Student Performance Analysis

GCSE Subject comparisons within school

Subject                    Subject   Group   Diff.   Indic.   Group
                           grade     grade           mean      size

HISTORY                     38.11    39.21   -1.10    106.60      35
MATHS F                     24.25    30.94   -6.69    102.86       8
MATHS I                     37.60    37.47    0.13    105.58      15
MATHS H                     45.52    44.11    1.41    109.10      25
PHYSICS                     37.92    40.19   -2.26    105.71      26
CHEMISTRY                   39.48    41.35   -1.87    108.83      23
BIOLOGY                     42.25    39.87    2.38    106.95      48
ASTRONOMY                   31.00    43.90  -12.90    121.67       4
DRAMA                       40.00    34.40    5.60     98.57       9
LATIN                       35.20    44.04   -8.84    113.78      10
ROMAN CIVILIZATION          43.60    39.87    3.73    114.25       5
HOME ECONOMICS              46.00    38.37    7.63     99.25       9
CDT                         36.80    38.40   -1.60    105.31      15
GERMAN                      49.00    43.17    5.83    117.50       4
FRENCH                      37.12    39.87   -2.74    106.95      48
COMPUTER STUDIES            38.36    41.00   -2.64    106.64      11
GEOGRAPHY                   40.49    39.73    0.76    106.41      41
ENGLISH LANGUAGE            42.12    39.87    2.26    106.95      48
ENGLISH LITERATURE          40.87    39.87    1.01    106.95      48
H & A OF MUSIC              42.00    40.22    1.78    125.00       3

This table shows each subject, its average (mean) grade achieved by the pupils doing the subject, the average grade achieved by those same pupils but in all the subjects they entered, the difference between the two last figures, and the indicator average score for the pupils doing that subject.

This is a very useful table for one can see at a glance the average grade achieved in all the subjects sat. The group grade gives an indication of the ability of the students sitting each subject judged by their actual performance in these particular examinations. The differential shows how each subject fared with the pupils who studied it compared to the other subjects those particular pupils sat.

The indicator average (mean) score gives a measure of the ability of the pupils who sat a particular subject judged by whatever test was administered previously.

The above analysis sheet is also available for girls and boys separately.

Things to consider
Do not expect the column of differences to add up to zero: it will not, for each group of students sitting a particular subject will sit a different range of subjects according to the options scheme in place.

Beware making an assumption about a particular subject's performance until you have checked on the numbers sitting it. Very small numbers in a subject can lead to distorted performance figures.

Some subjects are simply harder than others, therefore it is unfair to criticize them in comparison to a subject that is less difficult. It is better to look at trends over a number of years to see if a particular year's results are aberrant and then search for reasons eg. change in syllabus, different teachers, smaller numbers in the group etcetera.

By becoming involved in a consortium approach to the analysis of examination results, it is possible to compare your own school's figures, as per this table, with those of other schools. It then very quickly becomes apparent which subjects are harder than others and performance of a department can be judged in relation to the same subject area in other schools with similar ability groupings.

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