# Thread: Ranks and the gaps in between

1. ## Ranks and the gaps in between

Hi guys!

So today my teacher was talking about how they're very surprised at the competitiveness and closeness of ranks for this year's cohort - for pretty much all my subjects - Modern, Ancient, English Adv, Extension 1 and 2, the gap between Rank 1 up to Rank 13 is literally 1 to 3 marks.

Looking at my school's history of ATARs, a 98/99 ATAR was only achieved by the two top students who were ranked 1st or 2nd in every subject. But my teacher was saying that past cohorts weren't as strong as our current one (2018). I'm currently only ranking 1st or 2nd in three of my subjects, where the people below me aren't far off either, but for my other three subjects, I'm in the Rank 3 to 13 range, where I'm literally just one or two marks off the person getting the top mark.

I heard NESA takes into account the "gaps" between ranks, so I'm wondering what they mean by this, given my current circumstances?

2. ## Re: Ranks and the gaps in between

Basically, I believe this means that when NESA calculates your moderated internal assessment mark, they take into consideration not only your rank, but also the 'relative percentage gap' between your rank and 1st place (however, if you're rank 1, then the whole gaps business doesn't really matter).

For example, let's say that you were second in a subject and only 1% off rank 1. This means that your moderated internal assessment mark would most likely be around 1 mark off the highest exam mark achieved in the HSC exam for your cohort. So if the highest exam mark achieved by your cohort in English was 94 and you were rank second by 1%, then this means that your internal mark would most likely be 93 or something like that.

As a result, it is probably better to be like rank 10 or something with a 1-3% gap from first place rather than being second with a 5% gap from first place.

However, this scenario of NESA making your internal mark correspond to the gaps between different ranks doesn't always happen.

Let's say for example that the total difference between first and last place in school assessments was 15% but in the actual HSC exam, every one was very close and the gap between first and last place was only by 5 marks. Then in this case, being behind by 7% in school assessments from first place would probably only mean that your internal HSC mark would only be 2 marks off the highest HSC exam mark (since everyone's internal mark must be in between the highest and lowest exam mark achieved by the cohort).

I don't know if that helped or made any sense but hopefully you found it useful.

3. ## Ranks and the gaps in between

So what if you ranks are spread out by decent gaps but in the HSC exam you get like 2nd place, close to 1st?

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4. ## Re: Ranks and the gaps in between

Originally Posted by supR
So what if you ranks are spread out by decent gaps but in the HSC exam you get like 2nd place, close to 1st?

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Think of a rubber band where you put dots (marks on it). Then for your moderated assessment mark, you stretch or constrain the rubber band that sort of replicates the gaps and distribution of the school marks.

So let's say 1st place is far away from the cohort and everyone else including 2nd place are like 5-10 marks away. Then the 2nd rank student's moderated assessment mark will be dragged down because he is closer towards everyone else.

5. ## Re: Ranks and the gaps in between

Originally Posted by captainhelium
Basically, I believe this means that when NESA calculates your moderated internal assessment mark, they take into consideration not only your rank, but also the 'relative percentage gap' between your rank and 1st place (however, if you're rank 1, then the whole gaps business doesn't really matter).

For example, let's say that you were second in a subject and only 1% off rank 1. This means that your moderated internal assessment mark would most likely be around 1 mark off the highest exam mark achieved in the HSC exam for your cohort. So if the highest exam mark achieved by your cohort in English was 94 and you were rank second by 1%, then this means that your internal mark would most likely be 93 or something like that.

As a result, it is probably better to be like rank 10 or something with a 1-3% gap from first place rather than being second with a 5% gap from first place.

However, this scenario of NESA making your internal mark correspond to the gaps between different ranks doesn't always happen.

Let's say for example that the total difference between first and last place in school assessments was 15% but in the actual HSC exam, every one was very close and the gap between first and last place was only by 5 marks. Then in this case, being behind by 7% in school assessments from first place would probably only mean that your internal HSC mark would only be 2 marks off the highest HSC exam mark (since everyone's internal mark must be in between the highest and lowest exam mark achieved by the cohort).

I don't know if that helped or made any sense but hopefully you found it useful.
Omg thank you, this was helpful and nicely explained!

