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Exam results

(226 Posts)
Daisymae Tue 11-Aug-20 10:58:05

What an awful time for young people at the moment. Just to top it off after years of work a computer is downgrading marks in some instances which is going to penalise thousands of high performing students who go to schools where performance is below the norm. In TV this morning a girl in Scotland had consistently received A grades yet her results were 2 As and 3 Bs. At the moment students in England can't appeal, only the school. I really think that they should have stuck with teacher assessment and mocks. Going to be a lot of heartache in the coming weeks.

paddyanne Tue 11-Aug-20 11:06:35

Students gere have the right of appeal and around 100.000 appeal their results every year .This year that was up by 25% .
The FM said last week if this had happened to her she would be out there appealing with the rest and would find out what went wrong.Yesterday she apologised andsaid it will be fixed TODAY .Not often that a govenment makes a public apology for making a wrong ,though a very difficult decision but we'll see how it works out.My GC who had exams got the A's expected so no appeals needed.However the rest of the Uk is using the same system as is much of europe
I hear that the expected figure of appeals in England and Wales is around 52% ..lets hear Bojo apologise for it too.....lol

Calendargirl Tue 11-Aug-20 11:12:08

Yes, I was impressed to hear NS apologising.

I wish all people in important positions admitted it when they get it wrong, yes and I mean Boris amongst many others.

We all make mistakes and bad judgements, you would have more faith in those in authority if they acknowledged they are not perfect. Not a sign of weakness in my opinion.

growstuff Tue 11-Aug-20 11:19:52

I'm not at all sure how appeals will work. The problem is that schools have very little evidence on which to base marks. Not all schools do full mocks. It would have been different if course work had still existed and teachers weren't under pressure to inflate grades for their own targets.

It's a nightmare and I hope, especially with A levels, that universities and employers will be flexible.

SueDonim Tue 11-Aug-20 11:24:14

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Franbern Tue 11-Aug-20 11:44:38

We are waiting with bated breath for Thursday morning. G.son has two good A levels under his belt (B in Maths and A in physics), but need an A in Chemistry and either A & B in Further Maths to get the course he want, We know he has been predicted A for both of these, he feels that if he had taken the exam he would have got A* in Chemistry. However, he comes from one of those area schools/colleges where we are concerned he may be downgraded.

growstuff Tue 11-Aug-20 12:13:26

As he's already got AB, he should approach the university and ask if it will still take him, if his other A levels are slightly below the offer. I would have thought he has a strong case. Universities are struggling with a shortage of overseas applications this year and will almost certainly have spare places.

crazyH Tue 11-Aug-20 12:18:55

Oh dear - my poor grandson - he's not exactly an A student, but I hope he will get the Bs he needs to do the Course he's applied for ..

Lucca Tue 11-Aug-20 12:23:47

This could backfire badly in the exam boards with massive appeals being lodged.

Lucca Tue 11-Aug-20 12:25:08

crazyH

Oh dear - my poor grandson - he's not exactly an A student, but I hope he will get the Bs he needs to do the Course he's applied for ..

Well IMO if he’s worked hard and been predicted those grades he certainly should awarded them ! Good luck 😉

growstuff Tue 11-Aug-20 12:40:05

I don't know what the exam boards are going to do about it. In the last couple of years, exams haven't really been remarked anyway. What they do is look through the paper and decide whether the marking criteria have been applied according to instructions. If they have, they don't regrade.

I suspect that if there is a change, they'll have to change the algorithm for the whole cohort, so that (for example) more weight is given to the teacher assessment, which unfortunately is unfair to those pupils whose teachers didn't inflate the estimated grade.

Daisymae Tue 11-Aug-20 12:44:59

Because it's an algorithm downgrading is likely for the higher performing students in the schools who don't do so well. This is less likely to affect private schools. Nearly 40percent of teacher predicted grades are going down by one or two levels. Seems a massive injustice.

crazyH Tue 11-Aug-20 12:45:22

Thankyou Lucca 👍

Lucca Tue 11-Aug-20 12:50:31

Daisymae

Because it's an algorithm downgrading is likely for the higher performing students in the schools who don't do so well. This is less likely to affect private schools. Nearly 40percent of teacher predicted grades are going down by one or two levels. Seems a massive injustice.

Crazy. Why ask teachers in the first place if they don’t trust them?

