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Effectiveness of Using Competency Tests to Appoint Marking Officials in Grade 12 Examinations in The Western Cape, South Africa
This paper will indicate results of an internal study to determine the effectiveness of using competency tests when appointing marking officials for the final Grade 12 examinations. The study, which will be carried out in June/July 2019, will compare the performance of markers in the competency test to that of other assessments conducted during the marking process itself.
Grade 12 examinations are the final exit examinations for school children in the country and count 75% while school based assessment (SBA) counts 25%. The examinations are furthermore used as the yardstick by which SBA is statistically moderated. Marking these final examinations is thus a very important activity. In appointing markers, the Public Administration Measures in South Africa prescribes minimum criteria. The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) uses an additional criterion, competency tests, in eleven selected subjects with high enrolments.
The study will focus on Mathematics and History marking. The competency test performance will be compared to two assessments conducted during the actual marking process: a premarking exercise featuring tolerance levels per question and item of the paper to be marked and an end of marking evaluation by the marker themselves and their immediate moderator. The marking evaluation instrument has components that evaluates marking skill but also has elements that evaluate attitude and values. Using the three instruments, a comparison was made for each marker. In so doing, an analysis was conducted for the different levels of performance of markers in the competency test against their actual evaluated performance at the marking. This pilot study may be extended to other papers as well in the future.
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