The Government inquiry into whether exam standards have declined over the past 20 years is unlikely to produce firm conclusions, writes Geraldine Hackett.
Early analysis of the work of subject experts examining papers and candidates' scripts suggests the final report will contain only tentative indications.
The study, carried out jointly by the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority and the Office for Standards in Education, will not be published until the end of October, after this year's GCSE and A-level results.
However, the research has been hampered by the scarcity of scripts. In subjects such as maths, the question papers are an indicator of the kind of standard required. In other areas, particularly English and history, the task is difficult without answer papers.