Subjects where a challenge was most likely to succeed

Tes Editorial

IN most subjects where between 20 per cent and 30 per cent of results had been challenged, the rate of successful appeals ran at more than 40 per cent. These were philosophy, modern studies, business management, administration, economics, graphic communication, history, psychology and maths.

In 10 subjects where more than 30 per cent of results were challenged, some 30 per cent of appeals were successful. These were in Latin, English and communication, religious, moral and philosophical studies, classical studies, geography, craft and design, and information systems.

A high proportion of appeals, with the exception of English, came from these same subjects "suggesting continuing uncertainties about procedures and standards".

In art and design, 41 per cent of results went to appeal and some 20 per cent were successful. The subject had the highest number of requests for a review as a proportion of appeals. Just over 10 per cent of reviews led to an upgrade.

Many review requests were for candidates whose appeal result was two or more grades below the centre's estimate.

Subjects particularly affected were SCE Higher art and design and secretarial studies and the National Qualifications at Higher in art and design, craft and design, technological studies, geography and religious, moral and philosophical studies.

Only a few of these candidates were upgraded.

The review teams in each subject draw broadly similar conclusions. In biology, prelim papers were short of A and B type questions allowing candidates to score high marks. Marking schemes for essays tended to be "over-generous".

In chemistry, cut-off scores tended to be too low "giving candidates inflated estimates", while in computer studies prelims that did not cover the whole course were submitted as evidence. In English, much of the evidence had been marked leniently and it was a similar story in French and geography.

Maths was hit by the failure in prelims to contain any evidence of unit 3. Similarly in physics, many centres did not submit evidence covering unit 3.

Business management appeals based on assessment bank items often failed as they tested short-term outcomes rather than the whole course.

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