SueDonim Tue 11-Aug-20 12:53:21

Those of you with GC awaiting exam results on might want to read this short article. It’s very interesting. wonkhe.com/blogs/what-if-the-problem-is-a-levels-and-highers-not-2020/

growstuff Tue 11-Aug-20 13:45:26

SueDonim

Those of you with GC awaiting exam results on might want to read this short article. It’s very interesting. wonkhe.com/blogs/what-if-the-problem-is-a-levels-and-highers-not-2020/

I couldn't agree more!

I don't know much about Highers, but A levels belong in a museum. They're really not the gold standard people claim they are. Unfortunately, there have been many attempts to change them, but the traditionalist have always won.

We'll probably end up with some upgrades this year, so the number achieving higher grades will increase. What that will mean for those going to university, I don't know. We could end up with a system where more are admitted to the first year, but more end up leaving at the end of the year because they're not coping.

growstuff Tue 11-Aug-20 13:49:18

Lucca

Daisymae

Because it's an algorithm downgrading is likely for the higher performing students in the schools who don't do so well. This is less likely to affect private schools. Nearly 40percent of teacher predicted grades are going down by one or two levels. Seems a massive injustice.

Crazy. Why ask teachers in the first place if they don’t trust them?

They asked teachers to rank their pupils and to give predictions. The boards then looked at the school/college's previous performance. Historically, if a school had always achieved 10% A* (or whatever), they gave the top 10% on the lust an A*. Schools always inflate predictions to give pupils the benefit of the doubt.

The problem this year will be that most pupils won't have any evidence on which to base an appeal.

SueDonim Tue 11-Aug-20 15:54:03

Well, in Scotland John Swinney has just announced that all exam awards will now revert to the original teacher estimates with the proviso that no pupil will have their award downgraded. All university offers under the estimates will be honoured (though no clue as to how the govt will pay for that.)

I’m pleased that these poor children have at last got their rightful rewards but it is shameful that many have spent the last week in upset and distress over something that was avoidable.

It’s also shameful that John Swinney hasn’t offered his resignation. I don’t know what he would have to do before Sturgeon would sack him. angry

AGAA4 Tue 11-Aug-20 16:02:31

This seems to have been a postcode lottery. As usual the poorest children in struggling schools will suffer as they are looking at the performance of the school. This is very unfair on hard working, bright children who attend these schools and would have done well in the exams.

growstuff Tue 11-Aug-20 16:17:55

I was just reading about that SueDonim. English and Welsh exam boards will now be under pressure to do the same. It will be interesting to see how the results compare with previous years. Universities will almost certainly have capacity for those who reach their offer grades, even if there are more of them because of the drop in overseas students.

Parsley3 Tue 11-Aug-20 16:19:16

I agree AGA the perception is that schools in certain postcodes are incapable of improving exam performance. I don’t mean this year, of course, but the SQA should never have relied on an algorithm based on historical performance.
Swinney has hardly a shred of credibility left. He should resign.

growstuff Tue 11-Aug-20 16:44:44

Believe it or not, a school's performance might show an upward or downward trend, but it doesn't usually change that dramatically from one year to the next. If it does, eyebrows are often raised.

The real inequalities happen long before pupils get anywhere near an exam paper. It's also true that teachers usually overestimate predicted grades.

GagaJo Tue 11-Aug-20 16:45:28

Even worse has happened with the International Baccalaureate Diploma (same level as A level but world wide) results. The IB have also used the school's historical data too. Many schools have had their results slashed by 2 or 3 whole grades across the board.

The IB exam administration is in Wales. As it's in the UK, Ofqual have been called in to intervene.

Norway is saying that unless a fix is put in place, they will stop using the International Baccalaureate. There is world wide outrage about it.

Daisymae Tue 11-Aug-20 16:47:38

Well I think that the Scottish government have acted to remedy something that is clearly unfair. Will the English government preempt or is there to be a major backlash before anything is done? Don't hold your breath

growstuff Tue 11-Aug-20 17:20:45

Can Ofqual intervene in the IB? I thought the IBO HQ is in Geneva.

I had an IB student this year who was awarded a 3. The school (a high achieving one) had predicted a 4. Quite honestly, I think she was lucky to get the 3 because she's bone idle. She's shouting "not fair" and I actually hope she's not upgraded because she doesn't deserve it.