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MIS Systems Thread, Subject Difficulty Factor GCSE in Technical; Hi I have been trying to find the latest information on Subject difficulty factors so which subjects are considered more ...
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    Subject Difficulty Factor GCSE

    Hi

    I have been trying to find the latest information on Subject difficulty factors so which subjects are considered more difficult than others in some sort of table format so that we can build this in more to our data analysis we do use residuals but I just wondered if their was anything else.

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    It's not 'latest' but this report from a few years ago is very interesting http://www.cemcentre.org/attachments...2008report.pdf
    It's got a summary here too http://www.score-education.org/media...difficulty.pdf
    They reference other research. It's probably worth contacting the FFT to see if they have tables. I've never really looked into it, but presumably they 'factor' this in to their predictions.
    I'm interested to know how you want to use the info though, compared to targets that you might get from FFT or other sources.

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    Steven_Cleaver (18th November 2012)

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    The CEM is the one I could find but thanks Vikpaw I'll give the other one a look.Would you think the CEM would still be relevant.

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    Sure would. Being a physicist i'm somewhat biased, but yes, i think the conclusions to draw would be STEM are considered more difficult, but you can't really tell much with stats, or at least you can tell what you want with stats. What you'll never quite quantify is motivation and individual response to exams. If they think maths is hard, they won't concentrate in class, won't choose it as an option, will panic in exams etc. If the teacher is naff . .etc.

    KS3 would be a good one to look at where they have to do a set of subjects rather than looking higher up where students choose to study certain options.

    The thing is, for me, Music is hard, maybe it's because i need longer to study it, maybe it was the bad Scottish teacher i had in Y7, or i didn't learn it at an early enough age. How do you factor that in, when deciding if music is harder than maths.

    At any rate, the table on p93 of the full report is useful, also consider this view from a university point of view, but again it's subjective. Some good links, and in a circular way, it links back to that CEM document. So i guess there's limited research out there.

    You should contact FFT and the people that produce alis and midyis or whatever the other standards of grade predicting are to see what if any data they use. They might just do it all based on a simple grade increase adjusted by socio-economic factors. I'm sure when we used the data, we had to make up our own way of combining the core subjects to give a prediction for something non-standard.

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    As you say you can tell what you want with Stats.

    To be honest when I saw the stuff from CEM myself and the Exams Officer did think of perhaps contacting midyis and yellis to see how they did it and if they had anything more up to date so we were going to contact these Monday just sort of thought their would be more info on this.

    We use various data to set targets and do this with staff to give them input and involve them in ownership but was just looking for national subject difficulty factors we kind of use our own school Historic over the last five years. We also measured midyis expected results so year 7 gainst what they actually achieved 5 years later only did this for a couple of subjects including language but found these were around 85% to 90 % accurate so reasonably reliable so have started to use these more along with Expected progress and other measures.
    Again thanks for your take on this useful as always.

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    sorry, should have been a link in there with example from Trinity college, Cambridge
    A-levels: Relative Difficulty and Uni Admissions Selection criteria - The Student Room

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    Cheers will have a look at this as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    sorry, should have been a link in there with example from Trinity college, Cambridge
    A-levels: Relative Difficulty and Uni Admissions Selection criteria - The Student Room

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