Academic Inflation

How does academic scores between the past and present compare; equivalence or inflation/deflation ?

Is a 1989 PSLE score of 274 from twenty years ago, the same as a score of 274 in 2009 ?

Or ‘perfect scores’ of 9/10 A1s in the O-Levels, between then and now…

Or 4+2 As in the A-Levels, between now and then…

One wonders…


2 thoughts on “Academic Inflation

  1. While I have heard claims that the tests are often designed in such ways as to allow for these comparisons, I really don’t believe in them. Collective knowledge is never constant. The number that I find more interesting is the percentile rank. Among peers, the location on the curve is important.

  2. Hi ld,

    I think I had the musing above at the time when they released the various examinations’ results, and where there was a slew of reports on collective and individual performances. A few articles on several top achievers were interesting and I guess prompted my wandered wondering. Within the cohort, percentile ranking by the curve is of course the only reliable measure; and there may be enough persistency (between the students across the years, as well as exam standards) for a more or less meaningful comparison, even between twenty years.

    Still, one really shouldn’t wander, wonder and compare. I guess the only truism will be:
    For every high mountain-top, there will always be another higher peak.



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