LETTER:Questionable proof

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The Independent Online
From Mr Jim Mangles

Sir: I'm afraid Pamma Baker Cassidy (Letters, 23 August) is in error when she claims to have "proved" that A-level and other examinations have not lowered their standards, on the ground that questions in the 1980s and 1990s are almost identical.

The prima facie case for standards having been lowered - namely, that despite far greater numbers of candidates coming forward, a much larger portion of them are gaining high grades - is a much stronger and more convincing "proof" for the contrary view. Surely it is not what is asked that determines the standard of an examination, but the way the answers are marked.

Your sincerely,

Jim Mangles

Diss, Norfolk

23 August