Reporter’s take: Why have we seen more exam leaks?

For the third time in three years, questions from Edexcel’s A-level maths paper were leaked on social media shortly before the exam was due to start, with posts offering the full paper for £70. Tes reports.

We don’t know the precise circumstances of the leak yet. Pearson, the owners of the Edexcel exam board, said they identified one exam centre “in serious breach of correct practice”, and they have referred the case to the police as a “criminal matter”.

The incident capped off a dreadful week for Edexcel and has forced it to replace a paper for A-level further maths, which was also subject to a breach at the school or college under investigation. To rub salt into the wounds, the board could be stung by a fine from the exam regulator Ofqual.

Beyond the immediate fallout, the leak prompts several questions. Why Edexcel A-level maths? And is there anything exam boards can do to plug the leaks?

The boards insist they have invested a huge amount in recent years to guard against leaks. They use sophisticated technology which can allow them to accurately pinpoint where a breach has taken place.

Unfortunately, this still means boards are essentially in reactive mode, closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

Like many organisations, they have been upended by the rise of social media and instant messaging. It only takes one leak for sensitive material to be splashed all over the internet. As well as compromising the assessment, social media allows confusion and anxiety to spread like wildfire among pupils after a leak.

Read the full article Reporter’s take: Why have we seen more exam leaks? 

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin



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