In May 2015, Ofqual announced the results of their research into the GCSE (9-1) maths Sample Assessment Materials previously published by all awarding bodies (the research is available in full from https://www.gov.uk/government/news/actions-in-response-to-ofquals-gcse-maths-research-report). As a consequence of the research, all awarding bodies were required by Ofqual to make changes to their Sample Assessment Materials, with OCR being asked to ease the demand across the range of the Foundation tier Sample Assessment Materials and ease the demand of the initial questions on the Higher tier Sample Assessment Materials (the higher demand questions of the Higher tier were shown to be of the correct challenge).
We were happy with structure of the Sample Assessment Materials that we had already produced and did not need to produce completely new sets of Sample Assessment Materials to meet Ofqual’s requirements, so our new Sample Assessment Materials (now available from http://ocr.org.uk/gcsemaths) incorporate a number of changes compared to the previously released versions.
For the most part the changes we have made to our Sample Assessment Materials involve reducing the wording or simplifying the calculations required (usually by easing the numbers involved or adding more ‘scaffolding’ into the questions to provide a bit more of a prompt for candidates). In a few instances we’ve made amends to diagrams/images too. Only in a couple of questions did we choose to completely rework the task. These changes in demand to some questions also led us to revisit the ordering of questions within individual papers and we have made amendments to provide a smoother increase in demand through the papers than previously.
A full list of the changes we’ve made to our Sample Assessment Materials is available below!
These new Sample Assessment Materials are available to download now from the ‘Assessment Materials’ section of http://ocr.org.uk/gcsemaths and printed copies will shortly be mailed out within GCSE (9-1) packs to all centres across the UK!
We will also be releasing an additional set of question papers supporting our new GCSE (9-1) maths qualification very shortly, so keep a watch on http://ocr.org.uk/gcsemaths and https://twitter.com/ocr_maths for news of those…!
If you have any queries or questions on our maths questions, you can comment below, email us via email@example.com, call us on 01223 553998 or Tweet us @OCR_Maths.
Wording reduced: 1(b), 4(a) and (b), 5, 6, 7(b), 9(c), 10(a), 14(common with J560/04 Q3)(a) and (b), 16(b) and (c), 17(b), 21.
Calculations eased: 10(b), 17(a), 19(common with J560/04 Q6).
Other changes: 4(a) – just a single image of the spinner is now given, 13(common with J560/04 Q4)(b) – single part now broken down into two separate parts, 15(common with J560/04 Q5) – bullet points added to text, 19(common with J560/04 Q6) – ’profit’ emboldened.
Wording reduced: 3(b), 7(a) and (b), 8(b), 9, 10(b)(ii), 11(previously Q12), 13(was previously Q10), 14(common with J560/05 Q1), 15(common with J560/05 Q2), 16(common with J560/05 Q3).
Calculations eased: 1(a) and (b), 2, 5(previously Q4)(b) and (c), 6(b), 12 (previously Q13) (b), 19(common with J560/05 Q5).
Other changes: 4(previously Q5) – bullet points added to text, 5(previously Q4)(d) – ‘more’ emboldened, 6(b) – ‘three’ emboldened, 14(common with J560/05 Q1)(a) – axes and scale added to grid, vector format added, 14(common with J560/05 Q1)(b) – order of vectors amended.
Wording reduced: 1(b)(i), 2, 3, 4, 6(c), 7, 9(a) and (b), 11, 14, 15(previously Q19), 16(previously Q15).
Calculations eased: 1(b)(ii), 3, 4, 10(a) and (c), 14(a), 17(previously Q16, common with J560/06 Q1), 18(previously Q17, common with J560/06 Q2) (a)(i) and (c), 19(previously Q18, common with J560/06 Q4).
Other changes: 6(b) – question amended, 8(b) – single part now broken down into two separate parts, 9(a) – images of seats replaced with a table.
Wording reduced: 1(previously Q2), 2(previously Q1), 3(common J560/01 Q14) (a) and (b), 9(a), 13, 14(b), 15.
Calculations eased: 2, 6(common with J560/01 Q19), 8(a), 8(b).
Other changes:4(common with J560/01 Q13)(b) – single part now broken down into two separate parts, 5(common with J560/01 Q15) – bullet points added to text, 6(common with J560/01 Q19) – ’profit’ emboldened, 11 – ’right-angled’ emboldened.
Wording reduced: 1(common with J560/02 Q14), 2(common with J560/02 Q15), 3(common with J560/02 Q16), 4(b), 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15(b), 18, 19, 20.
Calculations eased: 5(common with J560/02 Q19), 13, 20(a).
Other changes:1(common with J560/02 Q14)(a) – axes and scale added to grid, vector format added, 1(common with J560/02 Q14)(b) – order of vectors amended, 4(b) – ’profit’ emboldened, 10 – labels added to towers, 10(a) – mark allocation reduced by one mark, 10(c) – mark allocation increased by one mark, 12 – diagram enlarged.
Wording reduced: 5(previously Q1)(c), 4(previously Q5)(a), 11(a), 15(previously Q16), 16(previously Q12)(b).
Calculations eased: 1(previously Q2, common with J560/03 Q17), 2(previously Q3, common with J560/03 Q18) (a)(i) and (c), 4(common with J560/03 Q19).
Other changes:8 – question replaced, 9 – bullet points added to text, 11(a) – blank Venn diagram added.
Neil Ogden - Subject Specialist - Mathematics
Neil has worked in a variety of qualification lead roles at OCR for a number of years, having joined the Maths team in 2012 and then becoming a Subject Specialist in 2014. Neil led the development of the new GCSE (9-1) maths qualification (J560) and following its accreditation, the majority of his time is currently spent supporting teachers through the introduction of the new qualification.
Neil is also responsible for the current GCSE maths A and B courses (J562 and J567), as well as the OCR maths Twitter and changes to the maths qualification pages on the OCR website.