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A level briefing presentation, 18 May 2010

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Presentation on new A levels given at the A level briefing event, 18 May 2010

Presentation on new A levels given at the A level briefing event, 18 May 2010

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  • 1. Welcome New A Levels Briefing Event: 18 May 2010
  • 2. Welcome
    • New A Levels
    • Briefing Event: 18 th May 2010
    Kathleen Tattersall Chair and Chief Regulator
  • 3.
    • Ensuring standards are maintained in A Levels
    Dennis Opposs Director of Standards
  • 4. Purpose of today
    • To share with you:
    • Details of the changes to A levels this summer
    • What we have already done, and why
    • Information on how ‘the system’ works
    • The background to the A* grade and the way it will operate
    • Our next steps, before summer results
    • Our plans for further work, after summer results
  • 5. Principles of good regulation
    • Accountable
    • Consistent
    • Proportionate
    • Targeted
    • Transparent
  • 6. Changes to A levels
    • 6 to 4 units (for most subjects)
    • Stretch and challenge
    • Revised, updated and re-packaged content
    • Changes to coursework
    • New A* grade
  • 7. Preparing for 2010
    • November 2006 – new A* grade agreed
    • Summer 2007 – new specifications accredited
    • September 2008 – first teaching of new specifications
    • January 2009 – first revised AS units assessed
    • March 2009 – Ofqual open letter about maintaining standards
    • August 2009 – first revised AS qualification results
    • January 2010 – first revised A2 units assessed
    • February 2010 – Ofqual open letter about A*
    • March 2010 – report on first AS scrutiny monitoring
    • May 2010 – briefing event for teaching associations
  • 8. How are A level grades awarded?
    • Awarding committees for each specification
    • Script evidence informed by statistical evidence
    • Grade boundaries set at unit level, unit by unit
    • A and E set by awarders; B, C, D (and A*) set arithmetically
    • Raw marks converted to UMS for each unit
    • UMS for each unit added to give overall grade
    Unit 1 85 UMS Unit 2 80 UMS Unit 3 75 UMS Unit 4 65 UMS = 305 UMS = B
  • 9. Raw marks to uniform marks
    • Why?
    • Candidates sit units at different times
    • Level of demand can vary
    • Raw marks are relative to the level of demand
    • Uniform marks put all marks on the same scale
    • For example – 77 raw marks
    76 June 2009 78 January 2009 Unit 1 Grade A boundary
  • 10. The Uniform Mark Scale (UMS)
    • Used in all unitised qualifications
    • Converts raw marks to scores on a uniform scale
    • Controls for relative difficulty of different question papers
    • Fixed grade boundaries at unit and qualification level
    160 200 240 280 320 320 (180 at A2) 4 units Max 400 UMS 80 240 E 100 300 D 120 360 C 140 420 B 160 480 A 160 (90 at A2) 480 (270 at A2) A* 2 units Max 200 UMS 6 units Max 600 UMS A level Grade
  • 11. The Uniform Mark Scale (UMS)
    • Used in all unitised qualifications
    • Converts raw marks to scores on a uniform scale
    • Controls for relative difficulty of different question papers
    • Fixed grade boundaries at unit and qualification level
    160 200 240 280 320 320 (180 at A2) 4 units Max 400 UMS 80 240 E 100 300 D 120 360 C 140 420 B 160 480 A 160 (90 at A2) 480 (270 at A2) A* 2 units Max 200 UMS 6 units Max 600 UMS A level Grade
  • 12. The Uniform Mark Scale (UMS)
    • Used in all unitised qualifications
    • Converts raw marks to scores on a uniform scale
    • Controls for relative difficulty of different question papers
    • Fixed grade boundaries at unit and qualification level
    160 200 240 280 320 320 (180 at A2) 4 units Max 400 UMS 80 240 E 100 300 D 120 360 C 140 420 B 160 480 A 160 (90 at A2) 480 (270 at A2) A* 2 units Max 200 UMS 6 units Max 600 UMS A level Grade
  • 13. The Uniform Mark Scale (UMS)
    • Used in all unitised qualifications
    • Converts raw marks to scores on a uniform scale
    • Controls for relative difficulty of different question papers
    • Fixed grade boundaries at unit and qualification level
    160 200 240 280 320 320 (180 at A2) 4 units Max 400 UMS 80 240 E 100 300 D 120 360 C 140 420 B 160 480 A 160 (90 at A2) 480 (270 at A2) A* 2 units Max 200 UMS 6 units Max 600 UMS A level Grade
  • 14. The Code of Practice - awarding
    • Qualitative Evidence
      • Question paper/task and mark scheme for current and previous series
      • Report by principal examiner/moderator including boundary recommendations
      • Archive scripts/work from previous series
      • A sample of current candidate work
      • Any published grade or performance descriptions
    • Quantitative Evidence
      • Mark distributions for current and previous series
