A-level maths paper is leaked online BEFORE the test as 15,000 students sign petitions in protest at other exam which was ‘too hard’
- Images of Edexcel’s maths paper three appeared on on social media site Twitter
- The tweets were posted on Thursdsy evening and the account has been deleted
- It was captioned ‘DM if you want tomorrow’s a level maths stats and mechanics paper 3 exam
An exam board is probing claims two questions were leaked online ahead of students sitting an A-level maths paper earlier today.
Bosses are ‘investigating’ after images claiming to be from Edexcel’s maths paper three appeared on Twitter.
Pearson, which owns the exam board, has also seen more than 14,000 students sign petitions in protest over earlier maths A-level papers which were ‘too hard’.
The Student Room website has images of the incriminating tweets that were posted late Thursday evening.
Two questions were leaked online ahead of students sitting an A-level maths paper earlier today (stock image of students sitting exams)
One features a blacked-out Edexcel paper with some questions visible, along with the message: ‘DM if you want tomorrows a level maths, stats and mechanics paper 3 exam’.
The Twitter account has since been deleted. But further tweets accompanying the images reportedly offered the whole paper for sale for £70.
In a statement, Pearson said yesterday: ‘We are aware that an individual circulated blacked out images of two exam questions on social media ahead of today’s A-level maths exam.
‘We are investigating the source of this.
Students had previously complained to exam boards that papers had been too difficult
‘All students should be reassured we have well-established processes in place to ensure no-one will be advantaged or disadvantaged and this paper will not have to be resat.’
The revelation comes at the end of a torrid week for Pearson.
Two petitions have been launched in protest over previous Edexcel maths A-level papers, which were sat by students on June 5 and 12.
Teenagers claim questions, particularly on paper two, were ‘deeply unfair’ and ‘unreasonable’.
This is because they were vastly different from those in specimen papers and textbooks.
One petition claims ‘students’ hopes of attending university have been shattered as a direct result of Edexcel deeming it appropriate to abandon the specification taught over two years’.
It demands that students are awarded their target grades regardless of how they performed.
The second larger petition, signed by more than 11,000 students, calls for ‘special consideration’ when papers are marked to give students ‘a chance’ at their future.
It states: ‘This is because the maths papers this year (specifically paper two) were extremely difficult and unreasonable.
‘They were unlike any specimen, past or textbook questions.’
Students claimed on social media the papers were ‘poorly written’ and impossible to prepare for unless they were also studying further maths.
Some were stumped by questions on logarithms, while others could not understand why the ‘sigma’ symbol – the eighteenth letter in the Greek alphabet – kept appearing in the exam.
A teenager said on Twitter: ‘They deliberately put in confusing language in order to mess us up and using integration signs from the 1800s isn’t helpful at all.’
Pearson said it takes feedback ‘extremely serious’ and had shared students’ comments with its senior examining team.
A spokesman said: ‘Candidates should be reassured that the paper reflected the specification, and that we set the grade boundaries for each exam paper each year to adjust for any differences in demand from one year to the next.
‘This ensures a fair system, so that students of the same ability will get the same grade in different years.’
Meanwhile, Pearson has also come under fire after it emerged on Thursday that a question in a GCSE maths paper is almost identical to one from another board’s revision textbook.
In its GCSE maths paper three, Edexcel included a question with the same diagram, values and answer as a question from the textbook AQA Certificate: Further Maths.
Teachers said the question would have clearly advantaged students taking Edexcel maths and AQA further maths.
Pearson said it was ‘investigating how this might have happened’ and has ‘established processes in place to ensure no one will be advantaged or disadvantaged’.
On Tuesday, it was forced to defend a GCSE maths question that involved working out the number of calories in a breakfast amid criticism on social media.