If you recall in my previous blog post I replied to teachers’ FAQ’s on ‘teaching and assessing tricky areas’ that spun out from recent CPD events on psychology assessment.
As promised I’ve prepared my second piece to help you in your preparations for the summer series; this time focusing on some of the more commonly asked questions around ‘planning and assessment for the mock exams’.
And as a reminder the resources and materials from both of the CPD courses (Planning and assessment, Teaching and assessing tricky areas) that took place in January 2019 are free to download from the CPD hub.
I’ve laid out the content in simple Q&A style with detailed advice on how best to approach the second of the two themes; wrapping up with ways to get in touch.
1. In the SAMs on Q12a paper 2 the question says: Identify strength of Freud's (1918) dream analysis study of the Wolfman , but in the specification it says they only need to know criticisms of the study.
Can you confirm that there wouldn't be a question asking for a strength of one of the key studies in the real paper?
A. I can confirm that there will not be strength of the key studies, however there can be strength of a ‘research method’ used in a key study.
To confirm in paper 2, 12 (a) the question was looking at the strength of dream analysis; so it is a case study and a longitudinal study.
2. Evaluate questions require a 'substantiated judgement' to be reached in order to get top marks, but there were no examples in the mark scheme of what that might look like
A. The guidance for this is in the mark schemes. For a Level 4 there is a good evaluation which offers breadth and/or depth.
Points may be brief but should still be relevant and used to reach a substantiated judgement in response to the question.
This means that no judgement or very weak judgement would place a response in Level 1, and Level 2 judgement is where there is a clear elaborated or developed judgement.
3. Can they get full credit for bullet pointing their answers rather than writing in continuous prose (either on the 13 marker or on 3/4/6 markers?)
A. In 13 mark questions they should write continuous prose.
This is explained in 3e on page 27 in the specification Quality of extended response will be assessed in questions marked with an asterisk (*). = 13 mark questions.
For Level 3 top band talks about writing with accuracy and clarity. Shorter tariff questions, such as 1 or 2 marks, candidates can bullet point their answers.
Longer mid tariff questions, such as 4 and 6 mark questions, it does really depend on the command word.
For example it is hard to fully access the top mark band for an “explain” question using a bullet point, as these tend to make a list of points, rather than fully developing a point.
To access the top level mark bands candidates need to be showing some level of depth and a clear understanding.
For example 6 (a) Explain how self-esteem can have an effect on conformity.
4. Other than the 13 marker what will be the most number of marks available for a single question?
A. We are not in a position to offer too much extra detail on the length of each question as this might affect the predictability of the exam.
The specification on page 22 says there will be short and medium tariff questions, and one extended answer per paper. There will also be three multiple choice questions per topic area (excluding section D).These will appear at the beginning of each section.
The SAMs and the Practice Papers gives a full range of the types of questions and command words students can expect. Candidates should expect to write gaining 1 mark a minute as a timing guide.
5. On the mark scheme for Q19 on paper 1 of the practice papers under AO1 for level 3 it says 'The response demonstrates a thorough knowledge and understanding of the limitations of using neuropsychology to explain human behaviour...’ People felt that knowledge of the limitations was AO3 and not AO1 and were wondering why it was getting credit under AO1,
A. With the 13 mark question, the candidate is required to explain (AO1) how neuropsychology has explained schizophrenia and one other topic (so the author anticipated this when they designed the question), that the candidate would refer to depression.
With AO3 evaluation, the candidate would need to show an evaluation of neuropsychology as an explanation - so referring to alternative theories here would count as AO3. So the mark scheme refers to the Social Rank theory as an alternative theory to explain depression.
If students interpreted the question and presented their material in a different way this would be discussed at standardisation and would be reflected in the mark scheme. It should be noted that when we publish mark schemes with the SAM's or Practice Papers, centres should bear in mind that these have not been 'tested' against actual candidate responses.
You’ll find a range of assessment materials and candidate exemplars on our qualification page, If you have any question about planning and assessment please submit your comments below or email us directly with your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Lucy Carey - Subject Advisor
Lucy joined OCR in September 2017 as the Subject Advisor for Sociology and Psychology. Before joining OCR she worked as a teacher being the Head of Sociology and Psychology departments in Peterborough, Yorkshire and Cambridge. In her spare time she enjoys scuba diving and travel.