Getting Easy Marks (AQA P2 June 2011)

03Jan12

Ah, the indescribable joy of marking mock papers. It’s not all bad, admittedly – some of my students have done rather well. But as is my usual habit, one of the activities they’ll be using after the holiday is to look for the easy errors. These are, as I tell them, the marks that pretty much everyone doing higher tier should get most of the time. It’s a mixture of straightforward recall and simple methods, and it can be useful both for able students (who make careless errors just like everyone else) and those who are hoping to get a B grade rather than a borderline C (who can be reassured with these improvements).

Getting Easy Marks June2011 as ppt; click on the image above for the A4 pdf version.

How you approach this depends on individual style, but I like to have students add asterisks to their completed revision checklists (as seen in an earlier post) to highlight ‘fixable’ issues. I then have them taking turns teaching each other, as most have one or two questions they did very well on and which they can explain to their peers. For trickier questions, I often discuss examples of weak, reasonable and excellent answers, sometimes having them consider a flowchart of successful approaches. Rehearsing model answers can be particularly effective, for example in the regular ‘padding material in an impact situation’:

  1. Any kind of padding/crumple-zone/helmet/etc increases impact time…
  2. …so the rate of momentum change is less (using delta mv/t)…
  3. …which means the average force is reduced.

On the June 2011 paper this was on Question 7, but any similar question can be answered using this kind of generic answer. It would have to be better than the student in my class who suggested that an insulating material stops injury because of electric shock after electrons have been rubbed off by friction as the motorcyclist slides over the road surface. Really, I despair sometimes.

Students could look for revision material online to match their specific weaknesses (some links are described here) or write questions to test each other on particular areas. As well as doing more practice papers in exam conditions, I’ve blogged before about varied methods for using papers. It is perhaps a little late to start producing new mind maps and so on, but a short maths exercise in class will show students how quickly 20 minutes per day adds up to give a fair chance of gaining a half-dozen or so marks – and potentially several grades.

Last year’s version of this post (with the June 2010 paper similarly dissected) is here, along with my resources for students on the difference between foundation and higher tier. Hope some of it is useful; I’d love to hear how you’ve used the materials, if at all.

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