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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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#21 George

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 08:12 PM

I think the SQA generally do a good job, and often take misdirected flak - as Steve points out, they really only define the skeleton of the course and set the exam for it.

I do agree that support for low uptake courses is somewhat scant. Obviously this can be explained by the fact that it is more economical to invest resources in higher uptake courses. This is not really the fault of the SQA though; support for courses is provided by other bodies such as Learning and Teaching Scotland (who do provide materials for low uptake courses).

The real problem here is that companies who are keen to produce materials supporting courses like Higher Maths, with around 20000 candidates a year, seem reluctant to do the same where the market is much smaller (eg Higher Economics has around 1000; with just 60 for AH). Hopefully this is something, in time, HSN can help with; one of our aims is to support a broad range of courses.

I understand your issue with the SQA not providing answers to past papers, and I agree that it's strange for them to consider them 'confidential' on one hand while having a policy of 'openness' on the other. Hopefully the 2003 Marking Instructions have given you enough to go on.

#22 Dave

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 09:21 PM

the arrangements should be helpful because the exam content has to be competely compatable with it but yes the wording of the arrangements soes leave a bit to be desired and that is where the skill and experience of your teacher comes into play

for all you know the teacher you have every day could be a marker, vetter or even the setter so you could have more of an advantage than you will ever know

If i am not here i am somewhere else



#23 Allan

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 09:30 PM

QUOTE
Obviously this can be explained by the fact that it is more economical to invest resources in higher uptake courses.


I understand that definitely (doing economics and all tongue.gif ), but it's the SQA that I've a problem with. The main issue is the Marking Instructions/Solutions. I can't understand their policy of confidentiality

QUOTE
support for courses is provided by other bodies such as Learning and Teaching Scotland (who do provide materials for low uptake courses).


Thankfully, LTS do this. Unfortunately the Economics ones are rather outdated (as you can imagine economics is constantly changing)

QUOTE
for all you know the teacher you have every day could be a marker, vetter or even the setter so you could have more of an advantage than you will ever know


My economics teacher is none of these, so I guess that's me disadvantaged in that respect

QUOTE
the arrangements should be helpful because the exam content has to be competely compatable with it


In theory that's true, in reality it's far from it. In 2002 in Higher Information Systems...look here and here.

#24 Terrence

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 09:52 PM

I want there to be a protest so that I can hug people and wave banners. Hahahaha.
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#25 Dave

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 09:57 PM

i totally agree that thats not right but that will change and then the course is older it will be just the same as all the others (not that it helps you)

however, the question of pupils not "getting what they deserve" in the eyes of their teacher is a little worrying because the SQA don't let result be published which show between 0-5 people getting an A when 15% there extimated at an A.

The example was 2 years ago and lessons will have been learned by setters and teachers and you can see the "unreasonablely difficult" papers in your own revision so will be better prepared than those of 2 years ago

I still believe that even if the exam if really bad the cut offs will be moved so you get something like what you deserve and you'll never know it happen til you see the PA report in the website.

That is after all what happened in last years higher english and SG credit Maths

If i am not here i am somewhere else



#26 Allan

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 10:04 PM

The 2002 H IS paper still had a cut off 70% for an A - despite the difficulty of the paper. However, the point those links bring out is that the SQA won't even admit the paper was hard

I know you don't do IS Dave, but it's a very difficult subject to gauge what the paper's going to be like. Last year's paper was completely different again, with content (as far as I can see) which was not in the syllabus.

At least they publish past papers and answers for it...my battle with economics has not finished tongue.gif

#27 Dave

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 10:12 PM

well not admitting something is because of politics getting in the way of progress and openness

No, i don't do IS but thats because no school in my area offers it which is why its a minority subject and thats why we are having this discussion

The true test of my theory and your will only be decided when you sit the exam

If i am not here i am somewhere else



#28 Ally

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 11:58 PM

QUOTE (Allan @ May 22 2004, 10:04 PM)
The 2002 H IS paper still had a cut off 70% for an A - despite the difficulty of the paper. However, the point those links bring out is that the SQA won't even admit the paper was hard


Yeah they always defend a hard paper, even though they know it is crap. Mind you in the PA reports they have to defend it as it is the Principal Assessor who checks over the paper.

Look at the 2002 PA Report for Information Systems, the Principal Assessor says:

The examining team and setters have had much discussion on possible causes of this but can see no obvious reason..

