Just why was exam paper lost?

3rd October 2003 at 01:00
In August I received the results of my A-levels. There were a couple of papers that my college and I thought were worth checking.

I requested these papers and one (general studies) came back quickly, as I expected. The biology was slower and I thought it was unusual how long it was taking. I now know why - the AQA exam board has lost my exam paper.

My poor result on this module stood out from my other results, and was not what I had expected for this paper. I had therefore requested a photocopy of it so that I could see whether I or the examiner had made mistakes.

If the examiner had made mistakes, I could have had it re-marked. Just a few more marks would have increased my overall grade. This is now not possible.

Fortunately my university place has not been affected as I gained the grades I needed for my first choice.

Last summer, with the same exam board, I returned an AS biology paper for re-marking and obtained a higher mark. In fact, last summer the whole of my college year group in biology received additional marks because of mistakes by the examiners.

Our government and politics papers were similarly re-marked as no "spelling, punctuation and grammar" marks had been given. These were not in the subjects or from the exam boards that attracted all the media attention.

We work hard for our exams. Our futures depend upon them, but what confidence can we have in this system?

I am left wondering if my exam paper was lost accidentally or deliberately so as to hide a bigger mistake.

Nicolas Andrews 81 Heights Avenue Rochdale

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