Suzanne Chamberlain

The outcomes of national assessments in many countries provide 'qualifications' or 'credentials' that may be used to define the levels of students' knowledge and skills, for their own use and that of employers, higher education institutions and others. Qualification users, such as students, parents...
This paper presents the findings of a study designed to explore qualification users’ perceptions and experiences of reliability in the context of national assessment outcomes in England. The study consisted of 17 focus groups conducted across six sectors of qualification users: students, teachers,...
This paper describes an exploration into a reform of the A-level qualification in England in 2008; namely, the introduction of the ‘stretch and challenge’ policy. This policy was initiated by the exams regulator and determined that exam papers should be redesigned to encourage the application of...
This study formed part of a two-year investigation into the reliability of public examination outcomes in England and the current paper explores participants’ narratives relating to one of the themes that emerged from the study of public perceptions of assessment reliability. It examines how...
This paper presents the findings of a pilot study that explored students’ experiences of test anxiety when taking A-level examinations. Four focus groups were convened with a sample of 19 participants in the south of England to explore the triggers of test anxiety and the perceived need for...
This pilot study explored the relationship between test anxiety, heart rate and academic performance. The pilot trialled heart rate measurement procedures in an applied setting and tested the utility of a self-report test anxiety questionnaire that had been adapted to suit UK secondary school...
Thousands of examiners are employed to mark candidate scripts from the suite of public examinations offered to students during the compulsory and post-compulsory schooling phases in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. All examiners undergo training to ensure that they interpret correctly, and...
This report forms part of Ofqual’s Reliability of Results two-year research programme (Strand 3: ‘Public Perceptions of Reliability’). The aim was to conduct a number of focus groups to gauge public awareness of assessment reliability, and the degree to which the public wishes...
Assessing students’ work and awarding a mark requires human judgement. For example, two people assessing the same piece of work may disagree on whether a skill has been demonstrated to a particular level or whether a student’s written answer is clear. Or, a person may mark and then re-mark a piece...

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