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Validation of the Judgemental Approach used by CXC to Assure Comparability of Grades across Years

Transforming Assessment and Evaluation

Discussant Information

James E. J. Young
School of Education, UWI, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados

Author Information:

Professor Stafford Griffith
The School of Education, The University of the West Indies, Mona

Presentation Information:

Presentation #: 9
Date: 3rd June, 2015
Time: 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: KHAIROON EAST (Room 1)


The comparability of grades for the same examination taken by different candidates across years is an important quality that a public examination must satisfy. The Caribbean Examinations Council benefitted from the practices of UK examinations boards in establishing procedures to meet the technical requirements of its examinations and the grades awarded to candidates. The procedures used by the Caribbean Examinations Council for assuring comparability of the grades awarded for the same subject examination across years, continue to rely heavily on technical judgements of panels of experts as is still the case in most UK boards. This paper reports on a study of the extent to which the results obtained by the judgemental approach used by CXC to assure comparability of the Grade III/IV cut scores (at, and above which students are awarded satisfactory grades) is supported by the results obtained from statistical scaling procedures used to establish cut-scores that are comparable across years. The results of the study show that the statistical scaling procedures and the judgemental procedures produce essentially the same results. This supports the view that the judgemental approach used by CXC is achieving the intended purpose. However, taking into account the cost and demands of the judgemental approach, compared with the efficiency of the statistical scaling approach, it is recommended that CXC should consider utilizing the latter to assure comparability of the cut-scores of the same examination across years.