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Checking Stage 6 Preliminary grades

Grade history

Schools can use the Grade History Function in Schools Online or the Results Analysis Package to generate a graph showing the percentage of students in their cohort awarded each A to E grade in a particular course.

One way for schools to monitor their patterns of grades awarded for Preliminary courses is by comparing them to other available data about the performance of students at their school. This will enable schools to have confidence that the grades they intend to award are consistent with what they expected from a particular cohort or group of students completing a Preliminary course.

Comparing grading patterns

After a school has entered A to E grades for a Preliminary course, the Grade History function in Schools Online and the Results Analysis Package can be used to compare this pattern of grades to the pattern of grades awarded in similar Preliminary or Stage 5 courses over time.

For example, a school may wish to look at the pattern of grades awarded for Preliminary Biology and compare it to the pattern of grades awarded in Stage 5 Science over time. In doing this, schools should take into account the number of students undertaking each course, the differences between the courses, and the quality of the candidature.


If a school’s Stage 5 cohort for Science had the pattern of grades illustrated in the graph but its pattern of grades for Stage 6 Preliminary Biology was markedly different, the school may wish to consider possible reasons for this.

Considering past HSC performance

Schools may wish to view the pattern of past HSC performance of candidates from their school for a particular course to assist in confirming the Preliminary course grades they are awarding. The Band History function in Schools Online and the Results Analysis Package enables schools to view their history of HSC performance band results in graphical format, similar to the way grade histories are displayed.

If schools choose to consider the HSC performance bands their past students have gained to assist in monitoring the Preliminary course grades they intend to award, they should be mindful that there is no direct correlation between HSC performance bands and Stage 6 Preliminary course grades. General patterns over time, however, may provide some information about the performance of students at the school, which could be used to help confirm that the proposed pattern of grades for the Preliminary course looks reasonable.

Comparing results for specific student groups

A function called Work with Student Groups has been added to the Results Analysis Package to enable schools to place selected students in groups based on their own criteria. Schools can then use the Grade Analysis function to view past grades for the groups they have created.

For example, a teacher of Preliminary English (Advanced) may want to create a group containing the students from their Year 11 class and use the Grade Analysis function to view the grades that this group of students was awarded for English in Stage 5. This function allows a graph of only the grades awarded to the selected students to be displayed and therefore may be more useful than a comparison to grades for the whole cohort for Stage 5. It also enables schools to view the grades awarded to their current Preliminary course students who completed Stage 5 at other schools.

The following graph shows the pattern of Stage 5 English grades attained by a group of students currently studying the Preliminary English (Advanced) course.

The same data can be displayed in a 2D stacked graph, which can more easily be compared to the graph that appears in Schools Online when grades are entered.

For further information on using the Work with Student Groups function, refer to the PowerPoint in Schools Online.