Grade boundaries suck (why are we one of the only ones doing it (UK))

Watch this thread
1st superstar
Badges: 22
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#1
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#1
this island (the UK) and there schools are far too obsessed about "being the best school" and we are constantly competing to "get the best grades" why can they just abolish grade boundaries, abolish exam boards and abolish the leagues table
1
reply
mgi
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#2
Report 2 years ago
#2
(Original post by 1st superstar)
this island (the UK) and there schools are far too obsessed about "being the best school" and we are constantly competing to "get the best grades" why can they just abolish grade boundaries, abolish exam boards and abolish the leagues table
Yes, and yet still UK schools have some of worst educated kids overall in the world! The teachers do most of the work and the thinking for the students!
1
reply
Notnek
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#3
Report 2 years ago
#3
(Original post by 1st superstar)
this island (the UK) and there schools are far too obsessed about "being the best school" and we are constantly competing to "get the best grades" why can they just abolish grade boundaries, abolish exam boards and abolish the leagues table
So you want a system where a student taking an exam in e.g. 2019 gets a worst grade than they would have done in 2018 because the exam was harder?
0
reply
1st superstar
Badges: 22
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#4
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#4
(Original post by Sir Cumference)
So you want a system where a student taking an exam in e.g. 2019 gets a worst grade than they would have done in 2018 because the exam was harder?
no I want examiners to make the effort so that the tests are of the same difficulty every year
0
reply
TCL
Badges: 17
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#5
Report 2 years ago
#5
You are right that cliff edge grade boundaries do not make sense given the level of discrepancy in marking. OFSTED have said that 2 different grades may accurately reflect a candidate's performance which is clearly ridiculous.

There have been some outrageous grade changes reported on here (even though the "review of marking" system means changes are much less likely) and most people do not have the resources to challenge their grades so nobody knows how many might be wrong.

There is a lot of trust given to the boards for setting grade boundaries and they do not necessarily appear to deserve that trust!
3
reply
Notnek
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#6
Report 2 years ago
#6
(Original post by 1st superstar)
no I want examiners to make the effort so that the tests are of the same difficulty every year
That’s what they try currently but often the difficulty varies. By “make the effort”, what specifically do you mean?
0
reply
1st superstar
Badges: 22
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#7
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#7
(Original post by Sir Cumference)
So you want a system where a student taking an exam in e.g. 2019 gets a worst grade than they would have done in 2018 because the exam was harder?
e.g if you say that every year you need 68/80 on a maths higher tier paper every year to get a grade 9 it motivates exams boards to make exams to the same level of difficulty every and not use the excuse "it doesn't matter if the paper is bad/hard because the grade boundaries will be lower" or "we are allowed to go off spec because the grade boundaries will drastically decrease" it's so annoying when teachers say aim for 40/80 for a grade 7 but then you do your actual exams only to find out that that 40/80 is now only worth a grade 6/6+ and NOT a grade 7 get rid of grade boundaries and exam boards!!
0
reply
.unknown
Badges: 17
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#8
Report 2 years ago
#8
(Original post by 1st superstar)
no I want examiners to make the effort so that the tests are of the same difficulty every year
They do make the effort to make the test of the same difficulty that's why the grade boundaries tend to stay constant. What you're saying is ridiculous because grade boundaries are there to help YOU. If everyone found the exams hard theres lower grade boundary which is GOOD.
1
reply
mgi
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#9
Report 2 years ago
#9
(Original post by Sir Cumference)
So you want a system where a student taking an exam in e.g. 2019 gets a worst grade than they would have done in 2018 because the exam was harder?
That is not how the system works. the exam would be harder for everyone. There is no evidence that exams have got harder. And just try to remember that UK school students don't compare well, educationally, with the rest of the world. Their literacy and numeracy levels are generally lower. Stop moaning , work harder and start respecting your teachers!
0
reply
Notnek
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#10
Report 2 years ago
#10
(Original post by mgi)
That is not how the system works. the exam would be harder for everyone. There is no evidence that exams have got harder. And just try to remember that UK school students don't compare well, educationally, with the rest of the world. Their literacy and numeracy levels are generally lower. Stop moaning , work harder and start respecting your teachers!
Yes that’s not how the system works because we have variable grade boundaries. I don’t understand what you’re trying to say.
0
reply
Adam :)
Badges: 14
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#11
Report 2 years ago
#11
tryhards
0
reply
Notnek
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#12
Report 2 years ago
#12
(Original post by 1st superstar)
e.g if you say that every year you need 68/80 on a maths higher tier paper every year to get a grade 9 it motivates exams boards to make exams to the same level of difficulty every and not use the excuse "it doesn't matter if the paper is bad/hard because the grade boundaries will be lower" or "we are allowed to go off spec because the grade boundaries will drastically decrease" it's so annoying when teachers say aim for 40/80 for a grade 7 but then you do your actual exams only to find out that that 40/80 is now only worth a grade 6/6+ and NOT a grade 7 get rid of grade boundaries and exam boards!!
There's no evidence that it's even possible for a few exam creators to make exactly the same difficulty every year if they have to use completely new questions each year. Unless they trial the exam to a sample of students but that won't be possible.

