Feeds

Score 18%, pass a science exam

It must be 'too hard' then, says examiner

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Rosetta science team thinks Philae might come to life in the spring
And disclose the biggest surprise of Comet 67P
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
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?
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.