In Units 3 and 4 of General and General (Extension) subjects, students complete internal and external assessment to achieve a final subject result. There may be differences in how students perform on each assessment.
The Ratification Committee, a sub-committee of the QCAA Board, reviews and endorses the processes for calculating subject results, the ratification process and provides advice about exceptional circumstances that might affect calculation of results.
As part of the ratification process, the QCAA considers large, unexpected variations for subject groups and investigates these in the following year. The focus of ratification is not reviewing individual results and variations in results on each assessment — the quality assurance processes for confirmation and external assessment marking are responsible for ensuring these are correct. Ratification instead examines any large differences between internal and external assessments for subject cohorts and recommends ways for the QCAA to help the school/s redress the mismatch in the future.
11.4.1 Identifying anomalies in General and General (Extension) subject results
Within every subject, some degree of variation between internal and external results is to be expected. This variability may differ with each cohort and between subjects. Identification of potential groups with much larger than expected variation for investigation depends on the subject involved. It is not assumed that one of the two results is ‘right’ and the other one is an anomaly. Investigations take place both where the external group results are much lower than the internal results, and where the internal group results are much lower than the external results. The largest mismatches for subject groups are identified. The schools are notified of the mismatch and contacted by the QCAA in the year following certification.
11.4.2 Investigating and resolving anomalies
The QCAA identifies schools with anomalies (unexpected results in a subject or assessments in a subject), and contacts the school to establish possible reasons for the anomalies. This informs future school practice as part of the school’s quality management system (see Section 9.1: Quality management system). To ensure continued public confidence in the system, schools with significant anomalies may also be subject to additional scrutiny in the following year. This may include requesting extra student work during confirmation, and possibly other support and checks that the QCAA identifies as appropriate.