Grade boundaries for GCSEs and A levels are never set in advance of the exams being taken, for a variety of reasons. A key one is that it is impossible to judge precisely how difficult students will find a paper compared to previous papers or sample papers.
Associate Director of Standards and Comparability at Ofqual. She previously worked for the AQA and AEB exam boards.
We, like schools and colleges, are already looking ahead to this summer’s exams. This year there are more new AS and A level subjects and 9 to 1 GCSEs being awarded for the first time.
I am sure many of you reading this blog will already be focussed on next summer’s GCSE and A level exam series, and first awarding of more new qualifications. Below are a few points of potential interest related to some …
Much has been written about the ‘low’ grade boundaries in GCSE maths and how they are lower than previous years. This has been interpreted as Ofqual lowering the boundaries in the first year of a new qualification. Unfortunately, it’s really not that simple. The new maths GCSEs were designed to be different from the old A* to G GCSEs, so you really can’t compare new and old. Here’s why.
The new GCSE grade scale has been the subject of much debate in recent months. Why did we change it? That’s the question we’re being asked a lot this summer, as we await the first of the new grades. To …
Today we published a report showing the provisional entries for GCSE, AS and A levels in England this summer. We collected this data in April, so it’s not complete, but it does give a good guide to the sorts of …
As in previous years, we expect to see students letting off steam on social media...Some of these will be reported in the media, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a problem...
We have said that exam boards will rely more heavily on predictions this year for the new qualifications. But how are the predictions generated? And what do we mean by prediction matrices?
Grade 9 is not the same as A*; it’s a new grade, designed to recognise the very highest performing students. So there will be fewer grade 9s than there are currently A*s. And in the first year grade 9 will be calculated arithmetically.
You may be familiar with the rules for setting A* in the current A levels: students must get enough UMS marks to achieve a grade A overall and achieve 90% or more of the UMS marks at A2. This rule …
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