Research and analysis

Inter-subject comparability studies

An overview of QCA's studies to address the issue of standards across A level subjects.

Documents

Inter-subject comparability studies

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Inter-subject comparability studies: Study 1a: GCSE, AS and A level geography and history

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Inter-subject comparability studies: Study 1b: GCSE, AS and A level sciences

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Inter-subject comparability studies: Study 2a: A level biology, psychology and sociology

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Inter-subject comparability studies: Study 2b: A level English literature, history and media studies

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Inter-subject comparability studies: Forms used for analysis of examination materials and candidate work

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Details

Four investigations, or studies, were carried out to address issues regularly raised on standards across subjects at A level. The scope of two of these studies also extended to GCSE level. Subject experts, with a background in assessment, were employed as reviewers to analyse assessment materials and candidate work across two or more cognate subjects, to draw comparisons and highlight differences in demand.

The four studies focused on the following areas:

  • Study 1a: Comparisons at GCSE, AS and A level using selected specifications across geography and history
  • Study 1b: Comparisons at GCSE, AS and A level using selected specifications across biology, chemistry and physics and, at GCSE, science (double award)
  • Study 2a: Comparisons at A level using selected specifications across biology, psychology and sociology
  • Study 2b: Comparisons at A level using selected specifications across English literature, history and media studies
Published 8 April 2008