Biology exam error | Pearson qualifications

A level Biology exam error

13 July 2011

You may be aware that an error was identified in a multiple-choice question on one of our Biology GCE papers. We'd like to update you on our plans for ensuring that no student is either advantaged by the actions we are taking or disadvantaged by this error.

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The affected question was worth one mark, and this question will not be counted. The maximum mark for the paper will be reduced from 80 to 79. Teachers will be able to see this adjustment in the published mark scheme, which will be available to Edexcel Online users on Friday 15 July 2011.

In addition, we've considered whether this question might have affected student performance on the remaining questions in the same paper, either because they ran out of time, or because they were distracted by the error. Using data from our online marking system, we will be able to analyse student performance at individual question level and identify:

  • whether the question has affected the performance of the whole cohort on this paper

  • any student whose performance in their answers following the question concerned is out of

  • line with their performance on the questions before it.

We will then be able to compare individual student performance on this unit with other units that

they have sat. If necessary, an adjustment will be made to the marks of individual candidates based on their performance in the same paper, and in the other units that they have sat.

We hope that this reassures you and your students who were affected. We know that you will be

supporting your students over the coming weeks, and we would be grateful if you would share this information with them. We’ll continue to keep you fully informed of any action we take, and we'll be in touch again before results day.


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