Moderation and conversion
The moderation of marks consists in comparing the school marks of a group of students with those obtained by the same group on the ministerial examination. This comparison is made for each group of students in all schools and is used to calculate the final mark.
Moderation is always applied to all students’ school marks. It involves adjusting the school marks upward or downward and cannot result in the failure of any student who has obtained a pass mark on the ministerial examination.
The goal of moderation is to ensure that the marks submitted are valid and comparable from one school to another throughout Québec. This process aims to bring more fairness and equity to the evaluation of student learning in class.
In other words, since the degree of difficulty of the local examinations written by students varies from one educational institution to another, two different school groups can have identical marks on the local examinations while showing a wide variation in marks on the ministerial examination. The ministerial examination is the only exam that can objectively compare the two groups because all students take the same exam.
The moderation of marks is calculated using a statistical procedure. The distribution of school marks for each group of students is adjusted in relation to the marks obtained on the ministerial examination, according to the average and the standard deviation (that is, the dispersion of marks around the average). Students’ school marks may increase, remain the same or decrease, but always remain in the same position within the group prior to the alignment of marks.
Conversion consists in slightly raising the marks obtained on a ministerial examination, thus making the success rate comparable from one year to the next. Conversion is always applied as an increase.
This conversion is only used in cases where the success rate on a ministerial examination is much lower than in previous years. Based on the analysis of the results, the Minister determines the application of the conversion and its parameters.