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Checking Stage 5 grades

Principals are accountable for the pattern of grades awarded by their school at the end of Stage 5 and Stage 6 Preliminary courses. Principals (or their delegates) need to confirm that grades are consistent with published standards when they are       submitted.

Grade history graphs are available in Schools Online and in the Results Analysis Package. These graphs enable schools to view their pattern of grades for each course over time.

The image below shows the pattern of grades for a Stage 5 course over a period of ten years. The size of the candidature has varied a little but the pattern of grades is relatively consistent. If there were any marked changes when the school entered its grades for this course the following year, some consideration should be given as to why this might be the case.

Graph showing grading history

Some useful questions to ask are:

  • Is the current pattern of grades what you expected?
  • How does this compare to past grading patterns?
  • Is this what you expected?
  • What evidence is there to support the current grades?

Grade analysis

The grade analysis feature, available in the Results Analysis Package, allows schools to view their historical patterns of grades in different ways. Percentages of grades awarded for a particular course can be displayed in different graphical formats, and a variety of data sets can be displayed on the same graph.

Data sets for the same course from different calendar years can be added to the one graph, similar to the data that is available in Schools Online. A variety of chart types can be selected to view the data in different formats. The grade analysis function allows schools to select only the calendar years to which they want to compare their current results. This is useful where the standards demonstrated in a particular course tend to vary from year to year. If a school had a grade history pattern like the one in the following graph but believed their 2013 and 2014 cohorts to be the most similar to their current cohort, the grade analysis function allows data sets for these two groups only to be viewed together so a comparison can more easily be made.

Graph of grade history

Graph showing grade analysis update

Data sets for different courses in the same calendar year can be added to the one graph. Schools may want to use this feature to compare the grades awarded to the same cohort of students for particular courses. If courses based on similar skills have very different patterns of grades for the same cohort, schools may want to consider what explanation there could be for such variation. If a school had the grade patterns shown in the following graph but expected similar results from the cohorts in these courses, they may want to review their allocation of grades C, D and E for these courses before they submit them to the NESA.

Graph showing grade analysis

The grade analysis function can also be used to view the grades awarded to students from the same cohort for 100 and 200-hour courses. It would generally be expected that students completing a 200-hour course would have had more opportunity to demonstrate a higher level of achievement in relation to the course performance descriptors than students undertaking a 100-hour course.