Rival’s GCSE practice papers too easy, claim exam boards

The Times is reporting that two examination boards have accused a rival of offering practice papers for the new maths GCSE that are too easy…

The paper claims Pearson and OCR have apparently written to thousands of schools advising them not to pick which new GCSE maths qualification they adopt based on sample maths papers produced by AQA which they argue are too easy.

The boards are said to have complained to Ofqual about the papers, believing AQA may be using the sample paper to increase its market share ahead of the new maths exams which will be taken from 2017. Ofqual has said it will be issuing revised guidance for future practice papers but did not accept that AQA’s was easier.

One exam board source is quoted as saying: “The other boards might seek to produce new sample papers at the lower level. If AQA is making massive headway with what people think are easier specimen materials, why wouldn’t you produce easier specimen materials? It has the potential to signal a new race to the bottom.”

More at: Rival’s GCSE practice papers too easy, claim exam boards (subscription may be required)

 

What do you think of the accusation being made here? Do you suspect the boards may be competing on how easy their exams appear to be, especially ahead of the new maths exam? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

 

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Comments

  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove The give away comment in the article is “increase market share”. Exams are big business and therefore can lack integrity

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove The give away comment in the article is “increase market share”. Exams are big business and therefore can lack integrity

  3. Ian_Crews

    SchoolsImprove of course there is another interpretation here……… Having looked at the three boards the complaining two are very hard

  4. EllieERussell

    MaryMyatt SchoolsImprove Concerns raised months ago by my maths colleagues comparing exam boards. Very clear that AQA spec paper easy.

  5. MaryMyatt

    “EllieERussell: MaryMyatt SchoolsImprove Concerns by maths colleagues comparing ex brds. Clear th AQA spec paper easy.” sputniksteve MT

  6. andylutwyche

    spsmith45 SchoolsImprove Agreed but the others probably wish they were Pearson’s size as well! All about making money

  7. andylutwyche

    spsmith45 SchoolsImprove Choosing an exam board is similar to choosing a bank/energy provider in my view – little difference between them

  8. Sherbs1

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove The market place should not figure at all in National assessments that impinge upon the future of our children

  9. andylutwyche

    Sherbs1 SchoolsImprove I couldn’t agree more with both your points. Exams should be trying to find out what you know not tripping you up

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