Should a A grade be special?

With more and more students achieving an A grade many people are now asking what it’s worth.  5GCSEs (A* to 5) is now almost an entitlement.

Should a national exam system have grades that follow a normal distribution (Norm Referenced) or should it be that if you know the answers then you get the grades (criterion referenced)?

There was a time when only a very small percentage of pupils achieved A grades (maybe 10%) but now it’s much higher.

There is an argument for both clearly but the retiring Head of Edexcel (Jerry Jarvis) is suggesting a return to norm referencing would be a good thing – or at least a hybrid system where both could be given – the grade letter (Norm) followed by the actual score (criterion).

An interesting article given the current debate about exams for ICT.

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