KCSE RESULTS MODERATION PROCESS
You’re undoubtedly curious about how the results of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE ) examination are standardized.
The technique for moderating KCSE scores is straightforward and well-documented.
The Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) standardizes the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination scores every year. KCSE Examination standardization is a mathematical technique that removes variable components from test scores so that candidates can be compared on an equal terms.
In other words, it’s a method of assigning equal weight to each test’s findings, regardless of the number of questions or the amount of time allotted to complete them. An A in Mathematics, for example, is significantly lower than an A in History and Government.
Why Knec standardizes KCSE candidates’ Raw cores to Standard Scores
In a Knec examination, standardization of raw scores to standard scores is a procedure that entails altering the raw scores for each paper to account for differences in difficulty and the extent to which scores scatter/ spread between the top and poorest performing candidates (standard deviation).
The difficulty of the papers is quantified in terms of the candidates’ mean raw scores during the standardization process, while the differences in scatter are measured in terms of the standard deviation.
A candidate’s raw score is the mark earned before normalization. It is the candidate’s original mark in a test, i.e. the number of correctly answered questions.
For example, if a candidate receives 90 out of 100 on a paper, the candidate’s raw mark is 90. A test’s mean raw score is obtained by dividing the total marks of the candidates by the number of candidates who took the test.
The amount of units that a score deviates from the mean score is the standard deviation.
This procedure is carried out with the use of a computerized system.
A reference table termed a ‘look-up table’ is constructed for each test paper written in order to create a standardized score, and the table is specific to that test paper since it takes into account the complexity of the paper.
The look-up table determines the minimum standardized score, although the actual figure will vary depending on the average score of all test takers.
The standard scores are a measure of relative performance that can be used to compare a candidate’s performance to that of other candidates. These scores are important when results from several exams must be merged to provide an overall total, like in the KCSE test, and they are also helpful for other purposes.
The cut-off scores for Grades A to E are similar for all subjects once the raw scores have been standardized, and are thus kept at the same level from year to year.
The candidates’ performance is then reported using the standardized scores.
Does the candidate’s position change as a result of standardization?
The relative positions of the candidates remain unchanged when the scores are standardized; the top candidate in each topic remains at the top.
If the scores from numerous examination papers are to be summed to provide a total score, the standard scores are required. As a result, it is preferred that each paper contribute equally to the overall score.
Scores received from a test that is administered and scored in a consistent, or “standard” manner are referred to as standardized test scores.
Standardized tests are created with the same questions, conditions for administration, scoring procedures, and interpretations each time they are given. They are also given and scored in a predetermined, consistent manner.