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Pass marks for GCSE exams!

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by tiny9, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. The mark for a C in the march Edexcel GCSE was 153/200. Given that a grade C could have been obtained by gaining 125/200 on the OCR paper last summer is this really fair to the students? The papers are pretty much the same what are other colleagues thoughts?
  2. The mark for a C in the march Edexcel GCSE was 153/200. Given that a grade C could have been obtained by gaining 125/200 on the OCR paper last summer is this really fair to the students? The papers are pretty much the same what are other colleagues thoughts?
  3. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    I have said on here that I agree with Early Entry for particular students who are borderline C/D. However I think is happening more and more (and for no real reason) is that entire classes of able students are being entered for the foundation exam. They perform really well and the boundary for an C on foundation goes up (as we know only a certain percentage can pass). Result is that the weaker students (still more than capable) end up with a lower grade because of this. Does anyone agree?

  4. GoldMaths

    GoldMaths New commenter

    This is idea is a complete myth, grade boundaries are set before marking, if they wasnt we could abuse the system. Grade Boundaries change to normalise exams from year to year. Although there is a correlation between results and boundaries there is not a causality.
  5. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    Well it is news to me that grade boundaries are set before the exam is sat.
  6. GoldMaths

    GoldMaths New commenter

    If your scenario was the case we may as well enter all our year 7s to bring down pass boundary each year? Or enter or the "safe" C's from Year 11 to do bad on purpose. Or collude with other schools so that we all agree to score 1 mark nation wide.
  7. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    Again, as they are criterion referenced, not norm referenced, there is no limit on how many can get a C (btw, this is not the same as "pass" as all grades from D to G are pass grades). You can see this in the wildly varying proportion of students getting an A* from year to year - there's no cut-off point for the number of students allowed in.
  8. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    I know that we do not follow norm referencing. However the percentage of students who pass in Year 11 (or at any sitting) has very steadily increased year on year. About 18-22% roughly get a C on the foundation paper. If suddenly more grade A and A* students are sitting a foundation paper to secure a grade C in Y10 it is my belief that these students will do very well (better than weaker Y11). I don't believe a much greater percentgae of students will be awarded a C on the foundation paper. It doesn't happen like that. Someone said on here last month the the number of students who get a C+ in Maths is determined by their KS2 results. I do not believe that the pass mark for a C on either tier is set before they sit the exam.
  9. pwc9000

    pwc9000 New commenter

    Edexcel Foundation Grade C boundary
    March 2012 153/200
    November 2011 129/200

    But the March papers were much easier so what do you expect??
  10. DM

    DM New commenter

    It isn't. It is set after all the papers have been marked.
  11. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    On a recent edexcel course, they said that they only set grade boundaries once all papers are marked and the results are in. I couldn't clarify what criteria they used from that point - this was when they went into waffle-mode or, more likely, I nodded off...
  12. As others have said boundaries are set after the majority of marks are collected and taking particular attention to the profile of results expected by the KS2 results of the students who took that qualification.
    I have that written in black and white from an exam board.
  13. Easier - yes.
    24 marks easier - I don't believe so.
    Some students I worked with scored in the high 130's on the November 2011 papers in a formal mock (ie a solid C) but got high 140's in this sitting which is a D grade. They were 'solid Cs' in my experience based on the mock and classork but fell short in this exam due to the jump in boundaries.
    It does bring into serious doubt the ability of those who set the exam if they are so inconsistantly difficult.
  14. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    The awarding bodies are allowed to set grade boundaries only when they have sufficient evidence as to the difficulty of the current Paper - i.e. when most if not all of the provisional marks are on the system.
  15. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    I agree with maths HOD.
    Edexcel Linear - 45% approx got C+
    Edexcel Modular - 61% approx C+
    Whereas no difference in summer.

  16. i had students getting a d in november still getting a d in march a near 20% swing i had students getting 150-1-2 and still not improving their grades we are submitting nearly all the top end marks for remarking and at least 1 parent wil complain to edexcel and ofqual .
    this is not the way to treat our kids i had kids coming in at half term and they improved there marks significantly and were not rewarded for their efforts one parent has point blank refused to let his child retake the exam again in june if they increase it like this time a c will be nearly 180/200 .
    i am fed up of people saying its the easier paper ,clearly it is easier than the higher paper but for the kids that do it it is not the easier option and we are as professionals allowing edexcel and others to detract from their efforts .
    to get a c a percentage mark of 76% had to be achieved in the higher paper to get an A it was only 62% .

  17. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    I wanted to try and explain my first post a tiny bit. I know some people don't think I'm right about Early Entry, but consider this
    Let's assume....
    10000 students sit maths foundation maths exam. All students are genuine foundation students. We know from awarding bodies that in the region of 20% get a C on foundation. This DOES NOT fluctuate that much. So 2000 students would get a C
    Now assume a different situation where we have 12000 students sit the foundation exam. 10000 of these are the same type of student described above, the other 2000 though are early entry Y10 students who are high ability that schools have put in just to secure a C (we know this is happening regularly and for no real reason). The result the C grades on Higher tier go disproportionatley to the higher grade students. It's wrong.
    Also, another interesting fact
    For 30 of our borderline C/D students we did OCR January entry and Edexcel March wentry to give them 2 attempts at their GCSE. The students had mainly been prepared using Edexcel papers etc..., so there was a bias towards Edexcel potentially
    In January 18 of these students achieved their C
    The results unfortunatley came after the Edexcel papers were sat. Students were more prepared for the March exam (trust me!!!!), They were all psyched up and everything. Lots of exam prep etc... of the same 30 students who did Edexcel foundation - not one of them got a grade C. How!!! And then people ask why I support 2 entries in Y11 for borderline students. It's just wrong.

  18. so do something about it complain everyone puts up with this the kids deserve better
    i have complained to everyone 24 marks is too much of a swing upwards
  19. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    Easy solution dont do early entry. (Getting rid of it might be one of the small number of Mr Gove's decisiions that I actually agree with).
    The nature of the cohort affecting the boundaries is just one of so many reasons why its wrong.
    (We have had this debate before so I will add that except for a small (relatively) number of studenst who may drop out of school or for other reasons shoulkd be early entered)
    Anyone who thinks the grade boundaries are set before the exams are marked is very badly informed. Of course you would HOPE this was the case and that exams were fair and designed to test the students - but they aren't. At bets they distinguish between the best and the worst of any particular cohort, so if you cohort is particulary strong then tough.
    I can guarantee that many more able students are early entered - at my last school the head forced me to enter everyone (EVEN the higher teir garde A kids) to ensure the got a C.
    Clearly have this results are going to unfairly elevate the grade boundaries compared to when the whole cohort takes the exam.
    As more and more eschools jumped on the early entry band wagon the problem gets worse.

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