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PiXL Curve Maths Exam Grade Boundaries

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by cach9801, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. cach9801

    cach9801 New commenter

    Any other schools do the PiXL Curve exam? Whilst I was not hugely impressed with the quality, the 'grade boundaries' are significantly more alarming:
    Foundation 0-10 (out of 240) = U, 11-33 = '1', 34-57 = '2', 58-81 = '3', 82-105 = '4', and 106-240 = '5'.
    Higher 0-10 = U, 11-25 = '4', 26-41 = '5', 41-71 = '6', 72-104 = '7', 105-137 = '8', 138-240 = '9'.

    Therefore pupils on foundation need only gain 35% of the marks to get equivalent to a C grade, and pupils on higher need only 4.6% for equivalent to a C grade! Also, grade boundaries for the upper grades are way too low.

    I'm curious what other PiXL schools are doing in terms of reporting these scores to children, parents and teachers.
  2. pair_of_argyles

    pair_of_argyles Occasional commenter

    Ah PiXl my new favourite organisation sadly I am not allowed to say more. But on to your question. Don't give out the grades just report the scores and give out the question analysis. If pressed just state that no one knows what the grade boundaries are going to be in 9 to 1 exams If pressed harder give out the grade boundaries for the old GCSE. If backed into a corner by an irate DH just make-up a grade based on the student's photograph in the year book smiling A-B; neutral C; snarling or smirking D-E. This I guarantee will be just as accurate as any "club" prediction ,
  3. mathsman

    mathsman Occasional commenter

    PiXL........I could say so much but can't....
    cach9801 likes this.
  4. catbanj

    catbanj Occasional commenter

    I spent this afternoon looking at my results.... and came to the conclusion it wasn't worth the effort. What they seem to have done is assume their cohort is the same as the national one and allocated grades to maintain the proportions from last summer.... with the mad result that my kids on the A/B bounadry came out with 9s! They seem to have ignored that their cohort is not whole picture as the traditional Pixl schools are those struggling to move Ds to Cs.... not many grammars or high achieving ones I'd imagine.

    Our Leadership gave out the certificates to the kids. Fortunately I knew beforehand and put the % Pixl had used for each grade and compared it with the figures Edexcel released (and then withdrew). My kids were clever enough to realise it meant nothing. I'm still expecting complaints from parents when the first data reports go out in a fortnight and the grades are at least 2 below Pixl
  5. rich_m

    rich_m New commenter

    We have refused to hand out certificates, as like your results catbanj, the amount of high grades are frightening. If students received their certificates we would undoubtedly be spending the rest of the year battling against complacency. English are in the same position.

    Our year 11s had an assembly last Friday and it was sold to them as a guide to what they could achieve were they to work as hard as every other year 11 out there along with the inevitable "shuffle down" of top grades when the private/independent schools were added into the mix. Initial response from year 11 seemed positive, however the amount of careful managing this is going to take again makes me wonder what the point was in the first place.
    catbanj likes this.
  6. Danio

    Danio New commenter

    What were
    What were the boundaries edexcel released and then withdrew?
  7. pi r squared

    pi r squared Occasional commenter

  8. catbanj

    catbanj Occasional commenter

    It's not delivered what it was supposed to that's for sure. Honestly it's been a waste of time for us and now we are going to have a letter sent home to parents trying to explain what's gone on and try and avoid the thousands of phone calls we'll get when we send the more reasonable estimates home in a couple of weeks time.

    We now wish we'd not bothered
  9. evivyover

    evivyover New commenter

    We didnt even give back our pixl grades...choosing to politely ignore...the test were not differentiated well anc boundries poor...not a true reflection if anything...pointless in my opinion...
  10. catbanj

    catbanj Occasional commenter

    The feeling across our local HoDs meeting was that it was all a waste of time. Not many people are planning to do the next curve, which will make the results of that even more inaccurate
  11. pi r squared

    pi r squared Occasional commenter

    I would agree that, for what they are worth in reality, the grade boundaries look like they might as well have been made up by a hundred monkeys at a hundred typewriters. However, I would still argue that there is a merit in having a sense of how your Year 10s have performed in line with other schools nationally - a kind of standardisation process that you simply wouldn't have been able to get by sitting a mock exam in isolation. Whilst I do consider it to be absolutely, morally wrong to tell a student they have "earnt" a Grade 4 by answering less than 5% of questions correctly (or a supposedly cream-of-the-crop Grade 9 by answering just 60%), I would imagine there is enough you could do with the distribution of results to get more of a feel for how your kids will do to elevate the process above "waste of time".
  12. Elfrune

    Elfrune New commenter

    Provided the schools taking the PiXL papers are representative of the whole population, which I doubt they are. I wonder how many independent/private/grammar schools are in PiXL (or even take GCSE maths - they may opt for something else) compared with secondary modern/comprehensive/other?
  13. pi r squared

    pi r squared Occasional commenter

    No, they almost certainly are not. And there's loads of stuff that PiXL could have provided to help with data analysis and predictions, but didn't - for example, the regression line between KS2 results and Curve performance would have been invaluable and enabled schools to see where they 'fit' on prior attainment against the rest of the PiXL schools alongside the results. Even the mean and s.d. of KS2 results compared with the mean and s.d. of Curve results would have offered us the tools to be able to do some statistical jiggery-pokery, though as far as I can see none of that is forthcoming (we are a PiXL member but didn't partake in the Curve, so don't know if participants received more information than I can access).

    But even with all those points, I believe there is still some value in knowing your cohort is in line with (or not in line with) other cohorts in other schools. We have all worked almost completely in isolation with this new syllabus and with no grade boundaries attached to any of the exam board practice sets, it's somewhat difficult to gauge how well your students are doing compared with others. For example, we did AQA Practice Set 2 as our end of year mock and averaged 31% on the Foundation paper and 29% on the Higher. I was crapping myself that these results were pretty dreadful, but because we had collaborated with ten other schools in the area we were able to see that these results were in line with those schools. Do they represent the whole population: no. But we do know how we generally compare with those schools in terms of GCSE results and can infer a number of things as a result.

    If even with all that in mind, the opinion is still that it was a waste of time then I can only respect that as we didn't go through the process. But I would like to hope there is some salvageable use from it!

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