Survey showed worrying variations in marking

From: Allan Davies, Heathfield Court, Grimsby, NE Lincs.

GERALD Hodgson (Yorkshire Post, November 23) draws attention to the problems of teacher-marked examinations. It is 30 years ago that I drew attention to the matter in the assessment of BEC general awards results.

I carried out a table-top, pencil and paper survey of a sample of results.

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The structure of the course enabled me to compare external examination grades with in-course assessment in the core modules which were assessed by both methods, to compare grades in the option modules assessed only in-course, and to compare overall grades college by college.

The survey was presented in the NATFHE journal in the summer of 1982 under the title BEC General Awards: An Approach to National Standards.

I leave others to comment on the validity of the survey, but I am in no doubt that the extent or variability in every respect was, to say the least, worrying. The Business Education Council rejected it out of hand, refusing even to discuss it.

I could add that I was a BEC examiner and also a moderator whose tasks included attempts 
to answer some kind of consistency in standards. 
Given that I had also been 
an examiner for both the 
RSA and the Welsh Joint Education Committee for 
many years, I was reasonably 
well qualified to carry out 
that study.