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Comparability of national tests overtime: a project and its impact

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Massey, Alf 


This article summarises the findings and discusses the impact of The Comparability Over Time (CoT) Project, which was commissioned by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) in 1999 and published in 2003. The project investigated the stability of national test standards at all key stages and in all subjects. National test standards are of considerable public interest, not least because of the political prominence these tests have been accorded, including government claims that the huge improvements in results since tests were introduced in the mid-1990s stem from the plethora of recent educational policy initiatives.



Evaluation of assessment, Standards, Question difficulty, Comparability, Historical perspective

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Research Matters

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Research Division, Cambridge University Press & Assessment

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