We have put together a list of the formulae required for the exam that you need to memorise. We have also put together a little list of tips to help with your exam preparation.
Like many heads of science, I spent a good deal of time each September working my way through examiners’ reports to identify areas in which our students had performed well and not so well, with the aim of identifying best teaching practices and addressing those that were less successful. This year, I have pored over the AQA examiner reports to identify six of the more general trends and problem areas, ahead of the first set of reformed examinations in May/June 2018.
1. Definitions – Students do not recall these clearly enough to gain marks – this is true for students taking the Foundation Tier and Higher Tier papers alike. For example, many foundation tier students were unable to answer 7(b) on the B1 Foundation Tier paper by completing two sentences to identify photosynthesis and one of its products, and even some higher tier students confused respiration with photosynthesis; many higher tier students were unable to define the term ’recessive’ in relation to genes in question 6 on the B2 Higher Tier paper. On the C2 Foundation Tier paper, only 8% of students could correctly define a hydrocarbon.
Insanity is often defined as “doing the same thing, time and time again and expecting to achieve better results”.
Many teachers will relate to this on exam results day, as the chances are that results in most cases will be fractionally different to the previous year.
Although resources always promise to improve results, it is unlikely that any of them will have made a meaningful and sustained difference unless they have helped teachers to improve how they support their students.
Meaningful improvements in performance are only likely if resources help teachers to achieve some key performance enhancing objectives:
- Achieve significant increases in independent learning by ALL students.
- Focus homework on preparing students for forthcoming classes.
- Reduce time-consuming content delivery, so that more class time can be devoted to skills development and personalised interventions.
- Improve learning records to support more effective personalised interventions
None of these objectives can be achieved without more time. As the reality is less rather than more time, the only solution is to use technology that provides the time to help teachers achieve these objectives.