Practise for exam perfection

26th March 2004 at 00:00
Standard Grade Modern Studies: Official SQA Past Papers

General and Credit level 1999-2003 papers with model answers pound;6.99, Leckie amp; Leckie

Surely reviewing a book of past papers is a bit like reviewing the Yellow Pages. Nice money if you can get it, but not much to say apart from "Yep. They're all here." But this would be wrong.

The inclusion of official SQA marking schemes within this book makes it more like one of those American life-management texts. For many years teachers have been calling for marking schemes to be made public. Now the SQA, in conjunction with Leckie and Leckie, have done just that. The papers are reproduced exactly as they appear in the exam, and the mark schemes are in a convenient pull-out format.

These make an excellent teaching resource and will help to disseminate good practice among CreditGeneral students. A simulated markers' meeting with S4 students can now have a far more formal and impressive feel.

The text is also an excellent departmental resource. A staff set of these would really enhance cross-marking meetings and help clarify some of the recent changes in marking approaches at this level. In short, a student or teacher who had one of these books would certainly feel well prepared for the exam.

Print quality and formating are both excellent. Go out and buy these books.

But on your way nip into the nearest SQA office and ask why such a valuable resource was not simply put on to its website, as has recently happened with marking schemes for senior school examinations.

It seems likely that the answer you receive will be as much to do with money as with openess and raising standards.

Gavin Clark Gavin Clark is principal teacher of modern studies at Dunbar Grammar, East Lothian

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