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Is it fine for teachers to reuse a hsc question but change the marking guidelines? (1 Viewer)

onedaysnotice

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Good evening everyone. Today, I received my paper back for my SOR 1u half yearly, and my marks were appalling. However, I don't think it's my fault. I'm just gonna say that I got one of the highest if not the highest mark for the first section since I beat the usual top ranker (in all subjects) in this section. But at section 2, everything came crumbling down. Section 2 consisted of one extended response worth 20 marks out of 45. So that's almost 50% of the paper. But heres the thing, the question is the most ambiguously worded question ever (in respect to what the teachers wanted). Here it is:



Seems easy enough right?

And here it is in the 2009 SOR 1u HSC



Exact same question right?

Here are the marking guidelines according to the HSC:



Guess what I got?

4 out of 20.

To make it clear, in my response I talked about the five pillars, the six articles (both of which are derived from the quran or muhammad, i think), how the juras examine the sunna and the qu'ran to formulate Islamic law and decide whats haraam or whatever its called, linked my significant person a little, quoted the quote in my intro, and loosely related it back to the revelations of Allah through Muhammad. I also used quite a few relevant terminology, if I remember correctly. Now I know that my response isn't nearly A grade material. However, an E is unacceptable. I would've been fine with a mid-high C or at most a low B. But apparently I don't deserve it. Why? Because according to their marking guidelines, we were supposed to solely talk about our significant person and link it back to Muhammad/Allah. In my case, Al-Ghazali.

Reread the question again. Would you have derived that what the question was asking was solely for the significant person? I think not. It clearly says in the life of muslims. Can you see that it is plural? To make matters worse, when I asked the other teacher during the exam (the one who was marking the extended responses) about why is there no question on Al-Ghazali, she sarcastically responded with "What did your teacher tell you?" Already under pressure, my mind scrambled about, trying to understand what she meant by that. I thought it was a trick question. And off I went writing away thinking I was so clever. Before the exam, I prepared an essay for answering a question on Al-Ghazali. High B to Low A quality stuff if I might say so myself. So much for that prep.

If you read the HSC marking guidelines, it doesn't mention anything, not even once, about mentioning your significant person. If I assume correctly, an E grade marking guideline would've went something like this "Student mentions their significant person and makes vague statements on their impact to Muslims without relating it to Muhammad's revelations". But it doesn't. Instead, the guideline is clearly asking for a more broader explanation of the impact of the Qu'ran on the lives of Muslims. And that's what ticks me off. I wrote 4 and a half pages for this question in the exam, and I get repaid with 4 marks. My friend wrote a little less than two pages and he got 12 just because he memory dumped.

If the question was extremely hard, but straight to the point, I think I would've come to terms with my result. However, this question doesn't seem that hard at all. The only thing that got me (and 60% of the cohort) is that it was so ambiguously worded (or more accurately, incorrectly worded) that it made it extremely difficult to answer it. If "significant person" had been added to the question, this wouldn't be an issue. Only like 10% of the remaining people actually took the time to understand the question. The other remaining 30% just memory dumped whatever they knew about the significant person without actually reading it properly and they got the marks. Another one of my friends even said that he spent 10 minutes (out of 90 mins) just staring at the question, trying to figure out what it meant, since the question was Yr 11 stuff. Despite this, he still apparently got half my marks overall. Solely, this extended response resulted in an extremely low average of the cohort just because of its ambiguity.

Is this an extremely terrible question, or just terrible effort on our part? If it's the former, can you please give me argument points for contesting marks from the teacher? The top ranker said he tried, but apparently she wouldn't budge. However, she said to me that if I can prove to her by the end of Friday that I deserve the marks, then she would consider it. If possible, can graduates or even better, teachers and the like, pitch in to clarify this issue? :S

Sorry for the wall of text. :S

tl;dr - is it fine for teachers to use the exact same question as another, but expect a completely different answer?
 
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LoveHateSchool

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Re: Is it fine for teachers to reuse a hsc question but change the marking guidelines

I've never done SOR1 in my life, but it sounds like a 4/20 is excessively harsh. I wish you luck in fighting it and hope another BOSer can help you fight it, but I'd say if class teacher won't budge, then go to head teacher, then deputy, then principal and perhaps to the BOS after that.
 

soloooooo

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Re: Is it fine for teachers to reuse a hsc question but change the marking guidelines

Raise it with the teacher (or head teacher). The fact that you can present a coherent argument here would seem to indicate you should have done much better than 4/20.
 

enoilgam

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Re: Is it fine for teachers to reuse a hsc question but change the marking guidelines

Because according to their marking guidelines, we were supposed to solely talk about our significant person and link it back to Muhammad/Allah. In my case, Al-Ghazali.

Reread the question again. Would you have derived that what the question was asking was solely for the significant person? I think not. It clear says in the life of muslims. Can you see that it is plural? To make matters worse, when I asked the other teacher during the exam (the one who was marking the extended responses) about why is there no question on Al-Ghazali, she sarcastically responded with "What did your teacher tell you?"
Honestly, if faced with this question in the HSC I would discuss person, ritual and ethical issue. The teacher cannot turn around and disagree with your approach - the thesis is yours to develop how you see fit - with an essay, your marked on your ability to develop and sustain an argument supported by facts. Without seeing what you wrote, I cant be too sure bt by the sounds of things you have been ripped off big time. A 4/20 is reserved for a totally inept and useless essay (my mate used to get around this mark for SOR and his responses were laughable). I reakon this teacher is totally inexperienced and has little idea on how to mark an essay. I would challenge it higher up.

