Research blog

Does transparency equal trust?

Does transparency equal trust?

Kate Kelly
Published 17 Aug 2021

Kate Kelly, a lead researcher at AQA, explores the link between trust and transparency in a digital age.…

Moving on up: drivers and implications of post-16 education
Do native speakers have an unfair advantage in Modern Foreign Language exams?
Covid-19 school closures: student experiences of online learning
AI and reviews of marking – how is the future looking?
Getting to grips with how science ‘works’

Getting to grips with how science ‘works’

Steve Wooding
Published 21 Jan 2021

AQA lead researcher Steve Wooding discusses outcomes from the Project Calibrate research partnership, which proposes improvements to practical science teaching and assessment at Key Stage 4.…

Maximising the impact of teacher marking

Maximising the impact of teacher marking

Naomi Winstone
Published 15 Dec 2020

AQA funded a research project between Dr Naomi Winstone (researcher at the University of Surrey) and Dr Rob Nash (Aston University) exploring how much A-level students retain from teacher feedback.…

Inclusion and attainment: can our research help ‘bridge the gap’?

Inclusion and attainment: can our research help ‘bridge the gap’?

Katy Finch
Published 5 Mar 2020

The University of Manchester’s annual Inclusion and Inspiration Conference is a chance for teachers and academics to share their experiences of working in diverse schools with recently qualified and student teachers. This year, I went along to give a talk about my PhD work, which focuses on pupils learning English as an Additional Language and how they might process language differently to their peers.…

Setting examination standards: A global perspective

Setting examination standards: A global perspective

Lena Gray
Published 1 Oct 2018

A new publication, Examination Standards: How Measures and Meanings Differ Around the World, was recently launched at the International Association for Educational Assessment (IAEA) annual conference. The book is edited by leading education assessment experts, including CERP’s Lena Gray.…

Jack of all trades or master of some?

Jack of all trades or master of some?

Emma Armitage
Published 12 Jan 2018

Emma Armitage weighs up consistency versus compensation in the Great British Bake Off and the world of assessment…

Decisions, decisions...

Decisions, decisions...

Charlotte Stephenson
Published 6 Nov 2017

Charlotte Stephenson considers how the EPQ can reduce the risk of subject choice…

Working it out together

Working it out together

Ruth Johnson
Published 3 Nov 2017

Ruth Johnson thinks about how to assess collaborative problem solving in the classroom…

Making the invisible visible
The importance of being accurate
Stop! Collaborate and listen

Stop! Collaborate and listen

Kate Kelly
Published 28 Apr 2017

'Standards only move in one direction. At the beginning of the world, standards were established and they've been slipping ever since.'– Edward Stevenson…

All things being equal

All things being equal

Ben Smith
Published 14 Mar 2017

Ben Smith discovers the power of propensity score matching…

Compare and contrast

Compare and contrast

Kate Kelly
Published 19 Jul 2016

What does that innocuous '%' symbol really mean? Kate Kelly ponders percentages …

Forty Years On

Forty Years On

Ben Jones, Emma Armitage
Published 20 Apr 2016

Emma Armitage and Ben Jones dispel some of the myths that surround the evolution of standards, as historic A-level Computer Science papers come to light…

Is there a geographical difference in UK school performance?
Strictly Come Scoring (part II)

Strictly Come Scoring (part II)

Kate Kelly
Published 22 Dec 2015

This blog post comes with a public service announcement: look away now if you have yet to learn the results of Strictly Come Dancing's final, for here be spoilers…

Return of the mark scheme

Return of the mark scheme

Victoria Spalding
Published 17 Dec 2015

As the latest instalment of Star Wars hits our screens, Victoria Spalding explains tongue firmly in cheek how Han Solo can help with mark scheme design…

The EBacc reconsidered

The EBacc reconsidered

Emma Armitage
Published 30 Oct 2015

The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is back in the limelight as the focus of an autumn consultation. Emma Armitage examines its impact…

Strictly Come Scoring

Strictly Come Scoring

Kate Kelly
Published 15 Oct 2015

Kate Kelly explains how low scores in the populist TV dance competition encourage fairness…

The art of setting questions

The art of setting questions

Victoria Spalding
Published 22 Sep 2015

CERP’s Assessment Expertise Training Developer Victoria Spalding considers the challenges of question writing…

Does public confidence in qualifications actually matter?

Does public confidence in qualifications actually matter?

Stuart Cadwallader
Published 22 Jan 2015

Coming from someone who works for an awarding organisation, the above question might appear a little petulant. It could read as though I've had enough of the public debate about standards and marking accuracy1 and just want to be left alone to get on with things. I assure you that's not the case I'm not just throwing my toys out of the pram! What I'm really trying to get my head around is the following question:…

Are my exams harder than yours?

Are my exams harder than yours?

Anna Nagle
Published 7 Aug 2014

When I was sitting my GCSEs, I remember getting pitying looks from friends at other schools when they learned that we would be taking exams with the board that had a reputation for setting 'harder' papers.…

Summer-born children shun academic subjects

Summer-born children shun academic subjects

Anne Pinot de Moira
Published 1 Jul 2014

Children born later in the academic year appear less likely to choose to study 'facilitating subjects' favoured by top universities, according to a recent CERP analysis. Anne Pinot de Moira considers the difficulties faced by summer-born children.…

Girls and STEM - the ‘missing’ numbers

Girls and STEM - the ‘missing’ numbers

Anna Nagle
Published 12 Jun 2014

There may be concerns about the number of girls choosing STEM subjects at A-level, but tens of thousands more girls (and boys) are studying science post-16 than in the ‘90s...…

Who should mark our science exams?

Who should mark our science exams?

William Pointer
Published 27 Mar 2014

William Pointer looks at the reliability of marking of GCSE science exams and asks: is it ok for examiners to mark biology, chemistry and physics items?…

Making exams add up: the effects of aggregation

Making exams add up: the effects of aggregation

Neil Stringer
Published 12 Dec 2013

Neil Stringer explains how we combine exam paper scores to produce a subject grade, what this means for grade boundaries, and why we maintain standards at subject level.…

Where’s the value in ‘value-added’?
Do tests help you learn?

Do tests help you learn?

Debra Malpass
Published 31 Jan 2013

We use tests and exams to measure students' ability, but can tests themselves improve learning?…

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