I don't think the second scenario would happen for my school haha. Like the grade is slightly better than previous grades, but not to the extent that I think the person coming last would do extraordinarily well or be ~5 marks off from the top mark. xD

6. ## Re: Ranks and the gaps in between

Originally Posted by supR
So what if you ranks are spread out by decent gaps but in the HSC exam you get like 2nd place, close to 1st?

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You will keep your exam mark as your 'HSC exam mark'. However, it will be averaged out with your 'school moderated assessment mark ' (i.e. internal mark).

So if your school rank was spread out from first and other places by decent gaps, then NESA will try to replicate this when calculating your internal mark.

Of course, this depends on how well everyone actually did in the HSC exam. If the mark distribution in your cohort for school assessments turned out to be similar to the mark distribution in your cohort for the HSC exam, then NESA will most likely just give you an internal mark that reflects your 'school rank' gap from the highest exam mark.

So say for example someone was rank 5 in school and 5% away from first place. However, in the HSC exam, they got 93 and the highest exam mark in the cohort was 94.

If everyone's performance in the exam turned out to be similar to how they performed at school (i.e. their rank and gaps in school turned out to be similar to their HSC exam marks), then this student's exam mark would be 93 and their internal mark might be 89 (5 marks away from the highest exam mark of 94).

That's why you've probably heard teachers saying it's good if you help your peers before the HSC exam. If everyone does well, then the range of marks scored in the exams would be smaller. NESA must give school moderated marks that are within this range.

So for example in English, I kinda screwed up in school and was rank 4 with a gap of around 12% from first. The range from first to last place in my cohort was around 20-25%.

However, in the HSC exam, almost everyone did pretty alright and so the range of exam marks in our class was much smaller (I think the range from first to last was only by around 10-12 marks or something). Since NESA has to keep the internal marks within the range of exam marks, my internal mark was only 6 marks off the top exam mark instead of 12.

I don't know if that helped but hopefully it did.

7. ## Re: Ranks and the gaps in between

Originally Posted by captainhelium
You will keep your exam mark as your 'HSC exam mark'. However, it will be averaged out with your 'school moderated assessment mark ' (i.e. internal mark).

So if your school rank was spread out from first and other places by decent gaps, then NESA will try to replicate this when calculating your internal mark.

Of course, this depends on how well everyone actually did in the HSC exam. If the mark distribution in your cohort for school assessments turned out to be similar to the mark distribution in your cohort for the HSC exam, then NESA will most likely just give you an internal mark that reflects your 'school rank' gap from the highest exam mark.

So say for example someone was rank 5 in school and 5% away from first place. However, in the HSC exam, they got 93 and the highest exam mark in the cohort was 94.

If everyone's performance in the exam turned out to be similar to how they performed at school (i.e. their rank and gaps in school turned out to be similar to their HSC exam marks), then this student's exam mark would be 93 and their internal mark might be 89 (5 marks away from the highest exam mark of 94).

That's why you've probably heard teachers saying it's good if you help your peers before the HSC exam. If everyone does well, then the range of marks scored in the exams would be smaller. NESA must give school moderated marks that are within this range.

So for example in English, I kinda screwed up in school and was rank 4 with a gap of around 12% from first. The range from first to last place in my cohort was around 20-25%.

However, in the HSC exam, almost everyone did pretty alright and so the range of exam marks in our class was much smaller (I think the range from first to last was only by around 10-12 marks or something). Since NESA has to keep the internal marks within the range of exam marks, my internal mark was only 6 marks off the top exam mark instead of 12.

I don't know if that helped but hopefully it did.
So from the 2nd half or so of your message, the goal is to try really hard in HSC exams to close the gap?

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8. ## Re: Ranks and the gaps in between

Originally Posted by supR
So from the 2nd half or so of your message, the goal is to try really hard in HSC exams to close the gap?

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Yeah, basically. If everyone does well, and the range of exam marks from first to last are pretty small, then any big gaps from school marks are essentially condensed/reduced to some extent!

However, if you are first place, or very very close to first place, then this whole 'ranks' and 'gaps' business doesn't really matter. For example, I was second in Biology by 1% so I wasn't very affected by the internal mark at all even though the range of marks in the HSC exam and school assessments might have been decent. Likewise, if you are first in a subject, you will pretty much get the highest exam mark scored for that subject within your cohort.

Hope that helped.

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