How should maths exams be graded?

2 October 2012
How should maths exams be graded?
The focus in education this summer has been the grading of GCSE exams. Pupils across the country have received lower exam grades than they would have done in December and last summer.

Why has this problem arisen? Grade inflation has been an issue that needed to be addressed since the introduction of GCSEs and absolute grading. Past governments have allowed grading to get out of control and something did need to be done. However making the grading so much tougher in one exam period was extremely short sighted but has helped highlight the failings of the current grading system.

The solution? Here at Create A Test we believe the only solution is to set grade boundaries based on pupils position within their year group (relative grading). For example the top 10% of pupils get an A*, the next 10% get an A, the next 20% a B etc. This is the system we once had in the UK and one we think should be re-introduced.

Absolute VS Relative Grading. People arguing for absolute grading state that pupils can achieve their potential in an absolute system. The cost though is often grade inflation and higher stared A grades due to politcal interference.People arguing for relative grading say that it will remove political interference and that absolute grading is really just a slowly moving relative grading system anyway.

The return the O levels. Though we do think that there needs to be a change the GCSE exams dont necessarily need replacing. The introduction of relative grading by itself could be enough.

What is your opinion? Is the current system actually working and this is a blip? Would relative grading be enough? Do we need O levels to be re-introduced?

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