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How frequently do remarks result in a change of grade?

(49 Posts)
potentialqualms Wed 28-Sep-16 19:53:10

DS1 took 2 GCSEs in yr10 (no I don't know why either!). In one of them he scored lower than expected and I'd like to see the paper, so he can see where he went wrong. I suspect it might be failure to read the question properly and I'd like to be able to show him how that affected his marks in the hope that he doesn't do it again in the main events this year.

Anyway, I understand once you've seen the paper you can't ask for a remark, so I paid for the remark as I didn't want to be in a position where I felt a remark was required once I'd seen the paper but I was unable to arrange it IYSWIM.

He gained 5 extra marks and went up a grade. The reason is "Not marked in accordance with the mark scheme: A Failure to apply the mark scheme or any procedures where there has been no exercise of academic judgement". Not sure I completely understand what that means but it's a subject where answers are mostly right or wrong, not much essay writing etc.

I know of 3 other families who requested remarks and they've all gained a grade. One child gained 17 marks in English which makes a real difference to what he'll be doing next year.

It seems outrageous to me that the first attempt at marking was so poor. In the worst cases, like the English here, it can really affect the child's future, i.e. the whole point of taking the exams in the first place. What if he didn't have parents prepared to fight his corner, or who couldn't pay to do so?

Does this happen a lot? I realise parents who are "unsuccessful" in their appeal probably talk about it less.

VanillaSugarandChristmasSpice Wed 28-Sep-16 19:57:47

They're clamping down on this and the remarks are to correct marking errors, rather than add marks that the 2nd examiner thinks the candidate deserved which the first examiner didn't.

We sent DD's A2 paper off for a remark hoping for the best as she was 8 marks off an A and therefore missed her top uni choice. Zilch. The paper came back with the same grade.

potentialqualms Wed 28-Sep-16 20:09:28

I know, I wasn't expecting DS's mark to change, I certainly wasn't expecting anyone to be more lenient with him because we'd asked for a remark, but in the English example a whole section had been missed by the marker. If something similar had happened to DS I didn't want to be in a position where we knew that but couldn't ask for the remark because we'd seen the paper.

So, in all the examples I know of, mistakes were made in the original marking. It bothers me to think of children doing their best being let down by people not being thorough in the marking. Obviously mistakes will happen occasionally, but this seems a lot to me. I was wondering if anyone involved can give an idea of how common it is?

Rosieposy4 Wed 28-Sep-16 20:37:08

Not very common and much less so this year.
I think it suffers from reporting bias, anyone whose kid goes up a grade tells people ( i am just as guilty as anyone else over this)., those whose grade does not change keep quiet about it.
As a school we had very very few remarks result in a grade change this year, and as a senior marker i changed no grades.
There is a lot of training out there for examiners and the vast vast majority do a decent job. The advice the chief examiner for my subject always gives, and i think it is the best thing to take on board when marking, is that to imagine every candidate is your kid, your niece, your nephew, and so to give them your best attention to the mark scheme.

Longlost10 Wed 28-Sep-16 22:06:19

I think you can ask for a remark after seeing the paper? We have done so, the school spotted an admin error, and the teacher marked the paper themselves, then said DD would gain marks, but not enough to go up a grade, so leave it. Well, we asked for a remark anyway, just for the outside chance, we are not really expecting the grade to go up.

On the other hand, having seen the paper, we know it isn't going to go down. This happens too. When I have had pupils sending off for a remark, most have stayed the same, approx 5% have gone up, and approx 5% have gone down.

Longlost10 Wed 28-Sep-16 22:08:08

That doesn't mean 10% were marked wrongly though, because at least 95% are the expected grades, no admin errors apparent, no remark saught, so it is about 10% of the other 5%, so roughly 0.5%

potentialqualms Wed 28-Sep-16 22:15:17

I don't know Longlost. I had to pay £12 for the paper back and the form seemed to indicate that you had to ask for the remark before seeing the paper but no-one explained it to me so I'm prepared to believe I got it wrong!

Longlost10 Wed 28-Sep-16 22:18:49

or maybe its different for different exam boards??

CauliflowerSqueeze Wed 28-Sep-16 22:19:38

Quite a lot go up, but the occasional one goes down, so you need to be pretty sure.

Yes, the variation is appalling. It's quite subjective and the teachers marking them are given about 50p per script. It's all a bit of a farce if you ask me.

potentialqualms Wed 28-Sep-16 22:32:23

Oh yes, we realised it could go down too, but he was 2 marks away from the boundary for the next grade up so we thought he'd need to be very unlucky and kept our fingers crossed.

cricketballs Wed 28-Sep-16 22:35:06

GCSE papers can not be seen prior to a remarkable, AS and A2 can apply for a remark after the paper is requested.

