Marked down?

22nd September 1995 at 01:00
Has anyone else noticed a disturbing feature of this year's GCSE science results?

For the first time the separate sciences have been following the national curriculum and so standards between them and double award science should be comparable. Yet it would seem that candidates of equal ability have been graded lower by some boards, in the separate sciences than in double award science.

Is this part of a deliberate policy to drive away from the separate sciences? Or is it simply an unintentional consequence of the cohort taking separate sciences being of higher average ability than those taking double award science?

While reliable statistical evidence in support of this would be difficult to gather, my experience would seem to indicate that pupils of the same ability, taught by the same teachers, would achieve better grades if entered for double award science than if entered for separate subjects. To avoid this it should be possible for the boards to arrange for question difficulty to be similar in double award and separate subject science papers.

R F G NASH Goudhurst Road Marden Kent

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