Indeed, on the day of my subject's GCSE exam, I found myself scoffing and scowling once I had a paper in my hands. I even had to read the small print on the Higher paper to ensure it wasn't actually a Foundation paper instead. It was ridiculously easy compared to the past papers we had been practising. And whilst that will be reflected in our results, I did think it was a shame that the students hadn't been challenged to produce their very best on the day by something with a bit of oomph. It also means you can probably pass the subject without knowing very much at all.
Then there was the story that Markers award students for writing obscenities on papers, which I even heard discussed on "Parliament Today", where ministers took the opportunity to start deriding many different exam questions at different levels. It seems that this story is actually about a chief examiner who uses a sample script each year to demonstrate a point, but it is heartening to know that half of the sink set at least won't come out of the exam with zero.
Pupils are being rewarded for writing obscenities in their GCSE English examinations even when it has nothing to do with the question.
One pupil who wrote “f*** off” was given marks for accurate spelling and conveying a meaning successfully.
His paper was marked by Peter Buckroyd, a chief examiner who has instructed fellow examiners to mark in the same way. He told trainee examiners recently to adhere strictly to the mark scheme, to the extent that pupils who wrote only expletives on their papers should be awarded points.
Mr Buckroyd, chief examiner of English for the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA), an examination board, said that he had given the pupil two marks, out of a possible 27, for the expletive.