You seriously can't say this is the case because they must have known the case: the paper asked questions were weren't in the syllabus. Also my school lodged a complaint to the SQA over this paper as did so many other schools, yet this is what they come out with. They hadn't even set the exam against the Arrangements Documents which has to be done.

#29 thebizwiz

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Posted 23 May 2004 - 02:12 PM

There are a few subject support sites on the net - i know there's one for geography, and one for business studies - The Business Education Network (or BEN). They do subjects such as admin/business/economics, and there are currently around 300 member schools.

http://www.ed-net.org.uk/

packs can be ordered by your school or LEA upon membership.

Oh, and as for the protests - I voted yes, I would like to protest at the SQA, only in glasgow lol - no way i'm coming to edinburgh lol.
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#30 Martin

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Posted 23 May 2004 - 07:35 PM

QUOTE (tuppence @ May 22 2004, 04:15 PM)
I live..... far away in the mountains. It'd take me about 5 hours to get to Edinburgh!

If you got something organised, and if I was in the Edinburgh area, then I might be tempted.. it could be fun.

Far away in the mountains..?

Well, 5 hours isn't that much! Not for a good cause like this.
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#31 little_minx

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Posted 23 May 2004 - 08:54 PM

QUOTE (tuppence @ May 22 2004, 09:52 PM)
I want there to be a protest so that I can hug people and wave banners. Hahahaha.

Hear hear!

tongue.gif tongue.gif tongue.gif

#32 Paul

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Posted 23 May 2004 - 10:18 PM

Hey there should totally and utterly be a protest!!

One thing that really really really......annoys me is with Maths exam papers!!

Every single Maths Exam I have had - from General to Credit to Higher and then Advanced Higher on Friday - there has ALWAYS been a mistake in one of the questions!!

Who do they get to make these papers?

I want an explanation about why this happens! This should not happen. In my opinion, an Exam paper should be checked over by a large number of teachers - say 10 - and if that was to be done, these mistakes would be seen and changed, stopping them from slipping through the net into our confused little minds on the day of the exam.

SCANDELOUS


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#33 Discogirl17

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 12:09 AM

Yeh I'm sorry but protesting bout the Economics issue at the start of this thread is only part of the problem, the mistakes in papers, the capitalist attitudes, the bad English poetry question this year, the appointment of a new SQA chairman (seen the job advert on S1jobs- they didnt even screen the applications- I had an email asking me to come for and open day/group interview), the shambles with results every year, the devaluing of our highers against English A levels and the lack of appeals and the constant exam changes taking place. We have so many issues to protest about!
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#34 Martin

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 12:42 AM

QUOTE(Discogirl17 @ May 24 2004, 12:09 AM)
Yeh I'm sorry but protesting bout the Economics issue at the start of this thread is only part of the problem, the mistakes in papers, the capitalist attitudes, the bad English poetry question this year, the appointment of a new SQA chairman (seen the job advert on S1jobs- they didnt even screen the applications- I had an email asking me to come for and open day/group interview), the shambles with results every year, the devaluing of our highers against English A levels and the lack of appeals and the constant exam changes taking place. We have so many issues to protest about!

If you go look - that was issue number 1 smile.gif.

We know there is lots to protest about.

So much for the person who said I only liked to 'annoy folk' with my idea of a protest rolleyes.gif
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#35 Ally

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 08:28 AM

QUOTE (Shandogg @ May 23 2004, 10:18 PM)
Hey there should totally and utterly be a protest!!

One thing that really really really......annoys me is with Maths exam papers!!

Every single Maths Exam I have had - from General to Credit to Higher and then Advanced Higher on Friday - there has ALWAYS been a mistake in one of the questions!!

Who do they get to make these papers?

I want an explanation about why this happens! This should not happen. In my opinion, an Exam paper should be checked over by a large number of teachers - say 10 - and if that was to be done, these mistakes would be seen and changed, stopping them from slipping through the net into our confused little minds on the day of the exam.

SCANDELOUS


Shandogg mad.gif

I really do have to agree with you here!

Supposedly, the exam is made four years before, as someone pointed out in another topic. That is four years to check over a paper, which probably only is 3-4 pages long!

Also, the examiners are obviously Mathematical geniuses, otherwise they would not get picked to write exams.

I think it is a farce that these mistakes can slip through!

