Comparing attainments in related subjects at A level: How choice of subject affects grades achieved
Bachan, Ray (2002) Comparing attainments in related subjects at A level: How choice of subject affects grades achieved In: The British education research association conference 2002, 12 - 14 Sep 2002, Exerter, England. (Unpublished)
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This paper compares academic performance in two subjects viewed as relatively close substitutes at A-level. The important role of GCSE achievement is confirmed for both subjects. There is evidence of strong gender effects and variation in outcomes across Examination Boards. A counterfactual exercise suggests that if the sample of Business Studies candidates had studied Economics nearly 40% of those who obtained a grade C or better would not have done so. The opposite exercise suggests that 12% more Economics candidates would have achieved a grade C or better if they had taken Business Studies. In order to render a Business Studies A level grade comparable to an Economics grade in terms of relative difficulty, we estimate that the downward adjustment of 1.5 UCAS points should be applied to the former subject. This adjustment is lower than that suggested by correction factors based on conventional subject-pairs analysis.
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