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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:02 pm
Posts: 65
Hi All,
my DDs are taking the exams next year and I am trying to understand the percentages required for the new grading system. I find it helpful to have a target to aim for.

What I have gleamed over the past few days is:

Maths: grade 4 (20%) , grade7 (57%)
Eng Lang: grade4 (45%), grade7 (68%)
Physics: grade4(28%), grade7 (55%)

I understand that these will not be identical year on year and based on the cohort, but they will have to roughly be the same + or – 2% say.

Does anyone else have a better understanding of the percentages for the above and for other subjects?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:59 am
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I really don't think you can ever be sure of where the percentages for grades will be year on year as the algorithms used to determine grade boundaries use a mixture of norm and criterion referencing. This means that if a large number of the cohort perform exceptionally badly or exceptionally well on a particular paper, the grades don't get skewed. When my DD did A level Maths a few years ago, one of the papers was so hard that the A boundary was well down in the 60s; on one of the other papers it was into the 80s as it was much easier, or at least, most of the students did better. I heard that this year one of the boards had 26% for a pass mark in Physics so as not to disadvantage students on what was seen as a hard paper. I do not think your assertion about being within 1-2% holds up. I don't think you need to worry about it to be honest - that is the school's job and your son should be aiming for the best he can do.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:21 pm
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+1 Grade boundaries are set after the papers have been marked not before. No-one can tell you what they will be - not even the people who are setting the papers.

Relax and just encourage you DDs to do their best. Teachers get access to additional practice papers and lots of additional resources via Exam Boards.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 3:09 pm
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
the other point to note is that, at least in my experience of maths and english papers this year, the earlier questions are more straightforward (often multiple choice) whereas later questions get progressively harder and with more marks available - so some percentages are more "equal! than others!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:16 pm 
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There's no multiple guess in Edexcel maths - which board has this?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:55 pm 
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
AQA has a few "circle your answer" questions to start with even on the higher tier. As an LSA I am sometimes dealing with pupils who potentially struggle to get all of these right (and really should be doing something other than GCSE) . Similarly the english (language) paper starts with a 4-mark "true or false" comprehension question, followed by a "language techniques" 8-mark, then longer "compare and contrast" type questions with 16 and 24 marks. Yes it is formulaic -- and they have papers in the same format from year 7 onwards....


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:01 pm 
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That's not good - the reason these disappeared from Maths O level when it became GCSE was because boys outperformed girls on such questions. They did not appear on AQA GCSE maths papers in the past ... a retrograde step imho.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:02 pm
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my simplistic view is per subject the percentage cannot differ much year on year. In a weak year a top mark say of 60% has to have some correlation to a stronger year where the top mark is say 80%. Probably an extreme case but surely they are both not given 9s?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:18 pm 
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Grades are both criterion and norm referenced ...

This is how grade 9s were awarded in 2017 https://ofqual.blog.gov.uk/2017/04/05/s ... new-gcses/


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:25 pm 
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Thanks Guest55

that makes a lot of sense


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