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More or less . . .

As an experienced A-level examiner, I must confess that I am sometimes baffled and infuriated by the standard of scripts presented and frequently wonder about the formal levels of basic education experienced by the candidates.

It was, therefore, with considerable surprise that I read the following statement in an Associated Examining Board A-level business studies paper: "Recently Anglia Estates have suffered from competitors charging significantly lower rates of commission and the company has attracted less customers . . ."

On the same paper, the candidates are advised that account will be taken of the use of grammar, punctuation and spelling, with the threat that marks will not be awarded unless these instructions are followed.

One wonders what penalties the examination board will suffer for allowing grammatical errors to appear in one of their papers?

BILL STONEHAM 40 Lombardy Drive Maidstone, Kent

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