Exam board apologises after A-level blunder

    SIXTH FORM students at Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Girls [TWGGS] have complained to an exam board after they failed to provide the correct materials to complete an exam.

    The Cambridge-based examiner OCR did not provide a formula sheet for standard deviation for a Biology paper last Tuesday [June 13]. Pupils would’ve been expecting the sheet and therefore would have been unlikely to have committed it to memory.

    In a letter to parents, TWGGS Headteacher Linda Wybar, wrote: “We have raised a complaint with OCR regarding this issue, which will, of course have affected all schools taking this paper.”

    A spokesman from OCR said: “For one question on OCR’s A Level Biology paper H420/01 (Question 20a, worth 3 marks out of a total of 100), the formula for standard deviation was not provided.

    “Some of OCR’s guidance to schools and teachers about the syllabus indicated that candidates would be provided with this. OCR apologises and will address any impact of this during marking and grading.”

    It is the third time OCR have had to apologise this exam season after, in an English Literature exam, they suggested that the Romeo and Juliet character of Tybalt was a Montague, when in fact he was a Capulet.

    And in a GCSE Psychology exam, students were asked to calculate the mean percentage of a series of words – something that can only be achieved with numbers.

    Russell Hobby, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “Mistakes in exam papers undermine the confidence of students, teachers and schools. It is crucial that processes are in place to prevent these from happening.”