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The accuracy of students' predictions of their GCSE grades

Attwood, Gaynor; Croll, Paul; Fuller, Carol; Last, Kathryn


Paul Croll

Carol Fuller


The paper reports a study that investigated the relationship between students' self-predicted and actual General Certificate of Secondary Education results in order to establish the extent of over- and under-prediction and whether this varies by subject and across genders and socio-economic groupings. It also considered the relationship between actual and predicted attainment and attitudes towards going to university. The sample consisted of 109 young people in two schools being followed up from an earlier study. Just over 50% of predictions were accurate and students were much more likely to over-predict than to under-predict. Most errors of prediction were only one grade out and may reflect examination unreliability as well as student misperceptions. Girls were slightly less likely than boys to over-predict but there were no differences associated with social background. Higher levels of attainment, both actual and predicted, were strongly associated with positive attitudes to university. Differences between predictions and results are likely to reflect examination errors as well as pupil errors. There is no evidence that students from more advantaged social backgrounds over-estimate themselves compared with other students, although boys over-estimate themselves compared with girls. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 25, 2013
Journal Educational Studies
Print ISSN 0013-1946
Electronic ISSN 1465-3400
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 39
Issue 4
Pages 444-454
APA6 Citation Attwood, G., Croll, P., Fuller, C., & Last, K. (2013). The accuracy of students' predictions of their GCSE grades. Educational Studies, 39(4), 444-454.
Keywords GCSE, academic self-concept, predicted grades, examination reliability
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