or create more questions it means that these questions cannot be used in the future for other papers, limiting the pool of questions which could be asked.
Grade boundaries are not set until marking has been completed so cannot be published in advance.
Ofqual have confirmed a more generous approach to grading for 2022 which recognises disruption and provides a safety net for students who might otherwise just miss out on a higher grade. Results overall will be higher than in 2019, but not as high as in 2020. The intention is for 2022 to ‘reflect a midway point between 2021 and 2019’ with the ‘aim to return to results that are in line with those in pre-pandemic years’ in 2023.
As this approach to grading will be applied by exam boards after marking has taken place, teachers should continue to apply the mark schemes as they normally would when marking the NEA.
GCSE – NEA marking criteria
AS Level – NEA marking criteria
A Level – NEA marking criteria
On our website we have a dedicated page for grade boundaries from the most recent series, plus an archive page for grade boundaries from previous series.
If you have any questions about this summer’s assessment and would like to talk to us, please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @OCR_DesignTech. And if you haven’t already, sign up for our email updates.
Before joining OCR in September 2019, Karl taught creative subjects in both art and design technology for 12 years. With experience with a variety of roles in secondary schools, including as a head of department, he has a wealth of knowledge and experience in teaching creative subjects at GCSE, A Level and BTEC. He has also previously worked as one of our examiners.