Where student performance in an examination or other assessed work is measured by comparing it with the performance of others, rather than against fixed criteria. Thus, in a group of very high‐attaining students a candidate might gain a high score, such as 70 per cent, but still be graded as a low pass if most of the group gained 80 per cent or more. Similarly, where the standard of performance was low overall, a candidate who answered very few questions correctly might gain a high grade if the rest of the cohort performed even more badly. This method of assessing and grading is in direct contrast with criterion‐referenced assessment. See also assessment criteria.