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Edexcel cobbled some GCSE papers from previously seen questions

(17 Posts)
noblegiraffe Fri 24-Aug-18 21:28:32

A van delivering GCSE Arabic and Russian papers to schools was stolen and so to avoid the situation where the papers were leaked and pupils potentially saw the questions, Edexcel decided to make an emergency paper out of questions that pupils had definitely seen on past papers.

And then to make matters worse, some centres didn’t get the message and the pupils sat the original papers.

Oh, and the Edexcel Business paper had an impossible question on it.

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RomanyRoots Fri 24-Aug-18 22:37:39


Your dedication astounds me. Thank you so much for reporting these things to us, of course there's a chance we could see it ourselves, but you never fail thanks on behalf of others I know agree.

This is the board my dd will take, I hope they do this again in a couple of years grin a leg up would be great.

RomanyRoots Fri 24-Aug-18 22:38:04

Sorry, I can't spell either noble

shank2 Sat 25-Aug-18 08:28:49

but surely they have a future paper ready- say the one for next year or retakes?

NicoAndTheNiners Sat 25-Aug-18 08:32:25

Past questions are often used.

Last year dd had a question on her chemistry paper which was exactly the same as one we’d looked at two nights previously on an old paper and was on their website. Was one of the big mark questions as well.

Dd hadn’t a clue when we looked at it when revising but reckons she’d have got full marks in the exam.

I guess if the questions are all from different papers they hope that most people won’t have revised off all the old papers, maybe one or two?

spinn Sat 25-Aug-18 08:34:14

Shank - no, papers are written each year because they have to take into account current trends, news and be accurate (ha, yes I know!). They also go through a huge quality assurance process (again,yes, I know!!) so cobbling together old questions appears to have been their answers which i guess means it's fair for all (except those who took the original exam). Balls up by all but not sure what else could have been done.

Writing papers is incredibly challenging and technical to do, there just isn't the scope to write multiple ones.

spinn Sat 25-Aug-18 08:35:14

I would hope the grades are being matched to predictions and any anomalies investigated to see which paper etc

wurzelburga Sat 25-Aug-18 08:47:13

I think Edexel were in an impossible situation tbh. Damned if they did something, damned if they did not.

What better solutions are there to this problem?

Will they use secure courier firms in future?

I think the re-using questions point is interresting. It can clearly favour the conscientious student/class teacher who has revised all previous papers and like Nicos DC you can get lucky. But there are only so many questions you can ask on some topics.....

TheThirdOfHerName Sat 25-Aug-18 09:09:47

In AQA English Literature, pupils study a cluster of poems with a common theme, either Power & Conflict or Love & Relationships.

In the GCSE exam this summer, the question on Love & Relationships was a new one that hadn't yet been used. The question on Power & Conflict was the same as in the specimen paper.

So all the L&R candidates had an unseen question. Some of the P&C candidates hadn't seen the question. Some had done that question in their mocks, and gone through an exemplar answer in detail with their teacher.

noblegiraffe Sat 25-Aug-18 09:11:37

They should have had back-up papers. It’s blindingly obvious. They’re a bloody massive and wealthy organisation (Pearson) and they’re doing a half-arsed job.

There have been so many leaks in recent years that not having a paper they can switch in at the last minute is unjustifiable - and look where it left them in this situation!

And those saying that that’s too hard, they’ve certainly had back-up papers for other subjects in the past.

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shonkyklingonmakeup Sat 25-Aug-18 09:11:49


keiratwiceknightly Sat 25-Aug-18 09:12:55

Edexcel also sent last year's English papers to our small group of "special circumstances" (computer readers) students. Not sure how they've cobbled the marks together.

keiratwiceknightly Sat 25-Aug-18 09:13:29

To clarify, the FULL paper, not a few questions duplicated.

noblegiraffe Sat 25-Aug-18 09:23:22

Bloody hell Keira, presumably they’d already sat it as a mock? Could Edexcel not courier out the right one or was it discovered too late?

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noblegiraffe Sat 25-Aug-18 09:26:28

The question on Power & Conflict was the same as in the specimen paper.

Last year dd had a question on her chemistry paper which was exactly the same as one we’d looked at two nights previously on an old paper

These are brand new specs, it’s not like they can argue that they’ve run out of takes on the new material already.

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noblegiraffe Sat 25-Aug-18 09:31:16

Meant to say thanks Romany!

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Aragog Sat 25-Aug-18 09:56:52

AQA sent DD's centre the wrong history paper. The children noticed when they sat down to do it. Cue many hands up of confused children. They then had to sit in silence for over an hour whilst school contacted the exam board, confirmed it was the boards error, have new papers emailed, school then to print them all and then the kids could sit it.

It was really hot too. School had to start issuing out extra water bottles. Dd said she could feel her knowledge leaking out as she sat waiting! Or so it felt to her. Made a stressful day much more stressful.

And the whole disaster of the Computer Science coursework being discounted across the board after some online issues. But not until after many kids had already spent 20 hours completing it, and then taking a few weeks/months to decide what to do leaving kids in limbo. Cue another's disappointment especially for those who were strongest at programming and had worked hard perfecting their work with no trace of cheating or accessing online information about it on their part.

There was an issue with one of DD's science papers too. Can't remember that one. She was the group who had the unseen 'most difficult' poem in the English compared to the other group who has the much less complex poem that many had already covered in detail following a mock paper with the same questions. And there was an issue in Spanish with the listening due to lack of clarity due to a recording issue apparently.

Luckily Dd did well regardless but you'll always wonder what if.

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