Assessment training: Intermediate statistics for assessment in practice

Assessment training: Intermediate statistics for assessment in practice

Speakers: Dr Joanna Williamson (Senior Research Officer)
Date: 30 Mar 2020
Time: 10:00 - 12:00
Type: Training workshop Fee: £90.00

Please note that we now intend to run this assessment training online. Further details will follow.

This session covers statistical topics that build directly upon basic statistics knowledge, and are important in assessment. The teaching approach will make clear conceptual connections between topics, and focus on a series of key assessment applications. Throughout the workshop, you’ll carry out a mixture of shorter and longer practical exercises to support your understanding

Workshop outline

Statistical topics

Assessment applications

1. Mapping and transforming marks

a) Motivations

b) Types of mapping: linear, segmented linear, non-linear

Aggregation of unit results, Uniform mark scales, tier equating, scaling centre marks, comparable outcomes
2. Correlation Comparing unit results

3. Hypothesis testing

a) Statistical significance

b) Using different distributions: normal, chi-squared, and student's t-distribution

Basic research questions, marker monitoring

Key learning outcomes

  • Know about the statistics and assumptions that underpin Uniform Mark Scales, tier equating, comparable outcomes, and scaling
  • Feel more confident and informed about statistical terms used within Cambridge Assessment
  • Understand the principle of hypothesis testing and how this is useful in assessment

Intended audience

This session is intended for assessment professionals and others working in education who have significant assessment responsibilities.

As it is a technical course, participants should take careful note of the prerequisites listed below and the course outline, to check whether the course is a good match for their needs and interests.


To benefit from this workshop, you should understand:

  • Percentages
  • Cumulative frequency
  • The normal distribution
  • Mean, mode, median and standard deviation
  • Excel formulas and functions

I would have loved for it to last longer. It was so interesting and captivating!”

Cambridge Assessment Network's course Basic Statistics covers these topics to the necessary level of depth. If you would like to refresh your knowledge of these topics, the following list shows some publicly-available resources that cover the necessary material:

Topic Resources
Percentages Revision notes from BBC Bitesize - Percentages
Cumulative frequency

Revision notes from BBC Bitesize - Representing data

Multiple choice quiz (To access the quiz, the website 'Diagnostic Questions' will ask you to sign up for a free account. If you don’t want to sign up, you can access a non-interactive PDF version of the same quiz).

The normal distribution Topic review at the right level by Khan Academy. It includes questions to check your understanding.
Mean and standard deviation

Revision notes and practice questions from BBC Bitesize:
Analysing Data and Comparing data sets using statistics

Calculating the mean by Khan Academy 

Standard deviation recap by Khan Academy - The idea of spread and standard deviation

You will also need to be numerate and comfortable using Excel. Check the list of specific skills below, self-assess, and refresh/revise where necessary before the course begins.

Skills/knowledge you will need Resources
Know that the order of operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) matters Revise with BBC Bitesize - Order of operation and Khan Academy - Intro to order of operations

Be able to calculate a given percentage of a given value (e.g., 16% of 345,000)

Be able to express one number as a percentage of another number (e.g., 18/30 as a percentage)

Self-assess with BBC Bitesize - Percentages test. Revise with BBC Bitesize - KS3 Percentages and BBC Bitesize - GCSE Percentages

Be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide values in Excel using cell references

Be able to apply Excel formulas and basic functions (e.g., SUM and AVERAGE)

Microsoft Office support available - Multiply and divide numbers in Excel and AVERAGE function

Book now

Course trainer

Joanna Williamson - Research OfficerDr Joanna Williamson is a Senior Research Officer at Cambridge Assessment, working in the Educational Measurement team. Her research projects use statistical analyses of assessment data to look at questions such as the impact of AS and A Level reform, the effects of mark scheme differences, and relationships between students’ school qualifications and their progression to further/higher education and employment.

Joanna holds an MMath in Mathematics, and also a PGCE, from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in Mathematics Education from the University of Southampton.

Related links

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Please contact us for further information about the Network events and bespoke training.

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