Writing the comparison question for OCR A-Level

Reading Time: 2 minutes The OCR English Literature specification is great in lots of ways, but the AO balancing is a little strange. The comparative question, for which I teach Rossetti’s poetry and A Doll’s House, is 50% AO3 – Demonstrate understanding of the significance and influence of the contexts in which literary texts are written and received. Examiner training is explicit that the way to determine a mark is holistically (is it competent, good or excellent) then shade the mark within the band to fine-tune the mark. However, it feels as a teacher that you do need to foreground the dominant assessment objective to meet …

How to revise for mock exams

Reading Time: 5 minutes Whether you call them mock exams or trial exams (nothing reassures you it’s low-stakes like calling it a trial, right?!), whether they’re before Christmas or after, chances are if you’re a GCSE or  A-Level student you’ll have practice exams coming up soon. And in many schools, you’ll have them a couple of times a year. Mock exams. The full experience of walking into a hall, finding your seat number, remembering to bring a clear pencil case and water bottle in case you’ve scribbled some physics formulae on the inside. They can be hard and they can be stressful. But they …