AQA failed to inform pupils about a topic that would be in their exam

AQA exam board is forced to apologise after A-Level law students were tested on topics they were told would NOT be in the paper

  • AQA failed to inform pupils about an important question worth 30 marks
  • They have now had to apologise twice during the exam period this year 
  • Pupils were told they would know the topics ahead of time due to the pandemic 
  • It comes days after Edexcel was slammed for naming the wrong country in a paper

A top exam board has been criticised by the head of Ofqual after pupils were tested on topics that had been ruled out of the paper.

AQA have now apologised twice during this year’s exam period following complaints that a question worth 30 marks had not been included in the advance notice of exam topics.

It was agreed that the notice would be given to GCSE and A-Level students this year to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

Today the board apologised to law pupils for the ‘confusion and stress’ they had caused after they included a question on nuisance in the paper.

AQA had told pupils that ‘higher tariff questions’ – those carrying more marks – would draw on the listed topics given to pupils before their exam.

It comes just days after Edexcel, another exam board, was slammed for wrongly labelling Gabon as the Democratic Republic of Congo on a map of Africa in its GCSE geography paper. 

AQA have had to apologise twice for blunders during the current exam season. They failed to tell pupils the topics of one of their 30-mark questions, which was agreed to mitigate the impact of the pandemic

Leading exam board Edexcel was slammed  earlier this week after a GCSE geography paper wrongly identified Gabon as the Republic of the Congo (pictured), with a teacher describing it as an ‘atrocious mistake’

Teachers were furious after pupils were presented with papers which contained the glaring blunder.

One told how some of his pupils were left confused after a map of Africa wrongly identified the Republic of the Congo as Gabon.

The west African state was wrongly named and identified with an arrow as part of an extended question about the continent’s top oil producing countries.

Jo Saxton, Ofqual’s chief regulator, told the Confederation of School Trusts’ annual conference that ‘the package of support in place for students for this year’s summer series, all intended to make the path back to pre-pandemic arrangements as smooth as possible’ had had some ‘real bumps in this road’.

Dr Saxton said: ‘I absolutely understand the distress that mistakes in advance information and exam papers cause.’

She added that students had ‘welcomed’ exam aids and formulae sheets, which she said had ‘taken the stress off of their shoulders’.

Dr Saxton said that the 2022 results would be ‘the most generously graded’ set of exams on record but that results would be lower than in 2021, when teacher-assessed grades were awarded for GCSEs and A-levels.

AQA also apologised last week after its GCSE physics paper included a question on a topic that had been ruled out in the advance information. 

An AQA spokesperson said: ‘One of the aims of advance information is that it shouldn’t narrow teaching and learning, so we couldn’t list all the topics on the exam paper.

AQA has become the second exam board this week to apologise for a blunder, with teachers and Ofqual criticising both 

‘Although we advised students to revise all topics and included the focus of one of the two 30-mark questions, we appreciate that many students expected us to include the focus of both questions – especially in light of guidance we gave before we released the advance information.

‘We didn’t mean to cause any confusion or stress for students and we’re sorry that we did. 

‘The fairest way to address this is for us to look at how students performed on this paper after we’ve marked it, and we’ll take any action necessary to protect them.’

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