#36 Allan

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 08:32 AM

Last year (2003) I heard there was a mistake in the SG Graphics paper or something too making the question impossible to do

#37 james1

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 08:59 AM

QUOTE (Shandogg @ May 23 2004, 10:18 PM)
Hey there should totally and utterly be a protest!!

One thing that really really really......annoys me is with Maths exam papers!!

Every single Maths Exam I have had - from General to Credit to Higher and then Advanced Higher on Friday - there has ALWAYS been a mistake in one of the questions!!

Who do they get to make these papers?

I want an explanation about why this happens! This should not happen. In my opinion, an Exam paper should be checked over by a large number of teachers - say 10 - and if that was to be done, these mistakes would be seen and changed, stopping them from slipping through the net into our confused little minds on the day of the exam.

SCANDELOUS


Shandogg mad.gif

Shandog what mistake was their in the AH paper?

There was no mistake at all!!!! Nor was there is Higher etc. Only 2003 SG Maths!

#38 Steve

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 09:44 AM

Questions that are impossible or at a level too high for the exam are not marked - no one is at a disadvantage if this happens. I really don't think a protest is necessary as these questions do not count.

It is not the SQA's fault if you fail an exam or do worse than you expected to - it's your own responsibility. Others manage to get As for subjects so it is obviously possible - if you don't and you expected to is it no one's fault but your own! smile.gif

And there was no mistake in the AH Maths paper!
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#39 Martin

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 12:18 PM

QUOTE (Steve @ May 24 2004, 09:44 AM)
Questions that are impossible or at a level too high for the exam are not marked - no one is at a disadvantage if this happens. I really don't think a protest is necessary as these questions do not count.

It is not the SQA's fault if you fail an exam or do worse than you expected to - it's your own responsibility. Others manage to get As for subjects so it is obviously possible - if you don't and you expected to is it no one's fault but your own! smile.gif

And there was no mistake in the AH Maths paper!

Steve,

The SQA charge money for us to sit an exam. It does not matter if we are not disadvantaged or not. We should be able to look up to them. It is not hard to remove 'impossible' questions from a paper.

The information I found online was that it is £32.75 for each higher that we sit. The markers get paid pennies - therefore we are giving money for the SQA bosses to sit about on their *insert word meaning gluteus maximus and starting with a* drinking Glenfiddick and doing other bad things.

Any business, which is what the SQA are, which could not provide a proper service to a client would go out of business. The SQA are a monopoly.

Steve - No one has once blamed the SQA for people failing or not getting expected grades. The SQA set 'harder' papers but yes, the cut offs do fall. But - they will never admit the paper was 'hard' - The paper should be of equal difficulty year in / year out.

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#40 little_minx

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 12:44 PM

QUOTE (Martin @ May 24 2004, 12:18 PM)
QUOTE (Steve @ May 24 2004, 09:44 AM)
Questions that are impossible or at a level too high for the exam are not marked - no one is at a disadvantage if this happens. I really don't think a protest is necessary as these questions do not count.

It is not the SQA's fault if you fail an exam or do worse than you expected to - it's your own responsibility. Others manage to get As for subjects so it is obviously possible - if you don't and you expected to is it no one's fault but your own! smile.gif


Steve,

The SQA charge money for us to sit an exam. It does not matter if we are not disadvantaged or not. We should be able to look up to them. It is not hard to remove 'impossible' questions from a paper.

The information I found online was that it is £32.75 for each higher that we sit. The markers get paid pennies - therefore we are giving money for the SQA bosses to sit about on their *insert word meaning gluteus maximus and starting with a* drinking Glenfiddick and doing other bad things.

Any business, which is what the SQA are, which could not provide a proper service to a client would go out of business. The SQA are a monopoly.

Steve - No one has once blamed the SQA for people failing or not getting expected grades. The SQA set 'harder' papers but yes, the cut offs do fall. But - they will never admit the paper was 'hard' - The paper should be of equal difficulty year in / year out.

Hi

I have to say Martin has a point. Yes if we fail the exam it's our own fault. Yes if mistakes are made in the paper they are not counted. That's not what I'm complaining about. The SQA are supposed to produce these papers to test our knowledge of the subjects we've been studying for whatever time period. How are we supposed to feel about the qualifications we gain if the exam board can't even produce a correct exam paper? I'm not surprised Highers are being devalued especially with all this scandal surrounding the exam papers and the results fiasco! Our centres are paying money for us to have our knowledge tested. You would expect some level of quality to be reached wouldn't you?

Laura xxx

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