Reliability of marking in eight GCE examinations

Eight recent GCE examinations, containing mainly free-response questions, were investigated in terms of their marking reliability. The scripts of 200 randomly selected candidates from each subject were re-marked by a senior GCE examiner, and these marks were compared with the marks awarded previously as a result of team marking procedures. These comparisons revealed differences between the reliability of marking of examinations in different subject areas and also between different papers within individual examinations. These results are discussed in terms of differences between examinations in different subject areas, the effect of increasing the number of questions in an examination, and the effect of including questions other than free-response questions. All of these factors appear to have an effect on the reliability of the marking of these examinations. The results are also compared with other estimates for similar examinations.

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