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#31 elemimele

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 23:58

Let's follow the reasoning:

(1) The idea is, I assume, to save pupils the anguish of missing out on something good by only one mark.

(2) Now it would be grotesquely unfair to remove an extra mark from someone who deserved 99, merely to make them feel "better" about themselves by failing thoroughly rather than failing by a mark. To deliberately mark someone down below what they deserve is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, unethical. 

(3) Therefore the only option is to add a mark and award 100, thereby passing the student.

(4) Given that this policy appears to be known, a student now knows that 99 is now actually a pass-mark (since if they earn 99, they will pass).

(5) Since students are not allowed to miss out on a pass by only 1 mark (that was the original concept that drove this argument), a student now cannot be awarded 98, as they know that had they got 99, they would have been passed.

(6) By induction, ABRSM examiners are now not allowed to award any mark whatsoever below that which would earn a distinction.

 

An exam is a system of measurement. It should measure. Ideally it should be objective. Objective systems give set marks for set achievements. If you aren't allowed to report what the objective system declares to be the answer, you are basically cheating. I appreciate it's cheating in a good-ish cause, but it's still cheating.

 

What use is a set of kitchen scales that misses out 15 ounces?


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#32 linda.ff

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 07:24

I think the examiner has the discretion to round it down as well as up. This person's marks total 99, but I think they deserve/don't deserve to pass.
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#33 Latin pianist

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 07:30

Given that the aural is generally the last part of the exam, does that mean the extra mark has to be given or taken away there? Does the examiner add up the score so far and if it's 90, 110 or 120 then think, I mustn't give 9 for the aural. I have a returning adult pupil who tells me that she failed grade 1 with 99 as a child.
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#34 hummingbird

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 08:17

Given that the aural is generally the last part of the exam

Do most people do the exam in the same order then?  I generally do scales, 2 pieces, aural, 3rd piece, sightreading.  I like to give myself a break from playing by doing the aural in the middle.


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#35 Latin pianist

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 08:21

My pianists do, but I know wind and brass players I have accompanied do often have a different order.
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#36 Hildegard

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 08:24

Given that the aural is generally the last part of the exam, does that mean the extra mark has to be given or taken away there? Does the examiner add up the score so far and if it's 90, 110 or 120 then think, I mustn't give 9 for the aural. I have a returning adult pupil who tells me that she failed grade 1 with 99 as a child.

 

I think wind players usually do the aural staright after the pieces in order to get their breath back before playing the scales and sight-reading. I guess that examiners often pencil-in marks in case they need to be changed due to getting the addition wrong or arriving at a 'forbidden' mark. If they don't they would have to rewrite any such marksheets during a break or in the evening as I believe alterations are not allowed.


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#37 jenny

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 09:44

I know we're talking about practical exams, but I did feel a bit sorry for a young pupil who got 89 for Grade 1 theory recently. His writing was quite untidy and I'm pretty sure that if he had written a bit more carefully, he would have got the distinction that he would have loved. 


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#38 Aquarelle

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 15:28

I can't see anything wrong or any cheating involved in leaving the examiner to judge whether overall the near miss is really a near miss and therefore the candidate can't be considered to have reached the relevant standard, or whether the near miss was due to some unfortunate accident and the overall presentation actually deserved to be given a pass, merit or distinction. You can't, in a music exam, start distributing marks for right or wrong answers as in a maths test. Otherwise the AB could happily send along a nice little robot to replace the examiner; In  a human situation which involves contact and interpretation, we just have to trust to  examiners to make a decision where there may be just a little doubt.  


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#39 linda.ff

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 17:04

I can't see anything wrong or any cheating involved in leaving the examiner to judge whether overall the near miss is really a near miss and therefore the candidate can't be considered to have reached the relevant standard, or whether the near miss was due to some unfortunate accident and the overall presentation actually deserved to be given a pass, merit or distinction. You can't, in a music exam, start distributing marks for right or wrong answers as in a maths test. Otherwise the AB could happily send along a nice little robot to replace the examiner; In  a human situation which involves contact and interpretation, we just have to trust to  examiners to make a decision where there may be just a little doubt.  

Yes. I had a little girl doing grade 4 - we had got a bit caught out by the dates and she didn't look to be ready in time. But she had extra lessons and extra practice and I said "you go on like this and you're in danger of passing this exam". But on the day, she came out crying, told her mum that everything that could have gone wrong had gone wrong, and wouldn't talk to me on the way home (Mum gave me a lift). All I could say as I got out of the car was "you're good. You just might not have been quite so good today, but you're good".

 

She passed with 100. I reckoned that if it had been 99, the examiner would have been able to tell from her scales, which were pretty good, that she was probably a player of grade 4 calibre, so if it had added up to 99, he would have given her the benefit. So possibly first impressions count too.


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#40 Spanish Pavane

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 18:34

Reply to Polkadot - orchestral instrument candidates do the pieces first because they have to get rid of the accompanist.  That's what normally happens, though not compulsory.  And then once the accompanist has walked out, the candidate, if a wind instrumentalist, is asked what they'd like to do next.


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#41 hummingbird

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 20:14

Reply to Polkadot - orchestral instrument candidates do the pieces first because they have to get rid of the accompanist.  That's what normally happens, though not compulsory.  And then once the accompanist has walked out, the candidate, if a wind instrumentalist, is asked what they'd like to do next.

Ah, yes, thanks for reminding me, I'd forgotten.  When I did my clarinet exams, I mostly did what you've said, except for G3 when I changed the order and my accompanist waited outside until needed.


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