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THE RELIABILITY OF THE ISRAELI "BAGRUT" EXAMINATIONS / מהימנותן של בחינות הבגרות

לאה אור and Leah Orr
Megamot / מגמות
Vol. י"ב‎, No. 3 (אדר תשכ"ג / מרץ 1963), pp. 220-243
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23643609
Page Count: 24
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THE RELIABILITY OF THE ISRAELI "BAGRUT" EXAMINATIONS / מהימנותן של בחינות הבגרות
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Abstract

The reliability of the Israeli "Bagrut" examinations was tested in the following ways: a) by comparing the marks given in a certain year by examiner A to the marks given by examiner B to the same script in Hebrew, Bible, English and Mathematics of the humanistic course. b) by comparing the distribution of marks in one year in some subjects, giving special attention to the proportion of failures. c) by comparing in a few successive years the distribution of marks in the same subjects. It was found that the level of reliability is low. The degree of agreement between the two examiners in relation to the paper they are evaluating is usually low and the differences between the two examiners in Hebrew, Bible, and even in Mathematics are far from being plausible. In Bible, for instance, one examiner evaluated 32% of the papers (about a third) by at least one mark higher or lower than his predecessor. Only in English, the situation is somewhat better — the criteria or evaluation are quite clear, but determination of the "pass' mark is still missing. 20% of the examinees in this subject were given a passing mark by one examiner and were failed by the other. The distribution of marks in the different subjects — and the comparison of the proportion of failures in particular — point to an unsatisfactory situation. Most of the distribution is concentrated around the average and dispersion is small. Furthermore, in some of the subjects, Talmud and Literature, the proportion of failures was small (so as to make the examination almost superfluous) while in other subjects — English (47% failures) and Mathematics (39% failures) the proportion of failures was unreasonably high. The fluctuation in the proportion of failures in the same subjects over several successive years was great. For instance, in Mathematics of the Humanistic course 66.7% (!) failed in one year, while in the next year "only" 39% had failed. The article offers a few suggestions for improving the situation.

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