Police have been called in to analyze another examination leak after an unknown number of students had strengthened sight of part of a GCSE spiritual research (RS) paper final month.
The todays of a series of unfavorable safety breaches to hit summertime exams in the latest years, with social media enabling cheats to disseminate leaked questions speedily and without problems.
Such is the extent of issue that a review of exam malpractice is underneath manner due to file later this summer season. Hoaxes about leaked exam papers, once more shared widely online, have compounded students’ stress and tension.
The modern-day security breach involved an AQA GCSE RS paper sat by way of hundreds of pupils on 20 May. One determines told the Guardian many students went home and started an element of the paper circulating on Snapchat beforehand of the exam.
AQA showed that police were contacted, and an investigation became beneath manner. The exam board stated only one page become affected. The “loss of on-line conversations about this issue indicates that it can now not had been extensively shared,” it stated.
A separate incident, an Edexcel A-degree further maths exam had to be withdrawn and changed last week because of worries approximately a possible protection breach. The circulate turned into a leak this month when some other A-degree maths papers became presented on the market via social media. Two questions from the paper first regarded on Twitter, providing students the complete paper for £70.
The rules governing examination safety are particular and rigorous. Papers are stored in sealed packets and introduced via courier to examination centers in which they must be signed for, with the date and time of receipt recorded. They then have to be without delay-locked in a comfy room entirely assigned to exams, ideally without windows and higher ground.
The use of smartphones and social media has changed the landscape for each cheat and regulators. One deputy headteacher, who asked to remain nameless, said: “We are going for walks a twentieth-century-fashion paper-based examination system in a twenty-first-century international. We typically have confidence within the system, but these said protection breaches genuinely knock that self-assurance.”
Exam forums have taken measures to try to keep up with the cheats. Pearson, which owns Edexcel, said in April that it become piloting a scheme wherein exam papers are microchipped to music the date, time, and vicinity of each package. AQA says it has a devoted crew using “modern” online tracking systems.
“We’ve extensively multiplied our on-line monitoring this year and added new ways of handling social media posts claiming to offer examination questions,” the board said. “We have tried-and-tested plans in the region to make certain no person gets away with cheating – along with superior statistical tracking throughout the marking method.”
After the modern incident, a headteacher in Gloucestershire wrote to parents pronouncing the ability leak reported at several faculties and was below investigation. “We had been confident via the board that as our college students aren’t worried in sourcing or liberating the cloth, there might be no consequences for them.”
One parent whose child sat the affected exam stated: “There becomes this photograph of a paper doing the rounds on Snapchat. Nobody at my baby’s college became responsible for the leak. However, it became going between schools. That’s the component of social media. They unfold nearly immediately. As quickly as someone is aware of something secret, it spreads like wildfire.”
Louisa Fyans, AQA’s head of assessments integrity and inspection, said: “We were extremely disenchanted to find out that some college students have been able to see a page from a GCSE spiritual research paper before the examination. We contacted the police without delay, and we’ve been doing our own investigation too.”