Yes I agree this is annoying but it will get less annoying as there is more data and you can see what the average grade boundaries are. Is this annoyance a big enough deal to consider getting rid of grade boundaries? I'd need to see evidence that students not knowing what grade they're at throughout the year causes worse performing students. It could even be the opposite - if a students knows that they need e.g. 70% to get an A then maybe they won't try as hard to improve? Who knows.
0
reply
Adam :)
Badges: 14
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#13
Report 2 years ago
#13
tryhards
1
reply
1st superstar
Badges: 22
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#14
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#14
(Original post by .unknown)
They do make the effort to make the test of the same difficulty that's why the grade boundaries tend to stay constant. What you're saying is ridiculous because grade boundaries are there to help YOU. If everyone found the exams hard theres lower grade boundary which is GOOD.
honey what?? they are absolutely not make the effort went it comes top exams in general e.g
the paper 1 AQA combined trilogy chemistry paper 1 2018 was a P.O.S compared to the 2019 paper 1 AQA combined trilogy chemistry paper 1 (the 2019 was a piece of cake for me )

OCR last year made a big mistake for their English lit paper

the paper 1 AQA combined trilogy biology paper 1 2019 went off-spec by asking about when asking "beta blocker" was like TH this is not in the spec I literately left that 6 marker blank when i saw it and genuinely thought that "I didn't do enough revision" turns out i was partially wrong

why did around 6% of students achieved i grade 9 for OCR English when only around 2% achieved the same grade if they did AQA or Edexcel GCSE English (BIG hint and one of the many reasons why exams board need to go. OR make it so that schools are only allowed to do one exam board (e.g if the school picks AQA then they should do AQA for ALL of their subjects so no "let's do AQA for french and Edexcel for maths")). Have at least all schools within same county do the same exams boards for each subject e.g have every secondary in Cambridgeshire do Edexcel maths etc far less of a pain when parents want to move their kid to another school etc
0
reply
mgi
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#15
Report 2 years ago
#15
(Original post by Sir Cumference)
There's no evidence that it's even possible for a few exam creators to make exactly the same difficulty every year if they have to use completely new questions each year. Unless they trial the exam to a sample of students but that won't be possible.

Yes I agree this is annoying but it will get less annoying as there is more data and you can see what the average grade boundaries are. Is this annoyance a big enough deal to consider getting rid of grade boundaries? I'd need to see evidence that students not knowing what grade they're at throughout the year causes worse performing students. It could even be the opposite - if a students knows that they need e.g. 70% to get an A then maybe they won't try as hard to improve? Who knows.
Uk school students are too soft. And where in the world are there exam systems without grade boundaries? The OP is just moaning but didnt name any countries that dont have grade boundaries! I think KS3 school exams should be made harder though because too many kids are chilling out at GCSE!
0
reply
1st superstar
Badges: 22
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#16
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#16
(Original post by mgi)
countries that dont have grade boundaries!
France, America
0
reply
_gcx
Badges: 21
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#17
Report 2 years ago
#17
This is just absurd. Even universities scale results if a paper was found unexpectedly hard. It is impossible to predict with 100% accuracy how students will find a question. You see on examiner reports that some question were anticipated to be easy, but candidates struggled and some questions that were intended to be quite challenging but that candidates found straightforward. They will always aim to make exams comparable difficulty but they'll never be of the same difficulty. Small changes in grade boundaries ensure that people are not disadvantaged for having sat a harder paper.

(Original post by 1st superstar)
France, America
Might be misunderstanding the American system, but my impression is that they do not have centrally set exams until university admissions exams eg. SATs, etc. I'm pretty sure even SATs are done relatively. So different high schools would have different policies.
0
reply
TCL
Badges: 17
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#18
Report 2 years ago
#18
I don't think this is just about moderation, it is also about whether grade boundaries make sense - should 84% be viewed as more similar to 74% or 85%? Just because it falls the wrong side of the boundary, it is treated the same as a score significantly less instead of one which is a small amount more.

It is also hitting gap year applicants to university. 8 at GCSE is actually much more like an A than an A*, loads of gap year applicants have As which would have been 8s, but they are being treated differently.

Grades are a very clumsy way of scoring achievement.
0
reply
学生の父
Badges: 19
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#19
Report 2 years ago
#19
I wonder if there is a better system than reporting grades, though? We all want consistency over successive exam series, between exam boards, and even across different subjects.

What I mean is, if I am an employer or a higher education admissions tutor, I need to be able to quickly evaluate how someone with an OCR Music A-level sat in June 2018 compares with someone with an Eduqas English Literature A-level sat in June 2019.
2
reply
1st superstar
Badges: 22
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#20
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#20
(Original post by TCL)
I don't think this is just about moderation, it is also about whether grade boundaries make sense - should 84% be viewed as more similar to 74% or 85%? Just because it falls the wrong side of the boundary, it is treated the same as a score significantly less instead of one which is a small amount more.

It is also hitting gap year applicants to university. 8 at GCSE is actually much more like an A than an A*, loads of gap year applicants have As which would have been 8s, but they are being treated differently.

Grades are a very clumsy way of scoring achievement.
true they should either:
a. keep the grade boundaries the same every year
b. do it based on percentage and mark and not grade (so no "you got an A" be more like "you got 85%" or you got 34/50)
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Has advance information helped during your exams?

Yes (66)
66.67%
No (25)
25.25%
I didn't use it to prepare (8)
8.08%

Watched Threads

View All