Ofqual: 340,000 GCSE and A-level exams ‘marked up’

More than 340,000 GCSE and A-level papers were “marked up” this summer after pupils submitted excuses to justify relatively poor performance, official figures show. This is from the Telegraph…

Examiners granted around 93 per cent of requests made for “special consideration” during this summer’s exams, it was revealed.

Pupils can apply for additional marks worth up to five per cent of their total score for illnesses, injuries, family deaths or other unforeseen incidents on the day of the exam that may have affected their performance.

The most common reasons – typically worth two per cent – include hay fever, a recent virus and a broken limb on the mend.

Pupils can also gain additional points worth one per cent for noise outside the exam hall, a headache, stress or “minor upset” caused by administrative problems.

Ofqual, the qualifications regulator, said that 365,900 requests for additional marks were made and 341,500 – or 93.3 per cent – were approved.

It represented 2.4 per cent of the total number of exam scripts marked in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – around the same as last year.

In a report, Ofqual said: “The maximum adjustment is reserved for exceptional cases, such as candidates disadvantaged by the recent death of an immediate family member. Most adjustments for special consideration are smaller, such as two per cent… for candidates who have a minor illness on the day of the exam.”

According to figures, more than half of mark-ups were worth two or three per cent.

A further fifth of additional points were worth four per cent – which can cover a domestic crisis, major surgery or severe car accident – and almost one-in-10 were worth five per cent.

Figures also showed that more than 255,000 “access arrangements” were put in place during exams, such as additional time and the use of a reader or scribe. These are reserved for students with disabilities or learning impairments.

This represented a 2.5 per cent increase in just 12 months.

Of those, 128,744 requests were granted this summer for up to 25 per cent more time in an exam.

The figures come the day after Ofqual raised concerns that some schools were playing the system to help students improve their grades.

More at:  Ofqual: 340,000 GCSE and A-level exams ‘marked up’

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