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May 9, 2023

How do students choose A levels?  There are all sorts of reasons that might influence a student’s A level choices such as enjoyment of a subject, parental influence, university requirements and in Psychology we talk about the therapy hypothesis - that students choose psychology to better understand themselves and possibly their own neurodivergence or mental health conditions.  But the GCSE data in 2020 provided a unique opportunity to understand how much influence class rank (and potentially self-perception of their ability in a given subject) plays into students’ A level choices. Whilst this research is quantitative in nature it raises so many interesting questions around setting, self-perception, referencing and even student-teacher relationships. My guest Dr Joanna Williamson from at Cambridge University Press & Assessment where she  is a Senior Researcher in educational measurement.

You can find the research on this link and the link to the Fleischmann paper here.