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“Our team are here to make sure that assessments are valid and reliable.”

Georgina, Assessment Design Manager, AQA

Making sure grade boundaries fairly reflect performance

Back in May we introduced you to Ben, our Head of Standards and the significant role he and our Centre for Education Research and Practice (CERP) play each exam series.

During the awarding phase of assessment, along with lots of other teams at AQA, our Assessment Design Team assists CERP, which runs meetings with senior examiners to recommend the grade boundaries for each component.

This takes place after the exams have been marked and we can see how straightforward or challenging the cohort of students found the paper. We can then ensure that no one is disadvantaged by having sat a more difficult paper in a different exam series, for the same subject.

Georgina is one of our team of Assessment Design Managers who are an important part of this vital and complex process.

Before the awarding meeting for each specification, Assessment Design Managers will meet with CERP to ensure that all of the relevant statistical data are ready to share with our senior examiners who are also subject experts. At the meeting itself, the awarding panel will review a selection of students’ exam scripts, refer to the statistical guidance and use their expert judgement to recommend the minimum grade boundary marks.

Their recommendations are then closely reviewed and checked to ensure that they are in line with Ofqual regulations. Once they have been approved, these boundaries are applied to students’ marks, translating them into grades.

Find out more about how we create exams and award grades

Find out more about the work we do

Ben maintaining standards year-on-year

Ben preparing examiners to mark

Irene reviewing marking

Rachel reviewing moderated work