Feeds

Score 18%, pass a science exam

It must be 'too hard' then, says examiner

Security for virtualized datacentres

The Royal Chemistry Society says it's disappointed with the response of British examiners, after discovering that pupils needed to score only 18 per cent in a science exam to gain a pass grade.

Despite an abundance of educational quangos, inspectors and regulators - including OFQUAL - the problem has only emerged after six months, and Society investigation. The hour-long chemistry exam, "Unit 3", formed part of a GCSE science qualification, and contributed a third of the marks to the final assessment.

Students needed to score only 18 per cent to achieve a Grade C. But what troubles the head of the Society, after publicising the error, is that the examiners don't seem to care enough to investigate.

"Something's not right here, it's a Quality Assurance problem with the whole system," Richard Pike, head of the RCS told us. "It could be that the curriculum was ill-defined, so that when pupils saw the paper it was a mismatch between what was taught and inspected."

Pike is disappointed that the examiner pre-empted a thorough investigation into the cause.

"Instead the examiner commented that they were disappointed it was such a difficult examination. I'd like them to have said we have a QA issue to address in time for next year, rather than 'we're disappointed'."

The response came from OCR, one of what used to be called examining boards but are now called 'awarding bodies'. Even the name has become easier and less threatening.

The Royal Society of Chemistry analysed the results of chemistry examinations here (pdf).

Pike says a knowledge of science is essential in an increasingly technical society, as well as to encourage children to become scientists. Last year the Society drew attention to the quality of science questions set for 14-years olds including "What powers a solar-powered snail?". You can read more here. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.