Ensuring fairness for all A level maths students

9 August 2019

Ensuring exam fairness and security are guiding principles for Pearson Edexcel, and as we carry out our final quality assurance checks of this summer’s results​,​ we would like to take this opportunity to provide a full update on A level maths.

Below is the letter and a series of videos that we have shared with our customers today to update them on our A level maths breach, the difficulty of our A level maths paper 2 and how we will ensure fairness for all.

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Letter to customers

Dear colleague,

When I wrote to you on the 23 July, I provided an update on our progress through marking the summer 2019 A level maths exams and updated you on the published mark scheme and specification mapping document. As we complete our final quality assurance review of the summer 2019 A level results, I wanted to share some additional information.

On our website you can find four short films each outlining the following:

  1. Update on our A level maths breach - outlining what actually happened, actions taken and our enhanced security measures;
  2. Ensuring all students get a fair result on A level maths - detailing measures we have taken to ensure all students get the right grade;
  3. Enhancing the security of our exam papers for the future - actions we are taking to further safeguard the system;
  4. Addressing the difficulty of our A level maths paper 2 - summary of statistical and expert analysis we have undertaken, that shows how papers have performed.

We are confident that the results that we release next week are a fair reflection of the hard work of many students. However, having spoken to a number of students, their parents and teachers, we know that there is more for us to do - we want to provide more information about how our assessments have worked this summer. We also appreciate that for some students the experience of sitting paper 2 was not what they had expected.

Therefore, in the coming weeks we will be sharing with you detailed technical information about how individual items on the A level maths papers performed in their assessment of students’ mathematical ability. Furthermore, we will be making some important adjustments to our papers to improve the experience students have when sitting them.

I hope this information is useful - please do not hesitate to contact me at assessmentfeedback@pearson.com. Enjoy the rest of your summer break and we look forward to working with you next term.

Kind regards

Hayley White

Assessment Director

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