Ofqual calls for more multiple choice questions in A-levels

The Telegraph, by :

Pupils should be assessed using multiple choice questions, project work and oral tests as part of a shake-up of A-levels, the qualifications regulator has suggested.

Glenys Stacey, chief executive of Ofqual, said the Government should consider an overhaul of the system used to evaluate pupils’ abilities amid fears schools are too reliant on traditional exams.

She said a review of international evidence showed that other countries employed a wider range of assessment types to mark the full “breadth of study” in the sixth-form.
Ms Stacey also suggested that schools overseas gave teenagers greater access to calculators and other technical aids as part of A-level style courses.

The comments were made in evidence to the Commons education select committee on Wednesday.

It comes despite the fact that the Government is increasingly moving towards end-of-course exams as the most accurate method of assessing pupils, particularly at GCSE. […]

In coming weeks, Ofqual will publish a major report comparing A-levels – the gold standard exam taken by some 250,000 teenagers each year – with similar qualifications in countries including Canada, China, Finland, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, New Zealand and South Korea.

Addressing MPs, Ms Stacey said the report would focus on the way other countries assessed pupils’ abilities, including the greater use of coursework-style projects and multiple choice exams. […]

She also quoted evidence from countries such as New Zealand that showed a “much greater use of technical aids, for example algebraic calculators”.

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