Reliability Issues in Standardized Assessment: A Study of the SSC English Examinations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa


  • Mehran ALI Research Scholar Mphil English, City University of Sciences and Information Technology Peshawar
  • Aiman Naeem Research Scholar Mphil English (Linguistics), City University of Sciences and Technology Peshawar
  • Alia Rasool Lecturer in English, Department of English, Islamia College Peshawar
  • Muhammad Umer Assistant Professor Linguistics, Department of English, Islamia College Peshawar



Reliability in Assessment, Grading Reliability, English Language Assessment, Interrater Reliability, SSC Examination, KP


This research attempted to examine the reliability issues in the standardized assessment of the SSC English examinations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Discrepancies in students’ achieved score on the examinations and their actual scores raise questions about the grading of the said English examinations. This study employed a survey with open-ended questions. The data were collected from students who scored 90% or above marks on the examinations through random sampling. The data were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. The preliminary findings revealed a significant discrepancy between students' grades and their actual writing proficiency as identified through inter-rater grading. The study revealed a noticeable depreciation in inter-rater grading compared to the Board grades, thereby creating doubts about the reliability of the grading practices of the standardized English assessment. It is suggested that paper grading methods and techniques of board examinations are revisited.