Alex Orgee – Classics Subject Advisor
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 relating to GCSE, AS and A Level Latin and Classical Greek that were asked at our recent Q&A event.
The AI for both Latin and Classical Greek provides a narrower selection of material from which the passages printed on the question paper will be drawn from.
The AI covers all of the passages that will be printed on the question paper. Therefore, the AI includes the passage which will have an accompanying translation.
I can confirm that the Advance Information is correct and that the section from 544-549 ends with ‘narrare momento’. ‘nunc morere’ is on line 550, so is not part of the passages listed in the AI that might be printed in the question paper.
Please note that students are still expected to have studied the whole set text, but the material not listed in the AI can be studied and revised in translation. This is to ensure that students understand the context of the passages listed in the AI but also to ensure that they are fully prepared for the 10-mark essay question.
Yes. The AI for GCSE, AS and A Level lists a narrower selection of the set texts from which the passage(s) printed on the question paper will be drawn from. “The rest of each prescribed text should be studied in English both to provide the necessary context …”
Therefore, it could be possible for a question to target some of the contextual knowledge that students would have gained by studying the material not listed in the AI.
Yes, the format and structure of the Literature and Culture papers have not changed for 2022, so the question paper insert for both Latin and Classical Greek will contain ‘unseen sources’, i.e. sources not listed in the prescribed sources booklet.
The prescribed sources for the GCSE Latin and Classical Greek Literature and Culture papers have not been cut. The AI for the Literature and Culture papers list the prescribed sources that will be printed on the question paper insert.
The AI has not reduced the prescribed sources to just those on the AI. Therefore, the only prescribed sources printed on the question paper insert are those listed in the AI. The unseen sources that will be printed on the question paper insert will be other sources that link to the topics listed on the AI.
Therefore, students still need to the study the prescribed sources from the prescribed sources booklet as well as other ‘unseen’ (i.e. non-prescribed sources) in order to be fully prepared for the exam.
As mentioned to the previous question, the prescribed sources have not been cut.
When writing the AI, the author of the notice looked at the questions in the 2022 exam paper and the sources in the question paper insert and decided which specification topic area they directly targeted. Therefore, given that ‘The Acropolis’ topic area is not listed on the AI, there will not be any direct questions about the contents listed under this topic area in the Classical Greek Literature and Culture paper, nor will a plan of the Acropolis appear on the question paper insert. If this had been the case, then this topic would have been included in the AI.
The policy intention of the AI is that all specification content is taught, and our advice is that all of the content is revised. This is to ensure that candidates are as well prepared as possible for the exams. For example, students could, depending on the precise question asked, bring in relevant information or sources relating to the acropolis topic area. This is most likely to be the 8- and 12-mark questions which ask students to bring in other sources. If it was relevant to the precise question asked, students would gain credit for this information and any associated analysis and evaluation.
Students can, however, focus their revision on the areas listed in the AI.
Yes, students, regardless of whether they are studying Group 1/3 and Group 2/4 texts from the same author or mixing and matching different authors, will need to study all of the texts listed in the specification for the Group 1 and Group 3 texts. This is to ensure that students have the appropriate contextual knowledge for any of the questions that may appear in Section A of the Literature question papers.
The material not included in the AI can be studied/revised in translation rather than Latin or Greek though.
Yes. The rest of the set texts not listed in the AI must still be studied but this can be in translation rather than in Latin or Greek. For the Group 2 and Group 4 A Level texts, which are assessed in the 20-mark essay question, this means:
There has never been a requirement for students to quote either the Latin or English in their 10-mark (GCSE and AS Level) or 20-mark (A Level) essay questions. A close paraphrase of events / episodes they are describing is sufficient to demonstrate the required knowledge and understanding.
Please be reassured that these concerns have been logged.
As stated in the JCQ FAQ document, the current AI approach only applies to the summer 2022 examinations to help mitigate for the level of disruption to teaching and learning as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
We are not adjusting the level of the difficulty of the papers as a result of the pandemic. The 2022 GCSE, AS and A Level papers should be at the similar level of difficulty to previous past papers.
The approach outlined in September 2021 in Jo Saxton’s blog states that a staged approach will be taken to return to the pre-pandemic standard. This means that that outcomes in 2022 will represent a mid-point between the outcomes in 2019 and 2021. Outcomes in 2022 will be higher than 2019 but not as high as 2020. In 2023, the aim is to return to the pre-pandemic 2019 standard.
The texts and topics listed in the current specification will be examined until 2023 (AS Level) and 2024 (GCSE and A Level). We are currently in the process of updating the specifications with the texts and topics for examination in the fourth cycle. These texts and topics will be examined until 2025 (AS Level) and 2026 (GCSE and A Level).
We also received questions about why the set text cycles are two years. Given that this blog has been written about the AI, I will address this concern in a future blog.
If you have any questions about this summer’s assessment and would like to talk to us, please get in touch at email@example.com or follow us on Twitter @OCR_Classics. You can also sign up to subject updates and receive email information about Classics resources and support.
Alex has worked at OCR since 2009, first joining the Classics team in 2012. Since then, he has been involved in the redevelopment of all the Classics qualifications. In his spare time, Alex enjoys cycling, watching sport, and gardening.