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Chief Examiner's Report on JC Science

For those teaching JC Science, the Chief Examiners report on the 2019 paper (the first - and so far only paper - examining the new specifications) was published a while back and I got as far as reading it today.

In the appendices, I found this chart which illustrates the grade spread. Another showed the girls are doing (marginally) better than boys at the top grades.


Yet another showed that the three best-answered questions were on the cell, the water cycle and melting ice, which seems to me to show that physics is right there in the mix and that students aren't over-intimidated by the material.



The report is quite readable (which is an achievement in itself), only 8 pages long without appendices, and available here. For those not inclined to read the whole thing, it contains a section at the end entitled: 'How can these observations help current and future students and their teachers,'


And for those still not inclined to read the whole thing, this is my summary of its summary...


CBA: It is important that teachers and students continue to fully engage with them, not only so as to achieve the aims and learning outcomes of the specification, but also to maximise candidate achievement in the final examination. Many of the skills which students develop while undertaking the Classroom-Based Assessments (and, indeed, while undertaking classroom activities in preparation for them) are assessed in the Assessment Task and the examination paper


While carrying out the Science in Society Investigation, students should produce a full research record as well as a final report. This research record will be helpful to students when completing the Assessment Task (though not applicable in 2021, I presume)


Students’ ability to engage with graphs is important and deserves emphasis.


It is recommended that students practice and develop the skills needed to produce paragraph-length answers that demonstrate their scientific knowledge and understanding


Full engagement with the overarching Nature of Science strand is important for high levels of achievement in the examination. It is recommended that while engaging with the contextual strands of the specification, students are regularly stimulated to develop the skills relevant to the Nature of Science strand, especially those itemised in the Investigating in Science element


Candidates should answer all questions. Candidates should remember that a poor or partial answer may gain marks, whereas a blank response cannot be awarded marks


Candidates should make sure that their work is presented clearly and legibly, so that an examiner may properly assess their work


On occasion, candidates may run out of room in the answer space made available immediately underneath the question; if this happens, they should continue their work on the additional writing spaces made available


Candidates should show their calculation work clearly




(If I've misrepresented anything here, please let me know and I'll make amends)

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