AQA is celebrating 40 years of its influential research committee and using the milestone to look into the past, present and future of assessment research.
AQA's research committee has had a significant impact on education policy over the last four decades. Research conducted by AQA's predecessor bodies in the 1980s significantly influenced the design of the tiered GCSE exam.
More recently, analysis and advice from AQA's Centre for Education Research and Practice (CERP) has underpinned many of the procedures currently used across exam boards to maintain grading standards in GCSE and A level exams from year to year. Research into technology and examiner judgement has also had a major effect on the way we mark exam papers and allowed electronic marking to become mainstream.
Alex Scharaschkin, AQA Director of Research and Compliance, said: "It is really important that we continue assessment research to contribute to and support the enduring charitable purpose of AQA, to help students and teachers realise their potential. I'd like to thank all the AQA researchers, past and present. Their pioneering and far-sighted research, conducted to the highest standards of academic rigour, has contributed greatly to that aim."
Delivering a lecture to mark the 40th anniversary of the AQA Research Committee, Ofqual Research Chair Paul Newton, said: "Our examination system is more open than it's ever been before and, to a large extent, we have decades of exam board research to thank for that. However, our examination system is still not entirely translucent and that's a challenge which requires a bold response from exam boards and regulators alike."