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Poll: Would you join a protest outside the SQA's headquarters? (30 member(s) have cast votes)

Would you join a protest outside the SQA's headquarters?

  1. You would. (16 votes [53.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 53.33%

  2. You wouldn't. (11 votes [36.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 36.67%

  3. You'd need to know all of the details and decide at the last minute (3 votes [10.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.00%

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#1 Martin

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 04:15 PM

Right.

I'm serious. I'm organising a formal protest in Edinburgh about the SQA's treatment of pupils. Their lack of support for subjects; their ignorance by giving standard grade pupils higher questions; their failure to 'help' the candidate - rather they try and screw us.

Let's discuss this. See what we can come up with. I know Allan will have a lot to say tongue.gif

1. Higher Economics - The support from the SQA is non existant. It's basically only the private schools which do it.
There are always exam clashes with economics. In standard grade is was geography. This year it is physics.
The SQA refuse to release 'model' answers for the subject. Last years - yes. But they will not give us anymore.
"I'm not scared of dying... I just don't want to!"

#2 Allan

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 04:42 PM

You bet I do

Anyone else here do Economics?

I've had it with them, it's an ongoing battle here..."All Marking Instructions are regarded as confidential" - what a joke. Why?

A protest is exactly what we need...they get off with too much

#3 Ally

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 05:44 PM

Do Leckie & Leckie not publish Higher Economics past papers?

I thought they published all the subjects.

#4 Allan

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 05:59 PM

They only do [relatively] high uptake subjects

So us poor people doing low uptake ones get nothing. You can always buy one past paper for £4, then not get any answers. Yeah, that's great

#5 Dave

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 06:22 PM

why doesn't your school have a pile of past papers from previous exam days either by pupils handing in their own or by the extras that came into the school which should be the case because the papers come into the school in packs of 10 so their will be extras as long as their isn't exactly a multiple of 10 pupils sitting the subject

If i am not here i am somewhere else



#6 Ally

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 06:40 PM

QUOTE (Allan @ May 21 2004, 05:59 PM)
You can always buy one past paper for £4, then not get any answers. Yeah, that's great

OMG!

£4 for only one paper? And how much does it cost for them to print it, like 20p if even that.

#7 Martin

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 09:05 PM

QUOTE (ally @ May 21 2004, 06:40 PM)
£4 for only one paper? And how much does it cost for them to print it, like 20p if even that.

hehe - and it does NOT come with answers.

I replied to an email from them about it "what's the point in giving me a paper with no answers?"

The problem isn't getting the papers - it's getting the answers. It's finding out what the SQA want...
"I'm not scared of dying... I just don't want to!"

#8 Dave

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 09:15 PM

seriously you can't do things like that esp since you said you didn'y study for the maths

FLAMING AGAINST ANOTHER USER

moderated by Martin.

If i am not here i am somewhere else



#9 Allan

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 10:47 PM

Dave what subjects do you study

#10 Martin

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 10:48 PM

QUOTE (Dave @ May 21 2004, 09:15 PM)
seriously you can't do things like that esp since you said you didn'y study for the maths

FLAMING AGAINST ANOTHER USER

moderated by Martin. 

I'm not talking about maths.

I just like to annoy 'folk' ? - You don't understand the situation. Are you sitting a minority subject? Please come back when you do.

Regardless if I studied for maths or not - everyone has a right to be treated equally by the SQA.
"I'm not scared of dying... I just don't want to!"

#11 Martin

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 11:02 PM

Another point Dave my humble brother,

http://www.hsn.uk.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=272 - read that.

Should the SQA be allowed to get away with things like this?
"I'm not scared of dying... I just don't want to!"

#12 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 07:46 AM

This question is actually possible though.

#13 Terrence

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 11:40 AM

I voted that I wouldn't, sorry.

Perhaps if I lived nearer to Edinburgh then I might consider it. And if there was something in a paper that really riled me.

Still, best of luck with your proposed protest. And who knows, if I'm down in Edinburgh in the summertime you may see me outside SQA HQ waving a banner at them saying "YOU SUCK"
@

#14 Martin

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 12:10 PM

QUOTE (tuppence @ May 22 2004, 11:40 AM)
I voted that I wouldn't, sorry.

Perhaps if I lived nearer to Edinburgh then I might consider it. And if there was something in a paper that really riled me.

Still, best of luck with your proposed protest. And who knows, if I'm down in Edinburgh in the summertime you may see me outside SQA HQ waving a banner at them saying "YOU SUCK"

I live 70 miles away from Edinburgh!

