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THE SCHOOL SYSTEM

Every ninth high grade an actual "No Pass"

Published måndag 14 november 2011 kl 10.35
Swedish students. Photo: Jessica Gow/Scanpix

Teachers correcting the same test vary wildly in their assessments and give different grades. That is the conclusion of an overview of national tests done by the School Inspection Authority.

In the Swedish grading system, a pupil must receive a "Pass." For better results, the scale climbs to "Pass With Distinction", or "Pass With High Distinction." For students who fail a test, the result simply says "No Pass."

Now students who were given a "Pass With High Distinction" from their own teachers on national tests have had their grades reassessed by the School Inspection. One in nine was pegged down all the way to a "No Pass."

This comes after the government ordered a review of over 70,000 national test results.

School Inspection head project manager Arletta Plunkett says to Göteborgs-Posten. "This poses a serious threat to the equality of grades when teachers arrive at such different results."

The national tests, which are designed at state level, are supposed to minimise subjective interpretations of students' academic achievements. 

The School Inspection now says several questions on the test did give room for interpretation.

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