We have been told that the reason for the change of remarking from the exam board point of view is due to inequality between state and private i.e.private could afford whole cohorts remarks whilst state had to be very selective. Out of 8 papers we requested a remark we have had 3 back so far and 2 of those went up by enough marks for a grade change (1 and 2 UMS).

CrowyMcCrowFace Wed 28-Sep-16 22:48:59

I'm in charge of my school's gcse re-marks for my subject.

We look at performance against grade boundaries. If a student is close enough to the upper boundary to have a chance of a positive re-mark then I'd always say go for it.

Any risk of ending up graded down, then I'd discourage it.

I'm currently teaching at a private international school but spent 16 years teaching in a UK comprehensive.

It's always an easy decision tbh - the grade boundaries are pretty clear. It's a numbers game.

VERY occasionally there's an obvious error eg. a question missed by the marker - we have the paper breakdown so can see if that has happened.

potentialqualms Wed 28-Sep-16 22:51:17

Does the school get a more detailed breakdown of marks than the results the children get Crowy? TBH, I was surprised to see actual marks at all, I'm sure mine results just had the grades.

CauliflowerSqueeze Wed 28-Sep-16 22:53:17

Yes I know for aqa you can get a question by question breakdown on their e-aqa site.

cricketballs Thu 29-Sep-16 06:08:36

Edexcel also offer teachers a breakdown of marks per question

Longlost10 Thu 29-Sep-16 06:19:27

GCSE papers can not be seen prior to a remark, well, in some cses they can, because we just have.

titchy Thu 29-Sep-16 07:38:00

Did you get the actual script back or a photocopy?

NorbertDentressangle Thu 29-Sep-16 07:50:54

DD's school resubmitted 2 of her GCSE papers.

One went up from a B to an A, the other remained at an A (the teacher had hoped it would go up to an A*). They reassured us that both were very close to the boundary and unlikely to go down.

FozzieMK Thu 29-Sep-16 12:55:43

Had eldest DD's maths re-marked as she was 2 marks off the next grade and that stayed the same. Had my youngest DD's English Lit re-marked as she was 1 mark off the next grade and that remained the same too!

LooseAtTheSeams Thu 29-Sep-16 13:31:45

It depends a bit because you only ask for a remark if there is a reasonable chance of adjustment. We sent a batch of English language ones back for remarking, but only where students were very close to the grade boundary. Three went up (from D to C) one went down but not by a whole grade and the rest were unchanged, so no movement from B to A, for example. One of the Cs went up by quite a few marks, though.
However, the annoying bit is that we're having to appeal against a decision to take a couple of marks off the controlled assessments. If the appeal succeeds, as it should, then there may still be several students who will have passed after all or gone up a grade.

BertrandRussell Thu 29-Sep-16 13:37:45

Last year our school asked for loads of remarks and enough changed to actually make a difference to the school's A*-C %age!

Abraiid2 Thu 29-Sep-16 13:40:50

I have had two of my two children's exams remarked, an IGCSE
and an A level and in neither case did the overall grade change.

swingofthings Thu 29-Sep-16 15:00:04

I had no idea you could actually request to see GCSE papers. Is there a time limit to this?

My DD got a D on her PE exam when she was expecting an A and had got an A at both her mock tests. She got three A*s at the practical so ended up with a B overall, but I still can't get my head around this D grade. I offered to DD to pay for a remark but she said there was no point and that it didn't make a difference whether she got an A or a B. I still can't help but wondering whether she really did that badly despite coming home saying it had done well (her only B grade, got A*s and As in all other subjects) or whether there was some error.

I have to say that I would love to see the paper even if remarking is not an option any longer. If it is not too late how do we go about it and what is the fee?

cricketballs Thu 29-Sep-16 17:33:38

Longlost this quote is taken directly from Edexcel

"Can I see my marked question paper before requesting a review of marking?
No. We've agreed with the other awarding organisations that we won't offer this service for your qualification.

This is to ensure that all students are offered the same services, regardless of which awarding organisation they completed their qualification with.

If you request a copy of your exam paper, it will be sent to your school or college after the review of marking deadline. If you think you might want to get the marking of your exam paper reviewed, you should discuss this with your teacher as they are in the best position to advise you." link here

The issue of exam papers being reviewed after the deadlines is surrounding issues surrounding procedures not remarking

knittingwithnettles Thu 29-Sep-16 17:47:24

Ds1's grades in Geography and English Lit didn't change sad

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