      • Outcomes in previous series
      • Any changes in entry patterns
      • Centres’ estimated grades (at unit level for A level)
    Taken from section 6.15 of the GCSE, GCE principal learning and project code of practice, April 2010
  • 15. Statistical indicators
    • Based on prior GCSE performance
    • Give an indication of likely overall outcomes
    • Similar to predictions from ALIS, ALPS etc used by centres
    • Already widely used by awarding bodies
    • For whole cohort, not individual candidates
    • Take account of differences between awarding bodies’ entries
    • Provide a reporting mechanism to regulators before results issued
          • Results reported if outside agreed thresholds
          • Explanation provided by awarding body
          • Consideration by regulators
          • Regulators may ask awarding body to reconsider grade boundaries
          • Comparison across awarding bodies
  • 16.
    • Setting appropriate standards - the new A* grade
    Cath Jadhav Head of Qualification Standards
  • 17. A* grading – the options
    • In 2007 QCA/DfES consulted on possible approaches
      • Award A* on the whole A level qualification
      • Award A* on the whole A level qualification with a hurdle at A2
      • Award A* on A2 units and the A level qualification
      • Award A* on a reported aggregated A2 grade and the A level qualification
      • Award A* on the AS and the A level qualifications
      • Award A* on AS and A2 units and the AS and A level qualifications
      • Decouple AS and A2 and award A* on A2 units and the A2 qualification
  • 18. A* grading – the agreed method
    • Option 2 – Award A* on the whole A level qualification with a hurdle at A2
    • More specifically:
    • Awarded to candidates who have achieved:
          • An A grade overall in their A level, and
          • 90% of the maximum UMS marks at A2
    • For all A levels
    • Calculated grade, not judgemental
    • Even with 100% at AS, a candidate will still need 90% at A2 to achieve an A*
  • 19. A* examples (4 unit specifications)
    • Points to note:
      • High UMS scores at AS will not necessarily mean a candidate achieves an A* grade - candidates will still need 90% at A2 to achieve an A*
      • Some students with grade A will have higher total UMS marks than those who have achieved an A* if they scored high marks on their AS units
    A 178 378 83 95 100 100 4 A* 187 362 92 95 85 90 3 A 177 362 85 92 95 90 2 A* 187 367 92 95 90 90 1 Grade A2 UMS Total UMS A2 Unit 4 A2 Unit 3 AS Unit 2 AS Unit 1 Candidate
  • 20. A* examples (6 unit specifications) A* 275 525 90 91 94 80 85 85 2 A 261 561 82 87 92 100 100 100 1 Grade A2 UMS Total UMS A2 Unit 6 A2 Unit 5 A2 Unit 4 AS Unit 3 AS Unit 2 AS Unit 1 Candidate
  • 21. A* results in summer 2010
    • Points to consider:
    • No previous results to compare with
    • Variations between subjects likely (as at A and E)
    • Consistency between awarding bodies
    • Indicators for all subjects, nationally and by awarding body
    • Indicators for A* grade
    • Based on same methodology as for A and E
    • For 2010, based on 2009 data if there had been an A* grade
  • 22. Next steps, before summer results
    • Regular meetings with awarding body colleagues
    • Monitoring awarding body meetings
    • Review of data from award
          • After each award
          • Compare with statistical indicators
          • Compare across awarding bodies
    • Meet with awarding bodies once all awards completed
  • 23. Further work, after summer results
    • Continue scrutiny monitoring work
    • Review and report on summer 2010 awards
    • Continue meetings with awarding bodies
    • Listen to feedback from stakeholders
    • Report on first A level scrutiny monitoring in March 2011
  • 24. In conclusion
    • Guiding principles this summer
    • Fairness to all candidates
    • Consistency across all awarding bodies
    • Transparency
    Isabel Nisbet Chief Executive
  • 25. Panel Discussion
    • Panel Chair: Isabel Nisbet
    • Kathleen Tattersall, Chair and Chief Regulator
    • Dennis Opposs, Director of Standards
    • Cath Jadhav, Head of Qualification Standards
  • 26. Further information (1)
    • CCEA www.ccea.org.uk
    • DCELLS www.wales.gov.uk
    • Ofqual www.ofqual.gov.uk
    • Ofqual open letters:
    • Maintaining standards in new A levels - http://www.ofqual.gov.uk/news-and-announcements/127/209
    • New A* grade –
    • http://www.ofqual.gov.uk/news-and-announcements/127/217
  • 27. Further information (2)
    • Information about UMS
    • AQA http://web.aqa.org.uk/over/stat_ums.php
    • CCEA www.rewardinglearning.org.uk/regulation/ accreditation_and_monitoring/ums.asp
    • Edexcel www.edexcel.com/iwantto/I%20want%20to% 20%20Tasks/UMS-Awarding-Modular-GCE- Qualifications-update-Mar-10.doc
    • OCR www.ocr.org.uk/learners/ums/
    • WJEC www.wjec.co.uk/uploads/publications/9462.doc