Thursday, 3 April 2014

Changing A level exam boards

After working with two incarnations of the Edexcel A level specifications throughout my 9 years at Bethany School I was a little suspicious about changing to an unfamiliar AQA with its heavy use of skills and data processing.  However having attended a student conference and having met ex-Chief Examiner David Redfern and Principal a Examiner Phil Banks I feel I have grasped the nature of the Geography presented by AQA. Yes, it does offer a traditional examination of the subject and might not be as 'CoolGeo' as Edexcel but I have begun to appreciate the rigour of the skills required by the Unit 2 exam and the challenging nature of the the essay writing in Units 1 and 3. These days it has become popular to be an 'A level basher' in favour of IB but courses like AQA Geography do offer plenty of scope for stretch and challenge. Some things I'd like to see from the new specs are some more scope for independent research like Edexcel's Unit 4 and more requirement to truly utilise GIS technologies. I welcome the return of the fieldwork enquiry but am seriously concerned about the demise of controlled assessment fieldwork in GCSE.

So, if you are looking for a rigorous, traditional and useful A level, I recommend investigating AQA further.