Pupils angered by error in new AQA English literature GCSE

Teenagers take to social media to complain about today's paper

Eleanor Busby

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GCSE candidates have expressed outrage on social media after exam board AQA admitted it had made a mistake on today's English literature paper.

It was the first exam to be sat under the new tougher GCSEs that are being phased in, beginning with English and maths this year.

For English literature, that means that pupils are no longer able to take the texts they have studied into the exam room with them – a change that has already led to tens of thousands petitioning Parliament to complain

And pupils said that change made it particularly hard to stomach when they discovered that AQA had wrongly labelled a chapter on today's paper. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the questions and extracts in the exam paper – which covered texts by Shakespeare and Robert Louis Stevenson – also sparked fury from students: 

 

 

 

The paper did win some online praise from teachers and pupils

 

 

But others did not find it easy: 

 

 

 

AQA argues that “students letting off steam about their exams on Twitter is completely normal”.

“There’s been a huge increase in it over the past few years as smartphones and mobile data have become more affordable for young people,” a spokesperson said.

“More than 200,000 students sat this particular exam with AQA, so it’s not surprising that there were so many comments about it – positive and negative – on Twitter.”

Gary Pollard, AQA’s head of English, added: “There weren’t any errors in the questions – we just labelled one of the extracts as being from chapter 6 of a book, instead of chapter 7.

"We spotted this very minor typo in plenty of time and sent a notice to all schools so they could tell their students before the exam.”

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Eleanor Busby

Eleanor Busby is a reporter at TES 

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