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The Nature Of A Distintion


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#1 musikchica78

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 14:06

Hi,

Does anyone know roughly what percentage of people who take the ABRSM grades 1-8 get a distintion?

Also, when the Examiners mark do they try to find points to take away marks (negative marking), making it very difficult to get a distinction, or do they mark to the candidate's advantage if they think they are good enough?

This might seem a bit strange but there are several different styles of marking that different exam boards use.
In other words I really want to know if getting a distinction is positively encouraged if you are good enough, or if examiners try to give them sparingly for only the truly exceptional?

I would love to hear from you if you know, or are an examiner!

Thanks!
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#2 sbhoa

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 14:12

The answer to your first question ins in the stats in the annual report I think.

Marking starts form the pass mark with marks going up or down according to the marking criteria.
You can find this in 'These Music Exms' from the ABRSM home page.

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#3 maggiemay

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 14:15

I suggest you get hold of a copy of 'These Music Exams' and have a look at the assessment criteria on pages 37 - 43.

I tried to find this online and failed, although I believe it is there somewhere.

Maybe someone else knows where to track it down and can provide a link. Otherwise the booklet is available from music shops or I think by post from the board.

(ed aha - I see sbhoa had the same idea! I tried a search and did not find it however!)
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#4 sbhoa

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 14:17

QUOTE(maggiemay @ May 27 2010, 03:15 PM) View Post

I suggest you get hold of a copy of 'These Music Exams' and have a look at the assessment criteria on pages 37 - 43.

I tried to find this online and failed, although I believe it is there somewhere.

Maybe someone else knows where to track it down and can provide a link. Otherwise the booklet is available from music shops or I think by post from the board.

(ed aha - I see sbhoa had the same idea! I tried a search and did not find it however!)


Click on 'exams'. It's at the bottom of the page.
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#5 maggiemay

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 14:18

Think I've got it. Go to this page
https://www.abrsm.org...Syllabuses.html

and scroll down to the bottom - you'll find a PDF download.

(thanks!)
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#6 jazzycat

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 14:19

Here's a link to These Music Exams

EDIT: maggiemay, you beat me to it!
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#7 anacrusis

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 14:41

As far as the bit about examiners encouraging the "good enough" goes, my guess is that this is likely to be variable from individual to individual, to some extent. It's not in the board's interest to award distinctions too generously - they need to be tough enough to get that candidates can really prize them, otherwise the board's reputation suffers...BUT, I've certainly had experience of getting a distinction in a situation where I felt I didn't distinguish myself at all for one section of the exam, and was unremarkable in another: I was, however, very aware that the examiner had been impressed with my pieces. The final result was that coveted mark, right on the border, but nevertheless a distinction - my own assessment of my performance in that exam was that it could just as easily have come in rather lower than that, but that my pieces had made up for the gremlins this time round. It's only one example, so one can't read anything into it, but does show that it is possible for someone who is maybe not a good all rounder still to do okay.
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#8 Arundodonuts

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 14:50

QUOTE(musikchica78 @ May 27 2010, 03:06 PM) View Post

Hi,

Does anyone know roughly what percentage of people who take the ABRSM grades 1-8 get a distintion?

See https://www.abrsm.org...ticalStats.html




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#9 Maizie

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 14:51

Exams stats for pass/merit/distinction/fail are on the website: UK and International
Interntaional only has 2009, but for UK it goes back to 2001. You can make pretty graphs in Excel from these if you have time on your hands blush.gif
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#10 musikchica78

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 14:59

QUOTE(Maizie @ May 27 2010, 03:51 PM) View Post

Exams stats for pass/merit/distinction/fail are on the website: UK and International
Interntaional only has 2009, but for UK it goes bac k to 2001. You can make pretty graphs in Excel from these if you have time on your hands blush.gif



Maizie,

you are a star. Unfortunately, I really do have time on my hands to make a chart to show my kids. If you have time yourself, could you tell me how please? happy.gif
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#11 Guest: Solari_*

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 15:01

QUOTE(musikchica78 @ May 27 2010, 03:59 PM) View Post

you are a star. Unfortunately, I really do have time on my hands to make a chart to show my kids. If you have time yourself, could you tell me how please? happy.gif


If I get time later I might knock a few together and post them smile.gif
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#12 musikchica78

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 15:06

Thank you so much for the generous advice from everybody. I know that, Solaris, if you do post the charts, a lot of people would find them beneficial.

Thanks!
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#13 sam_1

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 18:12

Interesting topic....
I think the marking criteria are quite specific, so even though some examiners may be more lenient than
others perhaps, the mark allocation is pretty rigid...
I do suspect though that if the examiner thinks your performance is worth a merit/distinction/pass, he/she will
award it even if it is borderline. Hence, I normally manage to scrape a merit happy.gif
Considering how volatile the whole exam experience can be - nerves etc - the mark awarded isn't necessarily
a true reflection of one's ability or preparation.

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#14 Guest: Solari_*

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 21:10

Just knocked these up for UK stats - will do the rest if I get time. It's quite consistent actually. Shows that the coveted distinction is definitely not given out willy nilly.

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#15 HelenVJ

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 07:31

Goodness, Solari - that is impressive! Can't even begin to imagine how you did that.

Looking at those charts, what I find interesting is the significant drop-off with each grade of the total number taking the exam.
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