A level maths breach – letter to University Admissions Officers
Dear Head of Admissions,
In light of recent events relating to our GCE A level Mathematics qualification, I am writing to keep you updated on the latest news and what this means for some of your prospective students who may have sat these exams.
Pearson Edexcel GCE A Level Mathematics: Summer 2019 exam series
You may be aware that there was a security breach involving the A level Mathematics exam in June by one centre. This matter has been handed to the police for further investigation. While we are limited in what we can say as the investigation is ongoing, we are committed to being as transparent as possible and to ensuring that the latest updates are widely available.
We appreciate this is a stressful time for students, parents and schools as they await results, on which university places may be dependent. As an awarding organisation, our priority is to ensure all grades that are issued to students in August are accurate and fair, and no students are unfairly disadvantaged as a result of the security breach.
The ongoing investigations will enable us to identify any students who have gained an advantage as a result of the security breach, and to take action accordingly. Once all the marking is complete, we will undertake statistical analysis to establish whether there are patterns in the results that are unusual for a particular centre or student.
We are also able to carry out a closer inspection of scripts to ensure correct answers are supported with working to demonstrate mathematical understanding. The grade boundary setting will then be based on the performance of the cohort of students who sat the examinations in good faith and without prior access to any information or material that could have given them an unfair advantage.
Separately, some students have raised concerns about the level of difficulty of the exams. You may know that this is the first set of exams for the full cohort of the reformed A level Mathematics qualifications. The reforms have resulted in changes to the content that must be taught, to the structure and to the design of the assessments.
Grade boundaries are set on every paper each year in order to allow for any differences in the level of difficulty of an exam paper from one year to the next and to ensure students are not unfairly disadvantaged from sitting a potentially slightly more difficult set of papers in one year in comparison to another or by being part of the first full cohort of students sitting
You will be aware that A level results day is on Thursday 15 August. As part of our support to centres, we provide post-results support in the period directly after results day. Centres have the opportunity to request reviews of marking. We will ensure that these are resolved as quickly as possible, and within our agreed service levels.
Thank you for your support throughout this period. If you have any queries during the post-results period, please contact our Assessment Director Hayley White at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 07917 177 979.
Where to find the latest information
We will be updating our website with any relevant news regarding these events, and you can find the latest information in the press releases section
If you have any general queries, please do not hesitate to contact David MacKay, Head of Stakeholder Relations for Higher Education, at email@example.com
or 07715 811 671.
I hope this information is helpful and provides you with full confidence in the grades that will be issued to A level Mathematics students this year.