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  1. An Item Response Theory approach to the maintenance of standards in public examinations in England

    Christopher Wheadon

    Every year outcomes from public examinations in the UK rise: politicians congratulate pupils on their hard earned achievement; the media questions whether this achievement is real; those responsible for administrating the examinations defend their standards; various subject councils and employers ...

  2. Filling and bridging the gap in languages: How are foundation certificates being used in the progression to GCSE?

    Robert Hales

    This is an investigation into the Foundation Certificates in Secondary Education (FCSEs), which are currently only available in some Modern Foreign Languages (MFLs)....

  3. Case studies in summative assessment: an investigation

    Claire Whitehouse

    This paper reports on a qualitative study that explored the features of a good case study for use in summative assessment at GCSE and GCE. The study consisted of two focus groups and two interviews conducted with examiners, two focus groups with teachers and two focus groups with students....

  4. Targeting questions to grades in GCSE Mathematics B

    Ashleigh Seldon

    For GCSE Mathematics B, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) provide grade descriptors indicating the level of attainment characteristic of grades A, C and F. These are designed to provide a general indication of the anticipated learning outcomes at each grade....

  5. Is the English Baccalaureate the most appropriate academic core? Subject choice and attainment at GCSE and A-level

    Stuart Cadwallader

    The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) was introduced to encourage the uptake of a set of academic subjects which the government believe will improve the prospects of young people from all backgrounds (Department for Education, 2010)....

  6. Analysis of the trends in early entry at GCSE

    Rachel Taylor

    The following paper aims to outline the trends in early entry to GCSE over recent years, drawing upon data available in the literature and reporting on an analysis of all awarding body data from 2007 to 2011....

  7. Classification accuracy and consistency in GCSE and A Level examinations offered by the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) November 2008 to June 2009

    Christopher Wheadon and Ian Stockford

    The aim of this study was to investigate the classification accuracy and consistency in individual units of GCSE and A level examinations offered by the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) from November 2008 to June 2009....

  8. The value of GCSEs

    Lesley Meyer

    Since being introduced for first teaching in 1986, GCSE qualifications have been subject to much criticism and their value is now being questioned. This paper gives a brief overview of the background to the GCSE qualification system, and then considers factors against and in favour of it....