Raise it with the teacher (or head teacher). The fact that you can present a coherent argument here would seem to indicate you should have done much better than 4/20.
Agreed.
 

onedaysnotice

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Re: Is it fine for teachers to reuse a hsc question but change the marking guidelines

Honestly, if faced with this question in the HSC I would discuss person, ritual and ethical issue. The teacher cannot turn around and disagree with your approach - the thesis is yours to develop how you see fit - with an essay, your marked on your ability to develop and sustain an argument supported by facts. Without seeing what you wrote, I cant be too sure bt by the sounds of things you have been ripped off big time. A 4/20 is reserved for a totally inept and useless essay (my mate used to get around this mark for SOR and his responses were laughable). I reakon this teacher is totally inexperienced and has little idea on how to mark an essay. I would challenge it higher up.
The thing is, the teacher that marked the extended response is the 'head' teacher for SOR 1u. She's the most experienced out of the 1u teachers, since she's been a teacher for years, not just in my school. Unlucky for us, is that we're the ones who got this atrocious question. I think I'm gonna raise it with the head teacher for SOR 2u, which is a judge marker in the HSC.
 

enoilgam

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Re: Is it fine for teachers to reuse a hsc question but change the marking guidelines

The thing is, the teacher that marked the extended response is the 'head' teacher for SOR 1u. She's the most experienced out of the 1u teachers, since she's been a teacher for years, not just in my school. Unlucky for us, is that we're the ones who got this atrocious question. I think I'm gonna raise it with the head teacher for SOR 2u, which is a judge marker in the HSC.
Well, typically in that type of question most people cover the three parts of the cirriculum. I dont know why she is saying its only the significant person - the question certainly doesnt imply that you should do that.
 

loaves

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Re: Is it fine for teachers to reuse a hsc question but change the marking guidelines

I didn't do SOR but it definitely seems like you have a very good case. I would have been pissed if that happened in any of my subjects with a past HSC question.

Gather your evidence and raise it with the head teacher. Make sure you stay calm and don't make it personally about the teacher, you'll get a lot further by acting like a mature, concerned student. Good luck! :)
 

onedaysnotice

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Re: Is it fine for teachers to reuse a hsc question but change the marking guidelines

Oh guys, the teacher said that 'life of muslims' was the hint for us to answer with the significant person. I don't get how that works since it's plural. The top ranker said that the same teacher said to his class that 'revelations' was the hint.

Neither make any sense on how one can deduce from that that the significant person should be the focal point.
 
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enoilgam

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Re: Is it fine for teachers to reuse a hsc question but change the marking guidelines

Oh guys, the teacher said that 'life of muslims' was the hint for us to answer with the significant person. I don't get how that works since it's plural. The top ranker said that the same teacher said to his class that 'revelations' was the hint.

Neither make any sense on how one can deduce from that that the significant person should be the focal point.
I fail to see how that only connects to the person. "Lives of muslims" could also encompass ethics and the ritual, as they are both integral parts of an adherents life.
 

onedaysnotice

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Re: Is it fine for teachers to reuse a hsc question but change the marking guidelines

I fail to see how that only connects to the person. "Lives of muslims" could also encompass ethics and the ritual, as they are both integral parts of an adherents life.
Exactly.

sigh.....
 

jnney

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Re: Is it fine for teachers to reuse a hsc question but change the marking guidelines

Exactly.

sigh.....
If the marker was the head teacher, show your work to other sor teachers for their opinions. If that fails, take it to the deputy.
 

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Re: Is it fine for teachers to reuse a hsc question but change the marking guidelines

1. I don't think any questions should be recycled like that as it gives advantage to certain students.
2. 4/20 is really harsh for any half-decent response.
 

delian

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Re: Is it fine for teachers to reuse a hsc question but change the marking guidelines

your teacher seems harsh.
maybe discuss it with the teacher and/or head teacher.

good luck
 

binhvu24

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Re: Is it fine for teachers to reuse a hsc question but change the marking guidelines

no its not fine they can go suck big fat occccccccccccc
 

carpe_diem

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Re: Is it fine for teachers to reuse a hsc question but change the marking guidelines

I didn't do SOR but it definitely seems like you have a very good case. I would have been pissed if that happened in any of my subjects with a past HSC question.

Gather your evidence and raise it with the head teacher. Make sure you stay calm and don't make it personally about the teacher, you'll get a lot further by acting like a mature, concerned student. Good luck! :)
+1 Very true. Good luck! :)
 

delian

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Re: Is it fine for teachers to reuse a hsc question but change the marking guidelines

Stay calm and talk reasonably.
 

madharris

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Re: Is it fine for teachers to reuse a hsc question but change the marking guidelines

Wow that's really harsh, I think you should go see your teacher about it. Especially if you think you did what was required
 

FTW

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Re: Is it fine for teachers to reuse a hsc question but change the marking guidelines

I did this for one of my papers (fighting the mark), I may already be too late in saying this, but if you are going to appeal it, DO NOT TAKE YOUR EXAM HOME.

Leave it with the teacher and you must lodge an appeal before while they still have it otherwise you will be stuck with 4/20. Good luck.
 

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