Error in 2 March exam for NQF BTEC Unit 8: Scientific Skills (20474E)

3 March 2015

Find out more about question 5(b)(ii) in Monday's exam in this update for exams officers.

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Following the NQF BTEC Unit 8: Scientific Skills (20474E) examination, which was sat on Monday 2 March 2015, we received a number of enquiries about question 5(b)(ii), worth 2 marks.

This question was based on results of an ammonium nitrate experiment which were presented as a graph for students to interpret. In part (b)(ii) of the question we referred to ammonium chloride instead of ammonium nitrate. We’re really sorry for any confusion this may have caused.

The question was a calculation and it should still have been possible to answer it correctly. However, we’re aware that this may have confused some students and made the question harder than expected.

We take our responsibility for issuing fair results very seriously, so our examiners will review how students answered this question as they are marking it. We’ll then consider the impact of this mistake when we set the grade boundaries. In order to ensure that everyone gets the grade they deserve we may take any of the following actions:

  • Amend the mark scheme
  • Lower the number of marks needed to achieve certain grades
  • Discount the question from the exam so that marks for the question aren’t included in results.

We’ll provide an update on exactly what action we’ve taken on Wednesday 15 April, as we release results for this unit.

We’re sorry that this mistake wasn’t identified during the checks we complete before the paper was sat. If you have any further questions about the issue, please contact the NQF BTEC Science external assessment team at

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