Find out how we set grade boundaries for our onscreen, on-demand tests.
In this short video, Paul Webster, one of Pearson's Subject Advisors, answers the question, "Why do my students have different grades when they got the same mark?"
For each unit assessed by an onscreen, on-demand test, there are several different versions of the exam available within a 'live' test bank. When you take the exam, we allocate a version of the test that you haven't previously completed.
Having different versions of the test helps us to ensure that no one knows what questions they are going to get asked until they start the exam – even if a friend was tested for the same unit the week before, or you are resitting the exam.
Grade boundaries are set independently each time a new test is released into the live test bank. This means the number of marks you need to achieve a particular grade may be slightly different depending on the version of the test you completed.
We constantly review which versions of the test are available to sit, and monitor performance across different versions of the test. The grade boundaries are published once the test is no longer available to students.
It’s possible for two students who sat an onscreen, on-demand test at the same time to have the same mark but different grades. This is because they have sat different versions of the test. Each test we set asks different questions and may assess different parts of the specification. It would be unfair to students if we set grade boundaries at the same level for each version of the test, as that wouldn't take into account that some versions may be slightly easier or more difficult than others.