Examination boards have come under fire from the head of Ofqual after pupils were tested on topics that had been left off the paper or on sitting papers that had errors.
The AQA has now apologized twice during this year’s review period following complaints that a question worth 30 marks was not included in the pre-notification of subjects. of examination.
It was agreed that the notice would be given to GCSE and A-Level students this year to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
The council today apologized to law students for the ‘confusion and stress’ they caused after they included a question about nuisance in the diary.
The AQA had told students that the “higher-priced questions” – those carrying more points – would draw from the listed topics given to students before their exam.
It comes just days after Edexcel, another exam board, was criticized for incorrectly labeling Gabon as the Democratic Republic of Congo on a map of Africa in its GCSE geography article.
The AQA has twice had to apologize for mistakes made during the current exam season. They did not tell students the topics of one of their 30-point questions, which was agreed to mitigate the impact of the pandemic
The main Edexcel exam board came under fire earlier this week after a GCSE geography paper misidentified Gabon as the Republic of Congo (pictured), with a teacher describing it as an ‘excruciating mistake’
Teachers were furious after students received papers containing the egregious blunder.
One told how some of his students were left confused after a map of Africa misidentified the Republic of Congo as Gabon.
The West African state was misnamed and identified with an arrow as part of a lengthy question about the continent’s major oil-producing nations.
Jo Saxton, Ofqual’s chief regulator, told the annual Confederation of School Trusts conference that ‘the support scheme in place for students for this year’s summer series, all intended to make the return to the pre-pandemic arrangements as smooth as possible” had had some “real bumps in this road”.
Dr Saxton said: “I fully understand the distress caused by errors in advance information and review materials.”
She added that the students had “welcomed” exam aids and formula sheets, which she said had “taken the stress off their shoulders”.
Dr Saxton said the 2022 results would be the ‘most generously graded’ set of exams on record, but the results would be lower than those for 2021, when teacher-assessed grades were awarded for GCSEs and A levels.
The AQA also apologized last week after its GCSE Physics paper included a question on a topic that had been excluded in advance information.
An AQA spokesperson said: ‘One of the purposes of advance information is that it should not restrict teaching and learning, so we could not list all the topics on the paper. of examination.
The AQA became the second exam board this week to apologize for a mistake, with teachers and Ofqual criticizing both
‘Although we have advised students to review all topics and include the objective of one of the two 30 point questions, we appreciate that many students expect us to include the objective of both questions – particularly in light of the advice we gave before publishing the advance information.
“We didn’t mean to cause any confusion or stress for students and we’re sorry we did.
“The fairest way to resolve this issue is for us to review student performance on this paper after grading it, and we will take whatever steps are necessary to protect them.”