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OCR Oxford Cambridge and RSA is a leading UK awarding body providing a wide range of. qualifications to meet the needs of candidates of all ages and abilities OCR qualifications. include AS A Levels Diplomas GCSEs Cambridge Nationals Cambridge Technicals. Functional Skills Key Skills Entry Level qualifications NVQs and vocational qualifications in. areas such as IT business languages teaching training administration and secretarial skills. It is also responsible for developing new specifications to meet national requirements and the. needs of students and teachers OCR is a not for profit organisation any surplus made is. invested back into the establishment to help towards the development of qualifications and. support which keep pace with the changing needs of today s society. This report on the examination provides information on the performance of candidates which it is. hoped will be useful to teachers in their preparation of candidates for future examinations It is. intended to be constructive and informative and to promote better understanding of the. specification content of the operation of the scheme of assessment and of the application of. assessment criteria, Reports should be read in conjunction with the published question papers and mark schemes for. the examination, OCR will not enter into any discussion or correspondence in connection with this report. Advanced GCE Chemistry H434, Advanced Subsidiary GCE Chemistry H034. OCR REPORT TO CENTRES, Content Page, Overview 1, F321 Atoms Bonds and Groups 4. F322 Chains Energy and Resources 8, F323 Practical Skills in Chemistry 1 Coursework 13.
F324 Rings Polymers and Analysis 17, F325 Equilibria Energy and Elements 20. F326 Practical Skills in Chemistry 2 Coursework 26. OCR Report to Centres June 2013, General Comments, Entries this session continue to rise across all assessment units and the majority of candidates. have been well prepared for the examination papers. Nationally the sciences have seen an increased entry in recent years and it is pleasing that more. of our young people are seeing the benefits of taking an A level qualification in Chemistry. Written papers, For F321 the entry showed a very large increase from June 2012 perhaps reflecting that there. will be no opportunity to resit the unit in January 2014 for further details see A level reform. below The standard of responses involving chemical calculations continues to improve but. questions requiring the recall of ionic formulae and the ability to write chemical equations. containing realistic formulae is of concern, For F322 most candidates were taking this unit for the first time Candidates used the different. types of formulae encountered in Organic Chemistry with confidence and there seems to be an. increased use of skeletal formulae When completing reaction mechanisms careless errors. were common as was the imprecise positioning of curly arrows. Entries for the A2 units F324 and F325 both increased significantly from June 2012. A common theme across both AS and A2 units is that candidates are much more comfortable. when tackling stock knowledge and understanding questions than when answering unfamiliar. questions requiring application The A2 units allow specification content to be assessed in both. familiar and unfamiliar contexts For example a question related to the role of a buffer may be. completed in almost Mark Scheme prose on many scripts But when confronted with. specification content and new information presented in an unfamiliar and unstructured context. the same candidates can struggle despite the new information containing deliberate clues linked. to the specification There seems to be a large leap from memorising specification content and. Mark Schemes to applying this knowledge to new situations This suggests that candidates need. more practice with problem solving skills in preparing for the A2 units and for tackling an. unstructured inorganic or spectral analysis Notwithstanding this the understanding displayed by. some candidates when attempting difficult stretch and challenge questions on the A2 units has. been exceptional, Practical Tasks, Candidates were well prepared for the Practical Tasks displaying high levels of skill in.
observing recording analysing and evaluating Since the start of the course it has been. possible to hold down boundaries at AS but for A2 there has been a steady upwards drift This. June session for A2 a more challenging set of practical tasks and more realistic marking by. centres have allowed the boundaries for F326 to be reduced. All Tasks have been trialled extensively in centres and it is unlikely that the results provided. cannot be obtained However if a teacher identifies problems when trialling or when marking the. Tasks OCR operates a Task Query support system Advice is available by emailing details of a. problem to GCEScienceTasks ocr org uk, An e mail alerts service is also available To be notified by e mail when changes are made to. GCE Chemistry A pages on Interchange please e mail GCEScienceTasks ocr org uk including. your centre number centre name a contact name and the subject line GCE Chemistry A It is. strongly recommended that all centres register for this service. OCR Report to Centres June 2013, Continuing Professional Development. This summer OCR launched an A Level Chemistry conference at The Royal Institution. Sessions were given from a wide range of chemistry experts and the day provided delegates. with new ideas for practical work and ideas to enhance teaching of A Level Chemistry Feedback. from the sessions has been very positive and OCR hopes to run a similar conference again in. the future, OCR also continues to provide feedback and training for teachers with materials available as. part of the Professional Development Programme For more information see. https www ocronlinetraining org uk Further feedback from June 2013 examinations series. and on the coursework units will be available from this site in due course. A level reform, In Autumn 2012 Ofqual announced that there would be no January A level examination session. from 2014 AS and A2 examinations would be available only in the summer examination period. In the current specification it will only be possible to resit an AS unit at the end of a two year A. level course For the A2 level units there will no opportunity for candidates to resit without. entering a third year, This marks a significant change in entry policy for centres This arrangement is scheduled to run.
