Five out of six A-level grade predictions by teachers are wrong, study shows

Teachers are treating predictions as 'targets to aim for', research suggests 
The vast majority of A-level grades predicted by teachers are incorrect, and accuracy levels are likely to worsen in future, according to research published today.


The findings are included in a report written by a UCL Institute of Education academic, which reveals that only one in six A-level grade predictions were accurate. Three-quarters of actual grades turned out to be lower than teachers had estimated, while just one in 10 were higher.


The report has sparked renewed calls for a complete overhaul of the UK’s university applications system, so that students apply after their final exam results are known.


Author Dr Gill Wyness suggested that teachers tended to over-predict, rather than under-predict, grades – particularly for lower-attaining pupils – because they treated predicted grades as a “target for students to aim for, rather than a prediction of how they will perform”.


Her report added: “Moreover, there would seem to be little incentive for teachers to under-predict a student's grade since this may encourage them to ‘give up’ or at least discourage them from aiming ‘high’.”


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