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Edexcel A-level maths leak meant paper was available on closed social media networks

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Police are investigating the latest A level maths paper leak, which is believed to have taken place at a London school or college, to hit the exam board.

    ‘Seventy-eight pupils have had their results “withheld” while Edexcel investigates whether they benefited from the leaking of the exam board’s A level maths paper, Tes can reveal.

    Pearson, the company which owns Edexcel, has now said that the entire paper was circulating on “closed social media networks” prior to the exam being sat. The company had initially reported that just two questions were leaked.

    It also admitted that a separate A level exam paper which was criticised by some pupils for being too hard did start with two questions which were “more challenging than we typically expect initial questions to be”, although the board said the paper as a whole was “fair”.

    ...It was the third time Edexcel’s A level maths paper has been leaked in three years.’


    https://www.tes.com/news/78-pupils-results-withheld-after-level-maths-leak

    What are you views about the leak? Do you have any confidence in the exam boards that they are doing enough to prevent future leaks? Do you think more could be done to ensure that exam papers are not leaked? What measure would you like to see introduced to increase security and reduce the chances of a leak? Is it unrealistic to think that you can protect against exam paper leaks?
     
  2. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    Not sure why anyone publishes any exams on paper anymore. You could set up any hall with a wireless network, laptops, screens to prevent cheating and invigilators. I did a workplace safety qualification five years ago and East Riding of Yorkshire do online safeguarding certification online. All students get pre-registered and the exam website only allows live access on the day/time stipulated.
     
  3. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    The leaks usually have nothing to do with the Awarding Body and everything to do with dishonesty at the Centres - where someone breaches security. Some reading around will show that there are new procedures in place to reduce risk.

    As to @neddyfonk idea of online - yes this is feasible but I don't think there are many schools that could muster the sheer quantity of kit needed to do it. There are other tech risks too, but they can be resolved.
     
    phlogiston likes this.
  4. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    The school I know best could probably just about muster the computers, at the cost of no IT in the rest of the school for the exam season. I'm not sure they could manage a wireless network of that capacity. They abandoned the wireless network after years of underperformance.
    What happens in exams where graphs and diagrams are needed?
     
  5. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    I can imagine all sorts of potential technical problems if the exams were done online.

    Maybe the packaging of the papers could be made more secure. How about if they were delivered in metal boxes with a combination lock? The combination would only be sent out to centres an hour before the start of the exam. The boxes could be returned and reused many times, obviously with a changed combination, so it wouldn't be too expensive in the long run.
     
  6. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    As regards Edexcel's response to the leak, it seems likely that far more than 78 people cheated. They seem to suggest that the one's who have had their results withheld did oddly well on the 2 questions originally leaked compared to the rest of the paper. Does this mean that people who saw the whole paper probably got away with it?
     
  7. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    They mostly would not need to. A pre-configured device from home might suffice, short term loan/rental from manufacturers eager to get their products into the educational sector or, if they cannot get their heads around the idea of not using paper, the exam papers could be sent on ftp/email on the day to a print shop approved by the local authority and couriered directly within an hour of being printed.
     
  8. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    The evidence is that the leak came from one Centre in London. Meanwhile Pearson are trialling packaging with microchip security.
     
    nomad likes this.

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