Understanding Cambridge Performance Thresholds

Understanding Cambridge Performance Thresholds

A fact: 
As an example, the maximum Checkpoint score is 50, and the maximum total subject raw mark for Checkpoint Lower Secondary English is 100. However, it's a misconception to assume that each 2 marks on paper equal 1 mark on the Checkpoint score. Let's delve into a more accurate understanding.
To grasp Cambridge performance thresholds, let's establish some basics. Starting with Table 1 below:

Table 1

Table 1 Facts 

Column 1: Consider this as titles assigned to the bands, featuring five different titles: Basic, Aspiring, Good, High, and Outstanding.

Column 2: This contains the descriptions corresponding to each title. The purpose of these descriptions is to inform us about what students who achieve each band are capable of doing. 
In essence, Table 1 functions to describe students' abilities using titles and descriptions.

For Cambridge to create this understanding, they need to connect it with numbers since exams are graded numerically. This numerical link is the function of Table 2.

Table 2

To comprehend Table 2, let's establish some basics:
Column 1: This aligns with the titles agreed upon in Table 1.
Column 2: Consider this as the digital title, divided into five levels corresponding to the titles in Table 1—1 for Basic, 11 for Aspiring, 21 for Good, 31 for High, and 41 for Outstanding. These titles and digital values remain constant. For example, Outstanding is always 41.

Now, turning to Column 3, for better understanding, keep in mind that we grade exam papers in each subject (all of them collectively) out of 100. So, Column 3 represents the minimum mark on all of 
a student's papers out of 100.

A practical scenario
look at table 3 below: 

Table 3

Focusing on the red circle in the table for Lower Secondary English First, Cambridge Performance Thresholds - October 2023:

The number circled in red represents the minimum mark on all papers. For instance, if a student achieved minimum 61 out of 100 on the exam papers, they would be assigned the digital title 41. This digital title corresponds to the title "Outstanding." The title gives an indication of what the student is capable of achieving. 

And this implies that all the numbers in Table 2, Column 3, are adjustable depending on the difficulty level of the exam, the subject being tested, and the specific trial or version of the exam a student has undertaken. 

As a matter of fact, Cambridge exclusively possesses the means to adjust these numbers in column 3 through their proprietary methods of analysis. 


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