Today is Eleanor's first day back at school, it's the last time one of my children will return to school after the summer holidays. Hopefully, Eleanor will be starting university next year.
You may remember my AS Level Results post where I told you about Eleanor's disappointment at her grades. It transpired that although she'd got a D in English Language, she was only one UMS mark off a C, so even though she intended dropping the subject, we thought it worth having one of her modules remarked to see if she could pick up that extra mark.
She'd got a C in one module and a D in the other, giving her an overall grade of a D so she decided to have the module she'd done the worst in remarked as after she'd taken the exam, she thought she'd done quite well in it so was surprised by the result.
We've now got the results of the remark and she hasn't only just picked up one or two extra marks on this paper, she's picked up eighteen! What??? Her grade for this module has jumped from a D to a B, but the C grade in the other English Language module has taken her overall English Language grade to a C. She's only three marks off a B though now. She's still adamant that she wants to drop this subject though, but the AS grade will be shown on her university applications and a C certainly looks better than a D.
What I'm asking myself now is how many other exam papers, Eleanor's and other people's, have been marked incorrectly. This isn't a small mistake, this is huge, the difference of two grades. We often hear how bad the exam system is in this country and this is yet another example.
Eleanor's spoken to her individual tutors now and come to the decision that she'll retake one of the Biology modules and one of the Psychology modules this year to try and bring her grades up in those subjects. It will mean a lot of extra work but hard work is something that Eleanor isn't afraid of so I'm sure she'll do her very best.
Well great to see the re-mark, but it is quite worrying isn't it. I think this is where schools can help out if you are unsure of marks, or they were not as expected.ReplyDelete
Well done to Eleanor for the decision she's made to retake, I'm sure she will not regret it.
All the best Jan
It's very worrying. Obviously, we're thrilled for Eleanor but the results from the remark beg the question, how many more results are wrong?Delete
Good job you decided to get those papers remarked. What a difference! I wonder how many other papers were incorrectly graded. She must be very happy with her new grades. Good luck with the rest of it.ReplyDelete
I know. If she hadn't been just one UMS mark off the higher grade, we probably wouldn't have bothered, especially as she's dropping the subject. Eleanor's really pleased that the remark has now shown she got a B in that module as she came out of the exam thinking she'd done quite well.Delete
Wow. Just wow! How awful. What about the pupils who didn't ask for a re-mark who might have been 2 grades better than they thought? It doesn't bear thinking about! But congrats to Eleanor on her grades. :o)ReplyDelete
I know, it's incredulous. We nearly didn't bother getting a remark ourselves because Eleanor's dropping the subject, I'm glad we did. I think it's really cheeky that you have to pay for it too, especially when mistakes like this are known to happen. They do refund the charge if the remark results in a grade change, but that's not the point.Delete
That's brilliant news. Well done Eleanor.ReplyDelete
I think she'd have been a little happier on results day if she'd been given her correct results from the offset.Delete
That's fantastic news! I am really pleased for Eleanor.ReplyDelete
Having done lots and lots of marking myself I have to say I am not surprised. Marking is really really tricky and it is difficult to do it justice with all the time pressure that is on, particularly in subject where there is a degree of interpretation. In an ideal world, every exam would be double marked, those papers where markers don't agree would be discussed and a mark agreed on before releasing the grade. I don't know if this happens at schools? Good luck to Eleanor for the next year. x
