OCR admits GCSE pc science paper ‘harder’

However prime outcomes remained increased than pre-Covid ranges after grade boundaries have been lowered

However prime outcomes remained increased than pre-Covid ranges after grade boundaries have been lowered

An examination board has admitted a controversial computing paper was “harder” this 12 months, however prime grades remained increased than pre-Covid ranges after boundaries have been lowered.

OCR stated in Could that it could overview its GCSE pc science paper 2 after complaints from faculty leaders it left high-achieving pupils “traumatised” and “fully disheartened”.

Following final week’s GCSE outcomes day, a spokesperson stated it had “regarded fastidiously” on the paper, together with listening to suggestions and finishing up “detailed evaluation throughout the marking course of”.

They added that marking had confirmed it was “barely harder and we set grade boundaries accordingly”.

Computing noticed one of many largest drops in grades 7 and above this 12 months in contrast with 2022.

However this was anticipated as the topic had among the many largest rises in prime outcomes when instructor grades have been issued throughout Covid.

However regardless of the autumn, computing had 13 per cent extra prime grades this 12 months than in 2019 – one of many highest of all well-liked topics.

Grade boundaries printed by OCR present that to get a grade 7 in pc science 2 this 12 months, college students wanted 49 out of an total 80 marks.

For pc science paper 1, they wanted 57 out of 80 marks.

To get a coveted grade 7 in 2019, pupils wanted 56 out of 80 in paper 2, or 57 out of 80 in paper 1.

Nonetheless, OCR stated the 2 years weren’t comparable due to a brand new GCSE specification, with this 12 months’s paper not present in 2019.

OCR reviewed paper following considerations from lecturers

Lecturers and college students took to social media to complain concerning the J277 GCSE (9-1) paper 2 after college students sat the examination in Could.

Particular considerations raised by lecturers have been that the examination contained “too many wordy questions”, whereas the paper was “an enormous step up” from earlier ones.

On the time, OCR stated it was conscious “some college students discovered this to be a difficult paper” and would “take a look at” its problem throughout the marking and awarding course of.

GCSE entries in computing have elevated by 13.2 per cent throughout the UK during the last 5 years.

This compares with a 6.4 per cent enhance in all GCSE entries throughout the identical interval, a Datalab evaluation reveals.

However the degree of problem of the topic has typically come underneath scrutiny. The identical Datalab analysis reveals 64.8 per cent of computing pupils achieved grade 4 or increased in 2023, in comparison with 68.2 per cent for all topics.

Earlier evaluation by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, has additionally instructed that pupils sometimes obtain a grade decrease in computing in comparison with different comparable GCSEs.

In the meantime, examination regulator Ofqual is reviewing requirements in GCSE pc science.

Information reveals different topics tougher

However knowledge from the Joint Council for {Qualifications} (JCQ) reveals computing has not been within the 5 hottest topics with the bottom proportion of prime grades throughout the earlier three years.

An OCR spokesperson added: “Yearly after marking, senior examiners set grade boundaries that take note of the problem of the papers sat that 12 months.

“We at all times work to make sure college students get the outcomes they deserve…We are going to proceed to help lecturers and college students to construct confidence in programming abilities.”