Evaluation of assessment

Evaluation of assessment

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An important part of our research involves gathering and analysing evidence to ensure that all aspects of our examination process are as good as they can be. 

The field of evaluation and validation activity is wide and includes all aspects of the process. For example, designing a syllabus, constructing a test blueprint, creating examination questions and mark schemes, training and marker standardisation, evaluating the functioning of questions and tests, evaluating the accuracy and reliability of marking, investigating the quality of standards setting and standards maintenance procedures and outcomes. 

The many research reports and articles that appear in this area support our model of evaluation set out in the Cambridge Approach.

Published materials

Related materials

From the 90s to now - How has media coverage of exams changed?

Insight, 08 May 2019

Reflecting on more than 20 years in Public Relations for Cambridge Assessment, Bene't Steinberg charts a spike in newspaper coverage of exams, sparked by ambitious politicians, a fight for university places and an increase in public interest, and also how social media has changed the way journalists report this annual hot topic. 

The Cambridge View on structural and technical issues

Insight, 30 May 2013

The DfE has identified a number of areas where it wishes to make changes to the current GCSEs. Tiering and Grading are amongst the most challenging. Read our views on structural and technical issues.

A remedy for 'teaching to the test?'

Insight, 05 April 2019

Ofsted’s new inspection framework: OCR’s Paul Steer assesses how a shift in focus from exams to curriculum quality will guard against a ‘pub quiz’ education.

Raising the game – new 14-16 qualifications in England

Insight, 07 March 2013

Qualification reform plans in England are gathering pace, there have been many changes already and there is therefore a growing demand worldwide for information about what is happening and why. Learn about the Cambridge View.

The Cambridge View on Science

Insight, 07 March 2013

Our vision for Science qualifications in England is to provide an appropriate foundation for those wishing to progress to further Science study, whilst also offering a grounding in the fundamentals of Science for those students who do not continue the subject after 16.

The Cambridge View on Mathematics

Insight, 07 March 2013

Our vision for Maths qualifications for England is to develop a curriculum and assessment model that emphasises the richness and power of Mathematics, is comparable in intellectual rigour to the best in the world, and encourages the continued study of the subject.

Examiner judgement in higher education assessment

Insight, 06 November 2013

Speaking at a recent seminar hosted by the Cambridge Assessment Network, Sue Bloxham, Professor of Academic Practice at the University of Cumbria, explored a mismatch between the policy and practice of assessment judgement in higher education.

The Cambridge View on English

Insight, 07 March 2013

Our vision for English qualifications in England is to develop a curriculum and assessment model that helps young people explore communication, culture and creativity, develop their critical and independent thinking and engage with the richness of our language and literary heritage.


International education: a view from South Korea (5:32)

Paul Friend, Principal at the North London Collegiate School on Jeju Island, South Korea, and some of his students explain what international education means to them.

The meaning of validity (3:17)

Are certain elements of the supposed ‘consensus’ more central than others, and to what extent are different versions of the ‘mainstream’ account compatible?

International education: a view from Switzerland (6:05)

Christian Wölfle, Vice Principal at KV Zürich Business School, talks about the challenges and gains of fostering culturally aware and open future citizens from a vocational school point of view.

Critical Thinking: Beth Black (19:13)

Beth Black, Senior Research Officer, presents a recent study that showed that pupils who study Critical Thinking as a discrete subject at AS Level tend to do better in their other A Level subjects.

Tim Oates' views on international surveys (2:53)

Tim Oates calls for contextualised interpretation of the complex data that transnational surveys provide. 


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Seminar: Students' and teachers' views and experiences of A Level unit resits (27.8MB)

Dr Irenka Suto and Tim Gill (Cambridge Assessment) present.

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Seminar: Making the most of our assessment data (28.6MB)

Nicholas Raikes (Cambridge Assessment) presents.

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Seminar: Identifying the boundaries of validity theory (21.7MB)

Dr Paul Newton (Cambridge Assessment) and Stuart Shaw (University of Cambridge International Examinations) present.

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Seminar: The effects of modular GCSE examinations on students’ outcomes, motivation and workload (30.8MB)

The effects of modular GCSE examinations on students’ outcomes, motivation and workload - featuring Dr Carmen Vidal Rodeiro and Sylvia Green (Cambridge Assessment) - 02 February 2011

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Seminar: (De-) Formative assessment: is formative assessment as benign as we think? (30.2MB)

Dr Barbara Crossouard (University of Sussex) asks "is formative assessment as benign as we think?"

Research Matters

Research Matters is our free biannual publication which allows us to share our assessment research, in a range of fields, with the wider assessment community.

Research Matters 28: Autumn 2019