The results from these exams are so important to the next phase of a kids life so they should definitely be checked that they're correct before being given out. In 2014, 145,150 A level grades were queried and from that number, 45,500 grades were changed. It's a worryingly high number, going on for a third of all those queried. If the pupils aren't going to be given the correct grade, then what's the point of sitting exams? I understand about interpretation, especially in a subject where essays have to be written, but eighteen marks, that's quite a difference in opinion of the markers. You've got to ask yourself, what's the value of these qualifications when so many of them could be wrong.Delete
I had no idea that so many grades are changed, this is shocking. I didn't mean to make excuses for markers btw, I just meant to say that having worked with many markers in Higher Education, I am (sadly) not surprised, there is sometimes very little consistency between marking. I have long thought exams are not the right way to test abilities. The Scottish system has changed the GCSE equivalent to partly exam assessed only, with the remainder of the grade coming from coursework and class assessment during the year. I think that is a much fairer way to assess young adults, not all depends on the single performance on exam day, and a single marker. It is more reflective of the pupils real ability. The Highers (your A levels) unfortunately are still only exam assessed. Lets keep our fingers crossed for big changes in education.Delete
No, I agree. It's like any job, I suppose the markers are under lots of pressure given time constraints and targets, however, there should be measures in place to ensure that the correct grades are given out. These exams are so important to a kids future. As for coursework, that also comes with its own problems as we encountered issues with both Eleanor's GCSE and Daniel's A level coursework. I really don't know what the solution is but something's got to be done as the system as it stands is a joke.Delete
Wow, I find that quite shocking. These mistakes can be involved in life changing decisions for children, can affect self esteem and future aspirations. I think this is disgraceful xxReplyDelete
That's it in a nutshell. While I'm thrilled for Eleanor, I think of those who haven't had remarks as well as Eleanor's other subjects, has she got the grades she should have in those?Delete
It's scary how results can change, glad she looked into it. Brave to retake two subjects, but will be great to have better results. I wish her loads if luckily.ReplyDelete
Retaking subjects has changed in recent years. You used to be able to resit a subject and then take the best grade of the two, now you have to take the grade from the resit so if you end up doing worse you've lost out, so it is quite brave, as well as hard work taking last year's exams again as well as this year's. I'm hoping that it will be worth it for Eleanor in the end.Delete
I don't know whether to be furious or delighted!!! I am of course delighted for Eleanor, what great news! It shows that her instincts were right that she had done well! It is such a shame though that she has had the worry that she hadn't done as well as she thought, hoped, or deserved to have done. I am very pleased that it has been sorted out, although it makes you wonder if any of the marks are accurate! I hope that Eleanor does really well this year and gets her exams marked fairly!!! xxReplyDelete
I didn't know if I was reading it right when I got the email from school telling me, eighteen marks is such a huge difference. It does make you wonder if the rest of the marks are accurate and the whole episode has cast a bit of a shadow over the whole exam experience.Delete
My godsons son had a very poor mark in his best A level subject. I have tried to encourage them to get a remark, but they all seem so accepting, while the poor lad is demorilisedReplyDelete
Good for you! (and Eleanor of course)
I think you have to be careful as grades can, and do, go down as well as up. The worst thing about the whole episode is that we wouldn't have bothered getting the paper remarked if she wasn't so close to the grade boundary as picking up a mark or two wouldn't have mattered, she'd have still ended up with a D. I'm sure there are many whose marks are in the middle of a grade boundary and so don't see the point in a remark. This has just made me realise that exam grades don't really count for much when so many mistakes, and some huge ones, can be, and are, made.Delete
It was so worthwhile doing this for Eleanor.ReplyDelete
Sounds like she has another busy year ahead of her.
