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Exam board fined for GCSE and A-level mistakes

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    ‘The UK’s largest exam board for GCSEs and A levels has been publicly reprimanded and fined by the regulator for errors in the marking of its papers.

    As well as having to pay £1 million for a repeated breach of the same regulation relating to marking reviews, AQA has also received a public rebuke from Ofqual for failing to identify the risks associated with using a question from a specimen paper in a live exam. It has also been fined £50,000 for incorrect marking of its A-level French exam.’

    What are your views about the blunders and the large fine? Do you think the fine will make any difference in trying to reduce the instances of future blunders happening again?

  2. sophiemartinez38

    sophiemartinez38 New commenter

    am glad Ofqual has finally done something about failures from exam boards as they are making a lot of money from state funding. Why would the government not establish a state run exam board, non profit making for all exams? there wouldn't be these errors maybe.
    This year we sent back a written paper and our student lost 8 marks in her remark, how is that possible?
  3. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Marking is done by humans, who are inherently fallible. Exams are written by candidates who will phrase answers in all sorts of ways; this leads to issues of judgement in marking. So it's practically impossible to guarantee exactly consistent marking: there will be some variation.
    However 8 marks is a big difference. I assume that you called for a copy of your candidate's script before requesting a re-mark? Did you therefore see this change coming?
  4. CandysDog

    CandysDog Established commenter

    It’s interesting. Ofqual do seem to come down hard on exam boards making operational errors like this.

    However, when it comes to the actual marking, Ofqual seem to side with exam boards, such as the change in rules so that marking reviews now must find an error in the marking, rather than just a more accurate mark.
  5. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    In subjects where the marking has an element of examiner judgement, it's reasonable, isn't it, that the original examiner's call stands unless it is actually contravening the jurisdiction of the mark scheme? That's the way that reviews work - they are not the same as re-marks.

    (A review is similar to the DRS in cricket on lbw decisions.)

    By the way, we have had no exam boards in this country since 2001.

    AQA has awarding body status and has had for the last eighteen years.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
  6. CandysDog

    CandysDog Established commenter

    Ofqual call them exam boards...
  7. CandysDog

    CandysDog Established commenter

    It used to be that seniority won out: examiners looking at scripts again are more senior and therefore (in theory) ‘better’ markers.

    Now the original examiner’s judgement stands merely because he/she was first.

    I agree with Ofqual’s thesis that there is no one single ‘correct’ mark for subjectively marked subjects, but they seem to have gone too far in the direction of accepting anything that could possibly be interpreted as following the mark scheme by any definition.

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