Thursday 25 March 2021

Expedited Exams


Expedited Exams

Reinvention of the Exam System 2021

As we approach 2021’s take on the exam season, I thought I would provide a reminder of the normal examination process which has been developed and refined over a number of years: 

1.     The Exam Board draft a curriculum four years in advance, including design of programmes of study and assessment processes;

2.     The Exam Board prepare and disseminate specifications, specimen materials, exemplar schemes of work, specimen assessment materials, grade descriptors and exemplar standards;

3.      After extensive consultation and drafting, a paper is set;

4.      Exam timetables are organised; pupils sit exam;

5.     Post exam, Exam Boards hold lengthy standardisation meetings in which moderation occurs and standards are set;

6.      Examiners are trained on standards and pass a standardisation process prior to live marking;

7.      Examiners undertake live marking which is subject to intensive scrutiny throughout to ensure maintenance of standard;

8.      Level scores are added together and totals converted to a grade;

9.      The Exam Boards compare grades distribution to expected national distribution based on prior attainment;

10.   Ofqual evaluates outcomes for fairness. Possible grade inflations are closely monitored using progress matrix and national reference tests;

11.   Grades are sent to pupils;

12.   Exam Boards run an appeals process developed over many years.

In 2021, schools are essentially being asked to replace this process with their own system, in a matter of days.

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