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Thread: Are your Marks Actually Affected by Your School?

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    Are your Marks Actually Affected by Your School?

    So I've heard that if your cohort (in your school year) does better externally, everyone's internal marks (assessment mark) get "pulled up", which is why you should help people in your year.

    However, I've also heard that the school you go to should not disadvantage/advantage the scaling/moderation of your internal marks (assessment mark), so that two students of the same skill should not have different internal marks because of the school they go to (if all the internal assessments and marking were exactly the same across both schools, the only difference being the performance of other students in the school).

    So which is it?

    The second explanation sounds much more fair, because theoretically your own marks should not be affected by how good/bad the other people in your school year are (which is mostly out of your control), and the purpose of moderation of internal marks is to make everything fair, isn't it? If the first explanation is true, then doesn't this greatly advantage people at selective/private schools, and greatly disadvantage people at non-selective schools, raising concerns about inequality?

    Of course, going to a school with greater competition will make students work harder because of greater competition, versus if they are at a low-ranking school and have no competition, which can lead to laziness/complacency.

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    Senior Member sida1049's Avatar
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    Re: Are your Marks Actually Affected by Your School?

    The marks from the external HSC exams are used to standardise the internal marks across schools. This means that if students of some school usually get marks of around 70 in the internal assessments, while they received marks of around 90 in the external HSC exams, then after moderation and scaling, the internal marks of the students will be around 90s as a means to take into account various variables which played a role in the difference between the internal and external marks.

    With regards to your first interpretation, so if your cohort does better on the external HSC exams than the internal assessments, then it's true that your final reported internal mark will be higher than the internal mark your school gives you (since in this case, it means that your internal assessments were relatively harder than the external HSC exams). (Consider another case; if your teachers gave everyone 100 as their internal marks, then everyone's reported internal mark will be their reported external mark.) You can't really say that selective schools boast higher results due to this process, but rather that they benefit from being selective. Ideally, if a student works just as hard in a public comprehensive school, they should also do just as well (I think this is generally the case; I went to one), which naturally leads to your section interpretation: it is indeed the case that the point of moderation is to make it so the reported internal marks of students across schools can be compared (i.e. the variables causing discrepancies have been reasonably controlled).

    [If anyone wants to correct me, go ahead; it's been years since I gave this stuff some serious thought.]

    Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) III, USYD

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    New Member Bob Jane's Avatar
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    Re: Are your Marks Actually Affected by Your School?

    Did you know OP, universities award bonus points for attending lower ranked schools or living in a low socio-economic area?

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    New Member Opengangs's Avatar
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    Re: Are your Marks Actually Affected by Your School?

    Yes and no.

    You aren't immediately disadvantaged if you attended a lower-ranked school as long as you performed well internally. That being said though, it may mean you would have to work a little bit harder in comparison to someone who went to a school like NSB or James Ruse mainly because there tends to be a greater number of people who do well in those schools (hence, their rank).

    But if you've done well in your school, I don't see any reason why you can't attain the same marks as someone from the schools mentioned above! So you'd be better off doing really well at your school as opposed to an average student at a top school.
    Mathew587 likes this.

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