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UK Predicted Grades

by cwg1g161 min read10th Aug 20201 comment

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An issue arising in current UK politics is the issuing of high school grades for students who weren't able to take their exams this summer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This could be an interesting experiment in Game Theory; how does one decide what grade a student should get? Should one decide at all?

Firstly, the main victims of this unfortunate position are those expecting to go to university in September, who are unable to delay by waiting to take exams later this year or next year. The current UK policy was to consider previous and predicted grades of students and to consider the performance of the schools to help make an educated guess as to what the students would have achieved. The issue with this is that some schools overestimate what their students would have achieved and their students predicted grades, either honestly (through error) or dishonestly (to improve their performance records). This means those schools who are honest and correct have their student's grades moderated downwards, meaning many students are disappointed in their scores and may miss out on a place at university. Ultimately, if too many students aren't meeting their university admission offer, universities will have to lower their standards to meet their required course numbers.

Is there a similar situation in Game Theory in which one must guess the outcome of multiple games based on the correlation of past results? Is there a Game Theory solution to this problem?

More practically speaking, if universities make the ultimate decision to admit a student, what is the point in using an arbitrary guess, made by organisations with a conflict of interest, as a basis of admission? Should universities reconsider their process for this year's intake and allow all who have an offer into university, regardless of their "grades"? How would that affect universities?

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