for the duration of the current specification, Starting in September 2015 entirely new AS and A level specifications are scheduled to start. Centres will receive further information over the next two years. September 2015 promises to be a significant month for exam reform of both A level and GCSE. qualifications with concurrent changes taking place for the National Curriculum Further details. of the timeline for examination reform are available from the OfQual website. http ofqual gov uk, GCSE and GCE A level Science development tell us your thoughts. OCR is currently in the process of re developing GCSE and GCE Science specifications for first. teaching from September 2015 To assist with this work we would welcome your feedback. regarding anything you would like to see changed or included as part of the new qualifications If. you have any comments questions regarding GCSE or GCE Science developments please e. mail ScienceDevelopment ocr org uk or join the OCR Community www social ocr org uk to be. kept updated, In summary, GCSEs are being re developed for first teaching from September 2015. The courses will be linear with separate Science Biology Chemistry and Physics and a. Double Award Science, There is no Single Award Science as part of the DfE Programme for Reformed GCSEs in. For more details see http www ocr org uk ocr for teachers newsletters agenda. http www education gov uk schools teachingandlearning qualifications gcses a00221366 gcse. reform and http ofqual gov uk news ofqual launches consultation on gcse reform. OCR Report to Centres June 2013, GCE A levels for Biology Chemistry and Physics are also being revised for first teaching from.
September 2015 Other Sciences will be developed in a later phase. AS is to be a standalone qualification that does not count towards the A level covering half. the content of an A level and delivered over one or two years. The AS could be designed to be co teachable, The standard of the AS is to remain broadly as it is now. A level is to be a fully linear fully synoptic two year course. For more details see www ofqual gov uk news ofqual publishes a level reform correspondence. Developers, During September OCR will be advertising for Developers to assist with the drafting of new. qualifications for Science It is expected that adverts will be posted to the OCR website and TES. and a notification will be posted on www social ocr org uk Alternatively if you register your. interest via e mail to ScienceDevelopment ocr org uk we can send you more details when. Developer roles are advertised, OCR Report to Centres June 2013. F321 Atoms Bonds and Groups, General Comments, Once again the number of entries increased and this session was marginally short of 27 000. candidates The responses seen suggested that the majority of candidates had been well. prepared for the paper and candidates were able to attempt all the questions. Questions such as explaining the trend in reactivity on descending a Group which once were. often poorly answered are now very well handled The underlying concern is of course that. these improved answers rely more on recall than they do on greater understanding This. concern is exemplified by answers to questions such as 5 a ii and 5 b here standard material. was being examined in a rather different way than is usual on this paper and candidates did not. perform so well On a more positive note the standard of answers involving chemical. calculations continues to improve and this paper was no exception with excellent answers to. 2 a iv 3 a ii and 3 c ii and 3 c iii It was concerning that many candidates were unable to. work out or recall the formulae for ions and consequentially to write and balance related. chemical equations Even fewer could write an ionic equation. Comments on Individual Questions, Question 1, 1 a i For virtually every candidate this part provided an excellent start to the exam with.
straightforward marks There was almost no example of this definition being muddled with that. for relative atomic mass which leads to answers referring to the average mass of the isotopes of. an element, Of the few that dropped marks omission of 1 12th was the commonest error Other errors. included omission of carbon 12 or use of atom mole Candidates who failed to achieve any. marks often discussed protons neutrons and isotopes. 1 a ii The values for 39K were correct for all but the weakest candidates However the. following mark for the correct values for the ion was scored much less often the most common. error being to omit the positive charge Many gave the incorrect response in terms of 40Ar. although other combinations were seen This suggested the question had not been read clearly. 1 b The majority of candidates gave the correct response The commonest mistake was to give. 3p4 instead of 3p2 A few gave the electron configuration based on 28 Other errors included. writing the d sub shell instead of p sub shell, 1 c i In terms of the three stages to this calculation a large majority gained the first and. second marks for working out the correct molar mass and using this to calculate the amount of. silicon tetrachloride Problems came in converting this value into the number of molecules. Some seemed to forget this step altogether or confused this with working out gas volumes. Some candidates used their own value for the Avogadro constant rather than the value given on. the Data Sheet, 1 c ii Many candidates obtained 1 mark for the arrangement of K and Cl in the lattice but far. fewer scored the second mark for the ionic charges Other non scoring responses included the. use of one type of particle only usually atoms or ions of potassium. Question 2, 2 a i Although there were many correct responses a surprising number were unable to. identify the ions There was a surprisingly large number of candidates who gave Al23 as the. cation Some gave Al as the anion showing a lack of basic chemical literacy. OCR Report to Centres June 2013, 2 a ii This proved to be a relatively challenging question Weaker candidates did not apply the.
simple rule of acid base gives salt water often giving oxygen or hydrogen as an additional. product or not completing or balancing the equation Others either did not add state symbols or. gave state symbols which were incorrect generally Al2O3 aq This was despite this information. being supplied H2O g and H2SO4 l were also frequent errors. 2 a iii This part was generally answered well The easiest route to the answer was simply to. associate xH2O with the waters of crystallisation Candidates also gained the mark by. successfully explaining that xH2O represented the number of molecules of water in each formula. unit of the hydrated salt but this more often led to answers that fell short of the mark. 2 a iv Answers to this question were relatively impressive Where errors did occur they often. arose from confusion between using the mass of the hydrated salt and the anhydrous salt as a. F325 Equilibria Energy and Elements 20 F326 Practical Skills in Chemistry 2 Coursework 26 OCR Report to Centres June 2013 1 Overview General Comments Entries this session continue to rise across all assessment units and the majority of candidates have been well prepared for the examination papers Nationally the sciences have seen an increased entry in recent years and it is pleasing

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