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A-level music marking ‘lottery’ stops young composers getting top grades, study warns

4th January 2016

Academics find teachers have little confidence in ‘unreliable’ external marking of compositions at AS- and A-level

Young composers are missing out on top A-level grades because “inconsistent and unreliable” marking of music assessments is a “lottery”, researchers from Birmingham City University have warned.

Music teachers have little confidence in the external marking of sixth-formers’ own compositions at both AS- and A-level, with many claiming that grading is inconsistent and unreliable, academics from the university’s School of Education found.

The composition element of A-level music typically makes up 30 per cent of the overall grade, meaning inaccurate marking could have a significant impact on a student’s final grade and could cost them their university place.

Almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of teachers interviewed said they did not believe results from exam boards were consistent, while two-thirds (66 per cent) said they felt assessment requirements were unclear, leaving some lacking confidence in predicting students’ grades.

Read more on The Independent Website