Student spots A Level exam mistake

AN EAGLE-EYED student spotted an error on an AS Level exam paper, only to be told by the exam board that there was no mistake.

Year 12 Samuel Whitbread pupil Callum Bateman sat the AQA Geography paper which later turned out to have an error on it.

But his concerns were ignored when he brought the issue up, leaving him feeling “stupid”.

The error referred to a diagram showing the flow of a river, which was labelled wrong. The question was worth a maximum four marks out of 50.

Callum said: “When I got to the question, from my point of view, it looked wrong.


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“No-one pointed it out so I thought I must be mistaken. I told my Geography teacher and invigilator and they said they’d have a look at it.

“They said they didn’t think they could see anything, and when it was reported to the exam board, they said there was no mistake.

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“I was made to feel stupid - I thought I might was being arrogant thinking I had spotted a mistake which didn’t exist and that no-one else had spotted.

“Then a while later, I saw in the news that the question did have a mistake in it. It left me feeling pretty annoyed.”

The matter has now been referred to the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (OFQUAL), along with four other AS Level papers and one GCSE exam.

Rob Robson, principal at the school said: “A student reported an error on an exam paper during this season’s examination sessions.

“We immediately took action on this and reported it to the exam board.

“At first, the exam board did not acknowledge that there was an error in the exam, but subsequently they did. They then released a statement to us.

“Although any error is extremely regrettable, the examination board has made a clear statement about how they are going to address this problem.”

A spokesman from AQA said: “Following a review of a range of responses from candidate to the question, AQA has decided that the most appropriate course of action in this instance is to credit all candidates with the maximum mark for this question.

“During the awarding of grades process, we will look at any impact on the performance of the cohort on this paper.”

Did you spot a mistake on a GCSE or A Level exam? Let us know by emailing editorial@thecomet.net or call the newsdesk on 01438 866200.

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