Diploma exam results exceed expectations
Edmonton... Student marks on the January mathematics and science diploma exams are higher than average in all cases after being split into two separate parts for the first time.
The written-response and machine-scored exam components for math and sciences were separated this year following the separation of social studies exams last year. The change gives students more time to write each part of the examination and allows them to focus on one type of response. No changes were made to the actual questions to ensure consistent standards.
"These results are very encouraging and show that when students are better able to focus on one type of response, they can better demonstrate their abilities," said Minister of Learning Dr. Lyle Oberg. "The changes to exams are part of an ongoing effort to continually improve our learning system and I am confident that this new format benefits Alberta students, now and in the future."
Highlights for the January 2004 diploma exams results include:
- In Pure Math 30 and Physics 30, marks on the written component were higher than ever before. The average results for the written portion of Pure Math 30 increased by over 10 per cent, while Physics 30 average results increased by over 12 per cent compared to previous years.
- For all math and science exams, students performed better in all but one subject on both the written-response and machine-scored parts compared to previous years. The only exception was the machine-scored component of the Science 30 exam. However, overall marks in this subject remained above average due to stronger performance on the written component of the exam.
- For all exams, the percentage of students receiving low marks for the written portion decreased.
- The number of students who did not respond to written-response questions was almost zero.
Feedback from teachers who marked the exams also indicates that students' written responses were longer and of better quality.
This is the first set of exam results for math and science available for comparison after the separation of the components of the exams, so it is too early to conclude the increase in marks is due to the change. Alberta Learning will continue to monitor the results and will release all 2004 results in September.
In addition to separating the exams into two parts, Alberta Learning also changed the scheduling of exams to allow the marking to be completed during the school term and have teachers in their classrooms for the beginning of the following semester. In response to feedback on the scheduling change, Alberta Learning is revising the schedules for 2004-05 and 2005-06 to address some of the concerns.
Along with excellent teachers, a centralized high quality curriculum, and outstanding learning and teaching resources, Alberta's effective standardized testing program ensures province-wide standards of achievement are maintained.
November 2000 - November 2003
(written-response, machine-scored and total exam)
for November 2000 - November 2003 and January 2004
|Subject||Average mark (%) |
|Average mark (%) |
|Applied Math 30 written-response||55.6||65.1|
|Applied Math 30 machine-scored||61.3||63.5|
|Applied Math 30 overall||59.3||64.1|
|Pure Math 30 written-response||60.3||71.7|
|Pure Math 30 machine-scored||65.9||67.7|
|Pure Math 30 overall||63.9||69.2|
|Biology 30 written-response||59.8||62.3|
|Biology 30 machine-scored||64.2||67.9|
|Biology 30 overall||63.0||66.4|
|Chemistry 30 written-response||59.0||65.8|
|Chemistry 30 machine-scored||65.6||69.1|
|Chemistry 30 overall||63.8||68.2|
|Physics 30 written-response||56.6||69.8|
|Physics 30 machine-scored||68.8||70.6|
|Physics 30 overall||65.1||70.5|
|Science 30 written-response||63.2||65.8|
|Science 30 machine-scored||65.1||63.8|
|Science 30 overall||64.5||64.7|