June 21, 2019

Over the last few weeks, I've been working on a document that tells the full story about grade (un)reliability, including

*  why grade reliability matters

*  the problematic nature of the quest for the 'right' mark

*  the distinction between 'accuracy' and 'reliability'.....

December 6, 2018

On 27th November 2018, Ofqual published some important measures of the reliability of GCSE and A level examinations in 14 subjects - “reliability” being defined by Ofqual as “the probability that the grade as awarded is the same as the grade that would be awarded had t...

October 28, 2018

For many months now, the website of Pearson, the owners of the edexcel examination board, has been boasting that “99.2% of our grades were accurate on results day”,  a claim Pearson have been using to boost their marketing.

This claim is wrong. And it is amazi...

October 28, 2018

In principle, the exam appeals process should right inadvertent wrongs; in practice, the process is deeply unfair, as is the process by which the original grades were awarded. 

To explain why, imagine that you take a bite from one side of a cherry. A few moments later,...

September 2, 2017

UK newspapers have recently reported two instances of "teachers behaving badly": the "leakage" of examination questions by examiners who are also teachers, and a story about a school that manipulates its performance in school league tables by expelling "weak" students...

August 21, 2017

Over the last several years, Ofqual, the regulator of school examinations in England and Wales, has been conducting an extensive research programme on the reliability of GCSE and A Level grades. Some key results were published in November 2016 in a report entitled Mark...

August 21, 2017

Grade misallocations real...

​My blog How reliable are GCSE and A level grades?  featured a chart, published by the exam regulator Ofqual, showing, for six subjects, the probability that a GCSE or A level candidate is awarded the right grade: so, for example, for physi...

May 20, 2017

Reducing emissions can never solve the problem of rising global temperatures. The only way to achieve this is by the direct extraction of CO2 from the atmosphere.

May 15, 2017

Many recipients of a service - such as elderly care - can't judge whether the service provision is good or bad. And even if they can, they often can't complain. Why doesn't the regulator protect the weak and the vulnerable?

May 11, 2017

A parable in which a young doctor, whose only wish is to look after her patients, is under pressure to run a financial budget too...

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September 2, 2017

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