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Examinations Commission Apologises for Exam Paper Mistakes

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 12/06/2013. Examinations Commission Apologises for Exam Paper MistakesTags: Secondary School News Teacher News

The State Examinations Commission(SEC) has given assurances that mistakes in this year’s Junior and Leaving Certificate Examintions will be taken into account when marking papers.

The State Examinations Commission has confirmed that Question 8, on the Leaving Certificate Maths, Higher Level, Paper 2 contained an error. In addition, there were also errors on 3 other Mathematics papers, both Leaving and Junior Certificate, provided to candidates this year, some of whom were in the 23 schools involved in the Project Maths initiative, and some of whom were in other schools.

The SEC has acknowledged that these errors may have caused some “distress and confusion” for the students involved and has apologised saying that the errors are 'most regrettable'. The Press Release issued by the Commission states that “One of the core principles under which the State Exams Commission operates is that students cannot be disadvantaged as a result of an error on an examination paper. Therefore, the impact of error on candidate s’ answering is taken into account by the Chief Examiner when finalising the marking scheme for the relevant examinations. The marking schemes for Mathematics will, as usual, be published along with those in all other subjects after the issue of results.”

The Irish Independent reports today that there is also controversy over some grammatical issues in the Leaving Certificate Irish Paper 2



(19-08-2013 11:23)

Press Release 19th August

The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruair Quinn T.D., notes recommendations following errors in 2013 State Certificate Examinations Papers

The Minister has asked the State Exams Commission (SEC) to brief him on its October Review.

The SEC report has found that mistakes that caused stress for students sitting State Examinations were due to human error. Issues such as staff changes in the last 12 months combined with the operational demands associated with preparing large quantities of papers for Leaving Certificate, Leaving Certificate Applied and Junior Certificate contributed to the errors.

The Minister is concerned that errors can and do occur. But he is confident that the SEC has a robust system in place to respond to mistakes and in addition, through its annual reviews of the system, is constantly striving to minimise their occurrence. He has acknowledged the measures put in place by the SEC to ensure candidates affected by the mistakes were not disadvantaged in terms of the marks they achieved and is satisfied these have been effective. The key concern at all stages of the marking process was to ensure that candidates were not disadvantaged.

The Minister also acknowledges the comprehensive nature of the report and the complexity of the examination process from the preparation of papers to the delivery, last week, of the results to 55,572 Leaving Certificate candidates.

Having considered the SEC Reports findings the Minister notes the recommendations made to reduce the risk of errors occurring in future State examinations. For example, the SEC will include an assessment of the risks associated with the loss of subject specific examinations expertise. In addition, the SEC will carry out a further review of post-print errors and of ways to strengthen its procedures and protocols. The SEC will complete this review by October.
The Minister has asked the SEC to brief him on the October Review. In the meantime the Department will engage with the SEC in relation to the recommendations of the current report.

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