• Podcast

An audience with the exam boards: the new A level and GCSE 9-1

Representatives from England’s three main exam boards share their thoughts on how students got on with the the new A level and GCSE 9-1

  • Published: 18/10/2019

This year, our podcast with the exam boards focuses on the new reformed A level, first examined for a whole cohort this summer (2019). We also discuss how things are going with the 9-1 GCSE, now in its third year. Representatives from England’s three main exam boards share their thoughts on how students got on, what the implications are for teaching and how the new qualifications might affect numbers opting for A level.

Show notes

Taking part in the discussion are:

  • Andrew Taylor, AQA
  • Graham Cumming, Edexcel
  • Neil Ogden, OCR
  • Gwen Tresidder, Communications Manager, NCETM

Episode chapters

  • 00:43 – Introducing the speakers.
  • 02:04 – A level: How did the students get on?
  • 12:23 – How are students managing the length of the papers?
  • 14:46 – How did the move to linear assessment go?
  • 16:59 – Did the new GCSE 9-1 prepare students better for the A level? Implications for teaching GCSE.
  • 21:45 – Will this year’s low grade boundaries affect numbers of students taking A level Mathematics?
  • 29:21 – What should A level maths teachers put more focus on in their teaching?
  • 33:45 – GCSE.
  • 34:09 – How did students perform? What content areas are still difficult?
  • 39:37 – Are we getting better at the new specification? The problem with unfamiliar question types.
  • 43:11 – Examples, from all three boards, of a question in which students did well, and one in which they did badly.

Exam board questions referred to in this episode (PDF).

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