Educational charity AQA acquires GradeMaker

AQA – the UK’s leading assessment organisation – has acquired GradeMaker, a specialist assessment technology company, with the aim of expanding the platform’s capabilities to deliver even better services for all its customers.

AQA is the UK’s largest provider of general qualifications, setting and marking more than half the GCSEs and A-levels taken in England each year. It is a world leader in assessment, with a cutting-edge research department focusing on advancing assessment.

GradeMaker is an assessment authoring and item banking solution, trusted by exam providers around the world to create high stakes examination papers and other assessments.

AQA has already been using GradeMaker for four years to author assessment items and exam papers securely and reliably across a wide range of subjects. GradeMaker Pro is now used to develop more than two thirds of all GCSE and A-level exam papers developed by AQA, and continued investment will enable greater adoption across more subjects, as well as enabling the authoring of on-screen exams and assessment.

As part of the AQA group GradeMaker will go from strength to strength, continuing to help global awarding organisations to improve the efficiency, quality and security of their large-scale exam operations – with new opportunities to integrate additional assessment services from AQA’s growing portfolio.

Colin Hughes, AQA’s Chief Executive, said:

“Bringing GradeMaker into the AQA group is a key component of our strategy to lead digital change in examinations.

“It also builds on our strategy to diversify across educational assessment more widely, and we will aim to bring different subjects and types of assessment onto the platform.

“The acquisition of GradeMaker is a further demonstration of our determination to put quality of service to teachers and learners front and centre of our aims.

“Working together with our other acquisitions such as Alphaplus, our assessment consultancy, and TQUK, our recently acquired vocational and technical qualifications provider, GradeMaker will enable us not only to enhance what we deliver domestically, but also to extend our services to teachers and learners around the world.”


Shaun Crowley, GradeMaker’s Head of Business Development, said:

“The GradeMaker team is delighted to be joining the AQA group.

“GradeMaker is already deeply committed to helping our clients implement technology for developing high-quality and fair exams. This aim perfectly aligns with AQA’s mission to never let a learner down.

“We would like to make it clear that it is very much business-as-usual for our clients who are using — or planning to use — the GradeMaker platform. We are committed as ever to ensuring their assessment data is kept safe and secure.

“At the same time, we see huge opportunities for leveraging AQA services to broaden our support for the end-to-end assessment process. We look forward to collaborating with our new AQA colleagues in this exciting new chapter for the business.”  

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