Nicola Heath, OCR Psychology Subject Advisor
Every year we create an examiner report for each psychology exam. In my blog I’ll show you how they can help your teaching, with examples of how you could use them with your students in lessons, along with ways you can access previous GCSE, AS and A Level documents from our public website, and the recent 2022 exam papers from our secure site, Interchange.
After the marking has been completed, each exam has a specific examiner report created. Each report provides a detailed analysis of the key takeaways from the exam series, going through the paper question by question. This includes specific answers that were done well by candidates, as well as highlighting any common mistakes or misunderstandings. They are an invaluable, but sometimes overlooked resource.
These insights could help your class of students answer questions and address issues. Reports can be used to help tweak a resource, or refocus emphasis on a particular key term. These examples are small manageable changes that could have a positive impact when it comes to the way your students respond to exam questions.
You may also want to build in specific activities in your psychology lessons that use our examiner reports. Below are three ways you could do this:
You could set a tricky but short question. Asking students to discuss their ideas or to write an individual response. Core studies or research methods questions work well for these. When taking class feedback on the content, why not also guide the conversation by asking what they think:
You can then show students the extract from the examiner report, that details the issues that candidates faced.
If your students have written a response to the question, why not use this as an opportunity for peer assessment, with an emphasis on using the examiner feedback alongside the mark scheme to help them allocate a mark or band.
Use these reports alongside an assessment that uses questions from the paper. This would be ideal when giving feedback on a mock exam where you could read relevant sections of the report to your class to support your own feedback. Alternatively, give them a printed copy of certain sections of the report, then ask your students to compare their answers to the report so they can identify how to improve their responses.
You may find it useful to introduce the content of examiner reports prior to an assessment or mock exam. If you want to get your students to read sections of the report, you could cut up the examiner comments for certain questions and ask students to match them up to the correct question. Alternatively, using a colour coding system, students could highlight which comments were made about exam skills and which were about content. A great ice breaker at the start of an exam skills lesson.
A common issue that arises in psychology responses is that students can lack context in their answers which can cost them marks. This method can help to reinforce this vital exam skill, by showing the feedback from these examiner reports so they can see it for themselves.
I’m always keen to find out new ways of using our resources, so please share with us in the comments below any other ways that you currently use or plan to use examiner reports in your psychology lessons.
If you have any questions, you can email us at email@example.com call us on 01223 553998 or tweet us @OCR_Psychology. You can also sign up to receive subject updates and information about resources and support.
Nicola joined OCR in 2022 as the Subject Advisor for Psychology. Prior to joining OCR, she taught Psychology for over 10 years and has had various other responsibilities in that time, including being Head of Year and Subject Leader. Outside of work, Nicola enjoys reading, baking and spending time outdoors.