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Rita Nádas and Irenka Suto: An exploration of self-confidence and insight into marking accuracy among GCSE maths and physics markers

GCSE examinations are high-stakes national assessments taken by 16-year-olds in England. They are administered and assessed by national exam boards like Cambridge Assessment, and emphasis is placed on ensuring marking accuracy and reliability. Cambridge Assessment is conducting a series of studies exploring markers' cognitive thought processes in order to improve the quality of its assessments. Our research investigates markers of differing expertise, and includes an exploration of markers' insights into the quality of their own marking. Research into self-assessment has revealed that people often lack insight into their competence in performing cognitively demanding tasks, and suggests that practice and feedback enhance insight. This empirical study aimed: (1) to investigate how markers' self-confidence changes during the course of the GCSE marking process; and (2) to explore how much insight markers have into their quality of marking; (3) to identify any differences in insight between experienced and inexperienced markers. Candidates' responses from past UK GCSE maths and physics examination questions were marked by groups of experienced and inexperienced (graduate) markers. Questionnaires asked markers about their perceived accuracy on three occasions during the marking process. We found that marking accuracy varied among individual markers, and that groups showed differing patterns of insight, with some significant correlations between performance and insight. Generally, however, it appears likely that markers’ own perspectives are poor indicators of their accuracy.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 107. Number 3. 169-184. (2007)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Nádas Rita, Research Officer, Research Division, Cambridge Assesment, 1 Hills Road Cambridge CB1 2EU United Kingdom


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia