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Students' views and experiences of A level module re-sits

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Gill, Tim 
Suto, Irenka 


In this study we obtained over 1,300 A level students' views and experiences of re-sits in Psychology and Mathematics, prior to a reduction in re-sit opportunities taking effect nationally. The aim in collecting the data was to gain an understanding of what the likely effects of a system of reduced re-sits would be on students and their teachers. We focused on two popular but contrasting A level subjects: Psychology and Mathematics.

We found that one of the students' most common reasons for re-sitting could be seen as a valid means of getting a higher grade. However, most students who responded to the questionnaire gave multiple reasons for re-sitting a module. In each subject, a majority thought that re-sits had both made them work harder, and increased their knowledge of the subject. These views indicate that module examinations do not only provide summative assessment, but are also used for formative assessment purposes too.



Evaluation of assessment, Impact of assessment, A Level/AS Level

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Research Matters

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Research Division, Cambridge University Press & Assessment

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