Describing examination performance: grade criteria in public examinations

One of the main objectives of the current moves to introduce grade criteria into GCSE examinations is the desire to make more explicit the "likely levels of competence and the knowledge that might be expected from those who obtain a particular grade" (DES, 1982, quoted in SEC, 1984). The purpose of this paper is to discuss the extent to which it is possible to achieve this objective and briefly to explore some of the consequences of trying to do so.

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