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Test/exam marks in the Language Centre

Mark scaling across languages and levels in languages in the Language Centre

The Language Centre has to ensure that marks are in the appropriate ranges for all modules, and has to ensure fairness and parity of treatment for students who not only may be doing different languages, but who may have entered the language at different levels.

Scaling of marks is sometimes necessary for the final exams in order to bring one set of marks in line with others. Marks are scrutinised in order to ensure fair treatment across the same level of different languages as well as recognition for the same level of effort and work for different entry levels. For example, if the range of marks across the module cohort is markedly lower in French 5 than French 3, the implication is that the French 5 test was relatively harder (even allowing for the difference in prior knowledge). Mark scaling brings the mark ranges into line with each other. Depending on the mark range, it might be that French 5 marks are raised OR that French 3 marks are lowered.

Care is taken with small groups to ensure that other variables do not account for what might seem to be a mark average which is out of line with other languages/levels.

The process is done at the end of a module, but is not always necessary (if, for example, the reading component marks are high, but the overall module marks are within the university’s typical mark range).

It is important to understand this process, so that no false expectations arise regarding the module mark, because of a high mark in just one component.

Marks are always provisional until the external examiner has overseen the process. We involve external examiners to ensure that what is done is fair, and in line with other Language Centres in other universities.