Comparative analysis of assessment in the MYP and the GCSE (2019)

The National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC)

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This study compares assessment in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) with a focus on four subjects: English, mathematics, integrated/combined sciences and physics. The comparative analysis explores the aims, assessment objectives, assessment methods, and cognitive demand of the MYP and GCSE assessments. The main phases of the study included a review of subject specifications, examination papers and associated mark schemes; comparative assessment of examination frameworks and cognitive demand; and evaluation and synthesis. The independent comparative analysis of MYP and GCSE assessments found that the two qualifications are comparable. Analysis of the four subjects examined in this study also found clear comparability in terms of the level and range of skills assessed. This review found that while there are some notable differences in the qualifications, these principally relate to the duration and volume of assessment. Lastly, overall, the assessments can be considered comparable in terms of cognitive demand.

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