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Investigation into the relationship between P1 exam results and A-level results

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Introduction

Investigation into the relationship between P1 exam results and A-level results

Aim

My aim is to investigate the relationship between scores in the P1 exam and the final score obtained in the A-level exam. I have obtained a table of 249 students which tells me their results in the P1 exam and their final mark for the A-level, from the school’s maths department.

I wish to investigate this relationship as I have taken my P1 exam and will be completing my A-level maths year. This would give me a good indication of what my result could be like. Also, in the future this investigation could be used by teachers and students to assess whether it is fair to base a prediction of the likely A-level maths result on the P1 result. I hope then to prove convincingly whether the P1 exam result is correlated with the final A-level result, and to what degree is this correlation.

Data Collection

My population is all the students taking A-level maths from the MEI syllabus over the last 5 years. However, I cannot obtain all these results because of several reasons. Firstly I do not have the resources to find all the schools taking A-level maths in this syllabus and some of the colleges may disclose their results to me. This would also require more time perhaps several months before I would be able gather all the results.

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Middle

84

24

68

76

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80

73

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58

69

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75

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90

88

29

73

61

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87

88

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90

74

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73

76

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53

79

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90

90

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82

77

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70

73

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85

79

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96

85

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84

66

40

98

90

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100

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100

87

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90

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63

57

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100

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50

73

69

The names of the students are not here, due to confidentiality. Also, all the above marks are out of 100. However, as the results are taken over 5 years there was a change made to the maths A-level specification during 2001. This resulted in each module being marked out of 100 instead of 70. Therefore I had to convert all the

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Conclusion

Accuracy and Refinements

My population sample is taken from a boy’s independent school. This excludes girls which could possibly affect the results, for example girls may tend to improve more after a poor P1 result or the opposite may be true. Also, I have taken results from the MEI syllabus which could also lead to some bias because other syllabuses may be different and possibly harder. Also, considering that I have taken results from independent school, these would differ from results from a grammar school or sixth form college. The standards in independent schools are much higher and it would be assumed that these pupils would be gaining higher marks. This also would introduce some bias. The other main problem encountered was that the MEI syllabus changed over the 5 years. I overcame this problem by converting all the marks to out of 100; however, there could still be some bias.

All these factors could effect the correlation, however, I still believe that there would still be positive correlation for my population. If I had more time and money, there would be several ways in which I could improve this investigation. Firstly, I would be able to collect more data from other schools, such as grammar and colleges. This would also include female students too. Also, I could select schools or colleges which take a different exam board. This would give a better sample population which would take into account these bias factors.        

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