Research and analysis

Ofqual's reliability research

Research to investigate the reliability and validity of results in national tests, public examinations and other qualifications in England.

Documents

The causes of error in exam grades – public perceptions (Ipsos MORI, 2009)

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Classification Accuracy in Results from Key Stage 2 National Curriculum Tests (He, Hayes & Wiliam, 2011)

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Estimation of internal reliability (Hayes & Pritchard, 2013)

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Estimating the Reliability of Composite Scores (He, 2009)

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Estimation of inter-rater reliability (Dhawan & Bramley, 2013)

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The internal reliability of some City & Guilds tests (Boyle & Rahman, 2013)

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Marker effects and examination reliability (Baird, Hayes, Johnson, Johnson & Lamprianou, 2013)

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Public Perceptions of Unreliability in Examination Results in England: A New Perspective (He, Opposs & Boyle, 2010)

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Reliability of Vocational Assessment: An evaluation of level 3 electro-technical qualifications (Johnson, Johnson, Miller & Boyle, 2013)

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Reliability issues in competence-based assessment: concepts and estimates (Harth & Rijn, 2010)

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The Reliability of Results from National Curriculum Assessments, Public Examinations and Qualifications (Opposs & He, 2010)

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A review of research into the reliability of examinations (Wilmut, Wood & Murphy, 1996)

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Variability in A level results: 2012 to 2015 (Ofqual, 2015)

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Variability in GCSE Results for Individual Schools and Colleges (Ofqual, 2015)

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What causes variability in school-level GCSE results year-on-year? (Ofqual, 2016)

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Details

Reliability is a measure of the consistency of the results of qualifications and assessments. A reliable qualification would mean that a student would receive the same result if they took a different version of the exam, took the test on a different day, or if a different examiner had marked the paper.

You should also read Ofqual’s Reliability of assessment: compendium which gathers comprehensive research on this subject area into one list of documents.