Extra marks for exam illness up 10%

The BBC is reporting that almost 3% of this summer’s exam papers were given extra marks because of pupils having problems such as a temporary illness, the highest level on record…

The figures from exam regulator Ofqual showed a 10% increase in such cases in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

There were 374,000 requests approved for “special consideration” in marking this summer’s GCSEs and A-levels.

The most common adjustment was worth 3% of the maximum exam mark.

The figures from Ofqual show that there was an even higher level of requests from schools for such special consideration – rising by 13% on the previous year to 415,200.

Only about 10% of these requests were rejected.

The extra marks are allowed because an exam candidate has faced an unexpected disadvantage, which could range from a minor illness to something more serious, such as a bereavement.

The exam regulator describes the criteria as “temporary injury, illness, indisposition or another unforeseen incident immediately before or during the exam’s period”.

It could also allow a student to receive a grade reflecting their ability if they were unable to attend an exam.

As well as these adjustments for unexpected problems, Ofqual says that candidates taking a further 209,900 exam papers were given special access arrangements because of a disability or a medical condition.

These numbers of special access cases are falling, both in terms of request and approvals.

But the most common request remains asking for an extra 25% time for candidates, which was allowed for 107,400 exam papers.

Other types of help included using a reading device or someone to act as a scribe, such as for people with problems with their sight…

More at:  Extra marks for exam illness up 10%

What do you make of these figures? Are schools legitimately pushing as hard as they can on behalf of their students or does the increase raise suspicions of abuse of the system? Please give us your thoughts in the comments or on twitter… 

Scrapping qualified teacher requirement 'threatening standards', say educationalists
Co-educational schools are bad for girls
Categories: Secondary.


  1. MinoHedgehog

    SchoolsImprove hard one. It’s fair to consider factors that impact performance; exams are just a snap shot, education is the whole picture

Let us know what you think...