It'd be a fun day out.

It could be... The HSN 'day/night' out also.
"I'm not scared of dying... I just don't want to!"

#15 Terrence

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 04:15 PM

I live..... far away in the mountains. It'd take me about 5 hours to get to Edinburgh!
@

#16 james1

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 04:33 PM

The HQ is in Glasgow. They have a sub-division in Dalkeith.

#17 Steve

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 07:05 PM

Sorry to go against the grain here but I don't think the SQA can be blamed for people not revising well enough for their exams tongue.gif.

OK so they sometimes let errors in questions slip through but they aren't counted so that's fair.

And if an exam is particularly hard one year, the cut-off scores are changed so that roughly the same number of people get As, Bs etc.

The point of a qualification is that it's an achievement - not just something that you can get without revising. If it was, it would be worthless. I think the SQA do a good job and those who haven't put in the time and effort should take some responsibility. smile.gif

After all, it's your achievement when you get a qualification and your under-achievement when you get less than what you realistically expected to. I am aware that sometimes there are hard exams but it all balances out in the end.

Also, it's not the SQA's job to teach subjects, that's up to teachers. All the SQA do is say what you need to be able to do for each course.

(Just my humble opinion biggrin.gif)
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#18 Allan

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 07:13 PM

I think this has been misunderstood

The 'protest' is because of the unfair policy the SQA operate - some subjects clearly have more support than others. The fact that certain subjects have model answers published and others don't is clearly a disadvantage for those who do low up take subjects.

Clearly you have more of a chance of passing the exam with guidance from the SQA of what they are expecting of you in an exam as a candidate. For subjects like Economics, this guidance is non existant.

And as for standards and levels of difficulties in the question papers, why can't they just apply an equal standard each year? Sorry but it can't actually be that difficult. It's so stupid people going around saying "Oh no my exam's gonna be murder coz last year's was so easy". Unfortunately, in many cases, this is how the system operates. The cut off scores they set don't always reflect this.

Finally, for the mistakes in question papers like last year's SG maths - well that's just a disgrace. Couldn't they have proof read the paper before we sat it?

#19 Steve

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 07:28 PM

I agree that obvious mistakes like that should be found - that can't be very difficult.

However if you go to the SQA website, I'm pretty sure that every course's Arrangements Documents are available (Higher Economics certainly is). This is what the SQA have to do - decide what's in the course. The interpretation of the course is up to companies that write textbooks and generous people that make free notes for their website biggrin.gif.

As far as model answers go, many popular subjects (like Maths, Chemistry and Physics) don't have model answers. I believe this is because the answers to these exams are either right or wrong. Subjects like English where there is no right or wrong answer do mostly have model answers (as far as I am aware).

I don't know anything about Economics but do you have to write essays or personal responses to questions? (If you do then I concede that there should be model answers)

(Isn't debating fun! tongue.gif)
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#20 Allan

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 07:47 PM

Yes the arrangements are available, but in all honesty, do you find them particularly helpful or accessible? We all know the SQA don't exactly stick to the arrangements and or are rather vague about the content of the course (Information Systems is a classic example!).

For Higher Economics, there is no textbook, there's no revision books, there's no notes, HSDU/LTS have produced support materials but these are very out of date and lack depth.

The model answers thing, basically what I mean is the SQA solutions. For the subjects you listed, there are SQA Answers which do emanate from the SQA in past paper books. Obviously for multiple choice questions or calculations the working or logic behind the answer isn't always shown - but at least there is an answer. For descriptive questions, the way the SQA have answered it or described it is obviously what they are looking for. This is an extremely valuable source of information!

Higher Economics is all response based work i.e. no calculations. Half of the paper is based on "essay" questions. Solutions to these are classed by the SQA as "confidential", apart from the 2003 paper. When solutions for the majority of subjects are available this is an unfair disadvatnage for candidates sitting economics (and other low uptake subjects).

The sheer cost of the past papers is also an issue (I mentioned this somewhere before). People complain about getting around 5 years past papers with SQA Answers for £7 from Leckie & Leckie. To get 5 years past papers of economics papers would cost £20 - without answers. And anyway, the SQA would only sell you the previous 2 years papers.

Yes, the centre might give you them - but I could say that about all subjects. The real problem is the lack of answers. If one subject can have them, so should all of them

(Debating is indeed fun cool.gif





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