Meaningful Exam Grades
Give employers and employees the Right to meaningful exam grades at GCSE and A level.
What does an A level "A" grade actually mean?
Has anyone seen a definition? No other grade system in public or private life is to poorly defined.
This does not do pupils and young adults any favours, as hard work and top grades are ignored and ridiculed.
It does not do employers any favours as they simply do not know how to discriminate between candidates, and probably reject potential excellent employees at the shortlist/sift stage without ever reading their achievements let alone meeting them.
Introduce a legally enforcable definition of the top 2 grades and the pass/fail boundary (others will follow naturally). For any subject with more that 1000 candidates an A grade could be defined as the top X%, a B the next Y% and fail less than Z% or less than U partly correct questions. (With over 1000 candidates there should be a "normal" and representative spread of abilities that is consistent from year to year, unless a particular subject is targetted by head teachers as being easy for thick pupils.)
To be honest, employers are less interested in absolute measures of ability, and more interested in comparing between candidates for selected key subjects – and that is not possible if a single grage covers a 40 point range.
Alternatively there needs to be some clear objective qualative definition that inspires confidence that an A grade in one subject represents the same level of intellegence, hard work, practice and learning as an A grade in a wildly different subject. Yes I realise that contradicts the above paragraph, but … this is very difficult to do without testing actual exam questions on statistically valid large number of benchmarked candidates – and that would of course mean revealing exam questions in advance.
Why does this idea matter?
Exams are meaningless unless candidates and employers know what each grade means, and there is strict comparability between subjects and years.