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Topic: Past papers

20th October 2017 at 2:15pm

David Heaton
Blackburn & East Lancs.

5 posts - View

Are there any known mistakes in any of the past papers?
20th October 2017 at 6:43pm

AdamDarling
-- MODERATOR --
Norfolk

5736 posts - View

I am sure there are ..... And sometimes I have seen questions where I am not sure what the examiner wants although that might just be me! However do you have a specific issue?

Welcome to the forum by the way.
20th October 2017 at 9:14pm

Nigel Pringle
North Yorkshire

2325 posts - View

Not going to go throught the pas tpapers to remind me....
As Adam says there are many where it is not clear what the examiners are asking for...

I recall one module 1 question..."What is a Rhombus used for?". Clearing, was the required answer . I didn't know this and answered it was used as a template for assaying inbreeding...which is also a correct answer. When I queried this I was told that as it was module 1 I shouldn't have know it was also used for another purpose...
DoH!

I've oft got the impression that questions where asked to show how clever the examiners where at asking question, rather than them understanding that in the pressurized situation of a 1.5hr exam they need to be instantly transparent to the candidate to allow him/her to demonstrate their knowledge.

Also designed to be "tricky"....as in name a source of a thixotrophic honey.
How many would answer "heather honey"?
Wrong.
The answers is Ling Heather.....
20th October 2017 at 10:51pm

Gerry Collins
Doncaster

535 posts - View

Your "lateral thinking"answer for use of the Rhombus was actually marked correct ( Only one candidate came up with that answer so presumably that was your paper. I didn't set that paper but was one of the markers so remember it). It is difficult to  believe that Nigel hadn't come across the rhombus clearer when he took that paper!  Candidates when answering a module  paper should keep in mind the contents  of the syllabus. I think there are a few candidates out there that deliberately test the examiner. Marking schemes are not rigid and do take into account  alternative answers to some questions especially with practical beekeeping topics like  uniting or swarm control where several methods are possible (the old chestnut of"  ask 3 beekeepers  the same question and be prepared to get  4 or more answers)

The flower source of a thixotropic honey was required so  either common name Ling heather or scientific name Calluna (with or without "vulgaris")  would have been awarded the full mark and just writing heather may have been awarded half a mark. The nectar from the Ericas (bell, crossleafed etc) does not result in thixotropic honey so the answer does need to be precise

The papers are moderated before final version is  printed to remove errors and poorly worded questions but unfortunately the occasional one gets through. These are picked up by the markers and moderators  and the marking scheme adjusted to take such things into account.
21st October 2017 at 10:56am

Nigel Pringle
North Yorkshire

2325 posts - View

Gerry Collins wrote:
Your "lateral thinking"answer for use of the Rhombus was actually marked correct ( Only one candidate came up with that answer so presumably that was your paper. I didn't set that paper but was one of the markers so remember it). It is difficult to  believe that Nigel hadn't come across the rhombus clearer when he took that paper!  
 

Glad to know I received some credit for it!
Believe it or believe it not; at the time I sat that module I had not come across rhombus clearer's before. I've always been more interested in bees than equipment. When I sat that module you were still required to know the exact sizes of the different hives and frames, as useful an exercise as trying to knit custard.
21st October 2017 at 6:03pm

Roger Patterson
-- MODERATOR --
Wisborough Green

3314 posts - View

Gerry,

Has anyone thought of asking a small number of previous candidates to "sit" each new paper to try to eliminate possible problems?

As you probably know I have never taken a module, but as an experienced beekeeper I have sometimes wondered what is required. A few years ago I read through some past papers at the BBKA stand at the Spring convention and came across one such question. There were two people from the Exam Board there, so I asked them. It was a genuine question, but one walked away without acknowledging me and the other said they didn't know because they didn't set the question!

I accept that candidates should be aware of the syllabus and I support relevant marking. If it was me and I had time I think I would mention any other relevance.

Roger Patterson.
22nd October 2017 at 7:01am

David Heaton
Blackburn & East Lancs.

5 posts - View

Specifically my question was module 7 question 14 part A Nov 2016 about half sisters and super sisters. The associated drawing is open to interpretation in my opinion. (Sorry I can't attach it here). Without any commentary on the downloaded paper it is just about impossible to find out the source of the original drawing. I have to assume that was a one off, and hope it doesn't reappear this year. This question has been playing on my mind for a couple of days now, and I fear I am no closer to understanding it.

This prompted me to think if there were similar issues with other papers, and if there should be a register of really poor questions, especially as we now have to pay to download them.





22nd October 2017 at 10:23am

AdamDarling
-- MODERATOR --
Norfolk

5736 posts - View

"I think there are a few candidates out there that deliberately test the examiner". I am not convinced that's the case, Gerry, if to test the examiner was to result in an answer being marked wrong and there was no way that the examinee was to know whether he/she had been marked right or not. And for me, the percentages I am awarded are generally less that I had expected after totting up the marks post-exam. So I would anticipate a few mistakes on my part, of course, plus some questions where I had not quite understood what the examiner was wanting to see. (Or I could just be a bit thick). It's good that you remembered Nigel's answer, and Nigel, isn't it good that you are remembered wherever you go! :)

David, my assumption is that you did not pass the exam as you fear that the question might re-appear next time. I think this has happened in the past that if a question was generally answered badly by all candidates, it might be asked again.

Last edited at 10:23am on the 22nd October by AdamDarling

22nd October 2017 at 10:58am

David Heaton
Blackburn & East Lancs.

5 posts - View

This is my first time studying for module 7 (having passed 3 others) and using the past papers to test my understanding. However this has me flummoxed.

Some commentary on how the questions on exam papers were received and any post-mortem would be handy.

I feel I have wasted far too much time on this question already!
22nd October 2017 at 1:48pm

Nigel Pringle
North Yorkshire

2325 posts - View

I'm afraid I don't have that one in my collection of past papers, but do recall a diagram that wasn't that obvious what it meant. If you have a copy as a pdf PM me and I'll give you an email address yolu could send a copy to I should be able to get it up and online with no problem.

Usually the questions are quite fair, but an odd one is a little unclear what the examiners are looking for. For example 

Is it possible for the British Black bee and the African bee (Apis mellifera scutellata)
to mate and produce viable offspring? Explain your answer. (2 marks)

Yes is the answer...so how do you explain a Yes answer? ..as it's not clear what the explain refers to....They are just different strains/sub species of bees therefore compatible to cross mate. Or Yes this happened in Brazil so yes they can cross mate and produce "killer bees". With only 1 mark presumably for the explanation no-one is going to spend much time on it.

What I did think was rather unfair was there was something in the BBKA magazine about candidates for module 8 not having sufficient knowledge of the history of bee keeping....the examiners certainly sorted that out in the last paper on the essay question which previously has ALWAYS been a choice of two different topics...this time is was write about beekeeping before the movable frame or write about beekeeping after the movable frame....
No choice at all, History or nowt!
And questions were quite vague, it was the first time I ran out of time, there was so much information I wanted to include but there simply wasn't enough time.

 

The exam papers want checking over as spelling mistakes are frequent...as in this one.
A group of 6 beekeepers in a local association, each with 5 to 10 colonies want to improve
their local bees. The area encompasses both suburban and rural areas. (They have available
to them an isolated moorland site 30 miles away where the nearest know beekeeper is over
7 miles away.)
(a) Give the important criteria for the selection of the breeder colonies. 10
(b) Provide a timescale and discuss the equipment needed for the planned improvement. 20

Last edited at 1:59pm on the 22nd October by Nigel Pringle

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