Techniques for monitoring the comparability of examination standards

Techniques for monitoring the comparability of examination standards

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Techniques for monitoring the comparability of examination standards

England operates a qualifications market in which a small number of examining boards are accredited to offer relatively ‘,authentic’, curriculum-embedded examinations in a range of subject areas at a range of levels. Within this context, questions naturally arise as to whether examination standards are comparable: from board to board, from year to year, from subject to subject, and so on. This paper describes the outcomes of a major review into techniques for monitoring the comparability of examination standards, techniques which have been employed by the examining boards and regulatory authorities, in England, over the past fifty years or so. It explains how a range of different techniques have been developed and identifies an interesting evolutionary history. Trends in preference for judgemental and statistical approaches are considered in terms of systemic, social, technical and conceptual factors. Consideration is given to the extent to which progress has been made, and some of the challenges which still remain are highlighted.

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