Debbie Malpas - Business and Economics 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 grading process. This followed our roundtable video, which gives suggestions on how to use support materials and answers many general grading questions. In this blog, I’ll summarise the questions asked at our Business and Economics Q&A event.
The evidence doesn’t need to cover every aspect of the specification. The aim is to include evidence that shows the student’s ability across the range of content taught and, where possible, assessment objectives.
Consider whether the evidence is sufficient. If not you could use the assessment materials provided by us to supplement or help confirm student performance.
Although this evidence is not being prescribed by exam boards, it does need to be as consistent as possible for all your students, unless there is a good reason why the work would not be representative, for example, a student or students who missed more content than their peers because of self-isolation. This is to ensure that your grading judgements are consistent for your students in your centre.
For general qualifications (GCSE, AS and A Levels) a ‘range’ means that different types of evidence can be used (e.g. homework tasks, topic tests), as well as evidence of different parts of the specification being covered (for example, marketing, finance). The JCQ guidance has much more on this.
It’s a holistic approach and you need to use your professional judgement in order to come to an overall grade. Consider the quality of the evidence that you have and the level of control - etc. Review the evidence and read through the grade descriptors. Match the student’s evidence to the suitable statements within the grade descriptors.
Remember, a student’s collection of evidence may contain characteristics from different grade descriptors.
For example, a student may show characteristics of a Grade 6 in one area, perhaps in using a range of relevant quantitative skills, and characteristics of a Grade 2 in another area, for example, drawing basic lines of reasoning and make straightforward judgements. For assistance with making grading decisions in such situations, please refer to worked examples.
You can do. If you are using different evidence for a student, you would need to provide an explanation. The worked examples from JCQ are helpful when considering differences in student evidence. If you have enough holistic evidence to provide a grade, then you can justify leaving the missed assessment out.
If not, you would need a rationale to explain the replacement (which could just be ‘they were absent’). It would be useful in this case if the replacement was similar as this would provide greater confidence in the result you are providing.
November 2020 was an atypical year. The last ‘regular’ exam series was 2019. Use the grade boundaries as a guide, but do remember, it is a holistic look at the evidence for the student. There isn’t a requirement to use the additional assessment materials and turn the result into a grade.
Holistically. Grade descriptors will help you identify how the range of evidence for each student aligns with the expected performance standards. There are a number of steps:
If you have further questions about this summer’s grading process, you can email us at Business@ocr.org.uk, call us on 01223 553998 or tweet us @OCR_BusEcon. You can also sign up to subject updates and receive email information about resources and support.
All advice and guidance provided by awarding bodies regarding arrangements for summer 2021 undergoes ratification by the JCQ (Joint Council for Qualifications). This is to ensure that awarding bodies provide consistent information to centres. The content of the above blog is currently being reviewed by the JCQ and is therefore potentially subject to some change in wording.
Since joining OCR in 2014, Debbie has worked on the redevelopment of our GCSE Business and the new Cambridge National in Enterprise and Marketing. She supports teachers through the development of resources, the CPD programme and subject communications. Debbie has over 20 years of experience in teaching and leadership roles. She has worked in secondary schools, a sixth form college and an international school. Debbie holds a degree in Business Operations and a PGCE in Secondary Economics & Business. In her spare time, Debbie enjoys visiting family and friends in the Midlands and Bristol. She also writes for Cambridge University Press.