Does anyone have inside information on how the whole A level exam marking/remarking/appeals system works?
It’s a long story but I’ll try to summarise.
Son sat his A level Music (OCR exam board) this summer. Hoped for (and was predicated) an A but got B. Turns out the Composition element (usually his strongest point by a long way) was marked down from the teacher’s A grade to a C, which pulled his overall grade down.
Frustratingly, his overall mark for Music was 478 … which was 2 marks short (I guess about half a percent) of an A grade. (Won’t go into details but these 2 marks have proved costly regarding university finance).
The school (which wasn’t the school he usually attended … he just went for after-school Music classes as his own school didn’t offer A level) – agreed to request (and pay for) a re-mark/moderation/re-moderation (not sure which ... the letter we have just describes it as a 'review'). The result came back – “Composition - previous mark 60/90 (grade C) – new mark 60/90 (grade C)”.
- Does the exam board have to justify marking down from teacher’s original A grade to a C? If there is written justification of this can we/the school request to see it?
- Is this 60/90 … 60/90 actually a remark or not? If it is a remark surely that’s a bit of a coincidence … bearing in mind that composition marking must be subjective. If not a remark, what have they actually done?
- If the exam board’s response to this would be that there were no grounds for a remark, could it be argued that the original marking down from A – C is grounds enough?
- I should mention that there were only 2 students in this Music class … not sure if that affects things in any way.
- I’ve read somewhere that the exam board only looks at ‘samples’ of the compositions. Is this true? (Hopefully not, as I can’t imagine how you can make a proper judgement if you only see/hear a small section of a composition).
- At the end of the letter we’ve received from OCR it says: “If you wish to appeal against this outcome, you have four weeks … ” It then provides a link for appeals which lists the grounds but - although I've tried to make sense of these - I can't really see anything that could apply. Has anyone gone this far with appealing … and – if so – any success?