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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:08 pm 
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It appears the percentage of grade 9 distributed for the three sciences across nation was quite unprecedented. All three sciences exceeded a rather surprising 12% across nation as compared to other subjects like Mathematics and English, which were pitched at around 3% approx. I do wonder why there was such a huge discrepancy between subjects? After all grade 9 was meant to be quite elusive and certainly referred to as a prized possession by many - I am sure many OP's will disagree with that description. The grade boundaries for a 9 were set to as low as 65% of the raw score for some sciences.

Biology (9-1) - https://schoolsweek.co.uk/gcse-results-2018-biology/ - 12.3% students achieved the grade 9.
Chemistry (9-1) - https://schoolsweek.co.uk/gcse-results-2018-chemistry/ - 12.6% students achieved the grade 9.
Physics (9-1) - https://schoolsweek.co.uk/gcse-results-2018-physics/ - 12.2% students achieved the grade 9.

I do see in the older letter grading system last year approx. 42% (Chem, 2017) were awarded with an A* or an A, and the exam board seem to have worked out a formula to allocate 9's to around 12% of those, which does sound correct.

But should it really be awarded to as many as 12%? Do they need to fine tune the ratios between a 9, 8 and a 7?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:34 pm 
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The rules for awarding grade 9 were set a while back. Perhaps you've not read this?

https://ofqual.blog.gov.uk/2017/04/05/s ... new-gcses/


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:38 pm 
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Thanks and I see how they have worked it out. Without taking anything away from those who have achieved these grades, it does appear they are giving it out to far too many. Perhaps the calculation needs revisting to look at potentially reducing the top grade ratio. Just my personal opinion.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:06 am 
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MSD wrote:
Thanks and I see how they have worked it out. Without taking anything away from those who have achieved these grades, it does appear they are giving it out to far too many. Perhaps the calculation needs revisting to look at potentially reducing the top grade ratio. Just my personal opinion.



Your opinion is wrong IMHO


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:11 am 
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If the percentage of 9s is entirely dependent on the number of grades 7 or higher, then the "problem" (if it is a problem, not sure myself) is that the boundary for a 7 is too low.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:35 am 
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7 for AQA Physics this year was set at 50%, which does seem far too low. The problem here is that they have decided to give nearly 40% of all cohort sitting exam either a 9, 8 or a 7, and they will keep going down on raw scores until they have filled those numbers. Firstly, I think 40% maybe far too many for those top grades - effectively half of the country is getting them give or take. Even if that’s the past trend, they must seriously look at how many should be awarded a 9 out of those. To see a child get 9 despite scoring a very average 63% really takes the shine off the achievement in my opinion.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:45 am 
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So, now your child has finished GCSEs, let's change the boundaries dramatically, so that the next batch (which, incidentally, includes my son), look utterly rubbish compared with previous years? So that all the years before 2019 look to employers and universities as being super intelligent and the classes of 2019 and beyond are just thick?!

The whole point about grade boundaries is that it is meant to sort out the vagaries associated between varying cohorts and varying exam levels - the curriculum was new - in many schools, the science curriculum did not even get finished, the exam was set too high, meaning, under your system, nobody would likely have achieved above a 7....but employers and universities won't know that was the top grade - they would be looking for the 9s as they know they exist. Whole generations of kids would be d*mned, even as the very brightest of their cohort, to not being rewarded for being that.

Yes, it can't simply be that the top 3% of the cohort get the top grades, if everybody else only gets 10% in the exam, but there has to be an element of referencing across the years to ensure it is relatively fair and a child is not over penalised just because of the year they were born.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:53 am 
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Yes, agreed there has to be an element of referencing with previous years. But grade 9 is a completely new entity for sciences this year. By all means keep nearly half of the country on old A* and A(9,8,7 now), but no need to undervalue the highest grade 9 that much. They could have started with just 3% of the total 40% top band candidates rather than 12%. On that account the referencing logic is flawed as far as 9 is concerned.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:55 am 
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MSD - there was a previous thread on this topic, which was locked and you were asked not to start a new one

Sorry if you did see the message, I have copied it here for you:

Sally-Anne wrote:
[color=#0000FF]This has descended into a slanging match.

Thread locked. MSD, please do not attempt to open another thread on this topic.


I have also locked this thread.[/color]


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