It was, but we very nearly didn't. It was Daniel who worked out the grade boundaries and realised she was so close to a C, we wouldn't have bothered otherwise. Eleanor's come home from school today and done lots of work at home, she's starting as she means to go on.Delete
That's great news for Eleanor - what a jump in marks! My eldest had her history paper re-marked because she was one mark off the next grade and she's gone up a grade too, but you're absolutely right when you question how many papers were marked wrongly xxReplyDelete
I'm at a loss as to how they got her mark so wrong, I'd love to know how the original had been marked so that I could compare the two. Glad to hear that your daughter has increased her marks too but it's extremely worrying how many papers come back incorrectly marked these days.Delete
Yes, I agree - it makes me wonder how many people were marked down but then deemed to be too far down the grade to be re-marked and couldn't be bothered to re-sit xxDelete
I really do think it needs looking in to. They've got the figures of how many papers were remarked and how many grades were changed, I would think that in itself shows what a farce the marking is. It's drilled in to students how important these exams are yet the powers that be don't consider them important enough to ensure they're giving out the correct grades.Delete
That is very concerning. I'm not at all familiar with the way your grading systems work there, and they may be very different from what I'm used to in the US, but it seems like a lot of people were given the shaft there. I'm sorry. I hope it can be straightened out.ReplyDelete
I agree. I think it's time that the marking system was looked in to once and for all. Daniel's girlfriend is from the US and from what I've gleaned from her, the grading systems between the two countries are totally different. No bad thing when you hear the fiasco we're dealing with here.Delete
David's getting his RS paper remarked, because the whole year scored much lower than the school expected or have done in the past. The school explained it as there may be a "Rogue examiner" which seems silly to me. I agree there may be a lot more mistakes going on than we know.ReplyDelete
There seems to be lots of people getting remarks, I bet the figures are up again from last year. It's time there was an investigation in to how the papers are marked, what's the point taking exams if we're unsure whether the results are correct or not? As we already know, there are lots of mistakes in the marking making it all a bit of a joke which isn't fair at all on our young people.Delete
I think it happens far more often than we realize...which is pretty scary! Often parents/students are at the teacher's mercy, left to trust that they grade accurately.ReplyDelete
You're right, it does. I think students and parents should be made more aware of the mistakes which happen because, as you say, they trust the grades they're given and many of these grades are wrong.Delete
When I did my O Level Maths exam our teacher asked us all to note our answers on a separate piece of paper, and he would work out our passes and fails. Mine happened to be one of the highest marks in my year, and I was confident that I would pass with a good grade. When I eventually received my results I found that I'd failed. I simply took it again before Christmas, and passed with a top grade. C'est la vie!ReplyDelete
I remember students being able to resit exams in the November when I took my O levels too. Unfortunately, students aren't able to do this any more, they have to resit the exam the following summer, a whole year later, which means they're having to do the work for the resits alongside the following year's work. I think your experience shows that mistakes have been happening for a long time though, definitely time that it was investigated.Delete
Susan Smith commented but I unfortunately pressed delete instead of publish. Sorry, Susan. Here's what she said.ReplyDelete
I'm nt sure that you can get anything over here remarked. What you see is what you get. I'm glad that it's worked out better than she thought and hope all goes well now that she's back at school and I know that the hard work she puts in will be well worth it. Take care.
Your students really are at the mercy of the examiners then. We're really pleased that Eleanor's grade has gone up, even though she's still dropping English Language, but we're very concerned about the marking system.Delete
Oh my word Jo that's shocking - good news for Eleanor but it's awful that she & you all went through all the upset in the first place. I'm so glad you got it sorted xReplyDelete
It just makes me wonder if the rest of her results are correct. Eleanor put so much work in to these exams, not just revision but the whole year, she feels cheated having to ask for a remark to get her correct result. I think it's disgraceful.Delete
Eden's going to take one of her chemistry modules again to try and pull her grade up. She got a C but was expected to get higher. They've advised her to get the papers back to go over where she went wrong but that costs nearly as much as a remark. It seems to be all about the money! We've just found out she had to pay UCAS to even apply for Uni. Looks like the next few years are going to be expensive!ReplyDelete
Eleanor's got the paper back from the Biology module she's going to resit, it does help to see where she's gone wrong and where she can pick up marks when she resits. She was only going to do the one resit but her Psychology tutor thinks she can pick up some marks by resitting one of the modules in that subject too. Apparently, she did really well in the hardest module and not so well in the easier one which has ended up pulling her grade down. I hope Eden was happy with her other grades.Delete
That is shocking, Jo. Good for Eleanor that her grade went up, but really, the whole system is in a mess, isn't it? it sounds like she's getting her head down and carrying on working hard, which is the right thing to do. xxReplyDelete
I didn't realise how many mistakes are made until I looked in to it after Eleanor got her remark back, I find it quite unbelievable. Especially so since nothing seems to be done about the mistakes which are made, the system is allowed to carry on in this way. Eleanor's enjoyed her first couple of days back at school and is working hard, once again.Delete