NCDS EXAMS (1978)


Details of examination performance by members of the NCDS cohort were obtained in 1978 by writing to schools which study members were known to attend at the time of the 1974 follow-up (NCDS3). Schools were asked to provide details of all CSE, GCE and (in Scotland) SCE examinations entered up to 1978. They were also asked to indicate when an individual was known to have gone to study elsewhere (eg. another school, sixth-form college, FE college, etc) and might have taken more such examinations. In such cases the other institutions were also contacted and the relevant results obtained. (Steedman, 1983).

The information collected is available as an Exam Summary Measures File. This contains a number of derived variables created by the NCB for use in its own work. These include many summary measures which are likely to be most commonly used such as total number of examination entries, number of 'O' level 'passes', best result in specific subjects and so on. In creating the summary measures special efforts were made to cope with particular problems such as time and place constraints, grade equivalence, retakes and double entries. As a result a number of alternative summary measures of examination entry and performance are provided using the following 'standard' set of time and place constraints:

  • BY 1974/76, Any place - includes examinations taken by what can be considered the 'conventional' time (ie. by June 1974 for 'O' levels, CSEs and SCE 'O' grades; and by June 1976 for 'A' levels, SCE 'H' grades and Certificate of Sixth Year Studies - but excluding any retakes in November or December of those years) irrespective of where they were taken. 
  • BY 1974/76, NCDS3 school - includes only examinations taken in the school attended at the time of the NCDS3 follow-up and within the 'conventional' time. 
  • ANY TIME, Any place - includes all examinations taken up to when the data were collected in 1978 irrespective of where they were taken. 
  • ANY TIME, NCDS3 school - includes only examinations taken in the school attended at the time of the NCDS3 follow-up irrespective of when they were taken.

In some instances additional summary measures are provided for 'A' levels or SCE 'H' grades: 

  • ANY TIME, Any school - includes examinations taken in any school attended irrespective of when they were taken. 
  • ANY TIME, FE college - includes examinations taken in any FE college attended irrespective of when they were taken. 
  • ANY TIME, Sixth form college - includes examinations taken in any Sixth form college attended irrespective of when they were taken.