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Multivariate Multilevel Analyses of Examination Results

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Abstract:

In the study of examination results much interest centres on comparisons of curriculum subjects entered and the correlation between these at individual and institution level based on data where not every individual takes all subjects. Such ‘missing’ data are not missing at random because individuals deliberately select subjects that they wish to study according to criteria that will be associated with their performance. In this paper we propose multivariate multilevel models for the analysis of such data, adjusting for such subject selection effects as well as for prior achievement. This then enables more appropriate institutional comparisons and correlation estimates. We analyse A- and AS-level results in different mathematics papers of 52 587 students from 2592 institutions in England in 1997. Although this paper is concerned largely with methodology, substantive findings emerge on the effects of gender, age, intakes of General Certificate of Education pupils, examination board and establishment type for A- and AS-level mathematics.

Keywords: Examination choice; Institutional differences; Mathematics examinations; Missing data; Multilevel model; Multivariate response model

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Education, London, UK

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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