GCSE results 2018: Exam board apologises for unanswerable business question

Posted on: 2018-08-24 23:00:00

An exam board has apologised for a typo that left GCSE pupils searching for two correct answers in a question that contained only one.

Pearson, which runs the Edexcel board, said the mistake in its business exam happened because of a “typographical error” affecting a question that asked students to pick two from five possible options, rendering it unanswerable.

The error was identified in question 14 on the GCSE Business unit 1 paper, which students sat on 23 May.

To make up for the mistake – which it described as “extremely rare” – the board awarded both available marks to everyone who picked the one correct response.

A Pearson spokesman said: “Errors are extremely rare and all of our examination papers and mark schemes go through a rigorous development, review and scrutiny process.

“We apologise for the error in a GCSE business examination paper. Unfortunately, as a result of a typographical error, there was only one correct response to a two-mark question that asked candidates to select two answers from five possible options.

“We take this issue very seriously and if errors do occur we have systems in place to ensure no student is disadvantaged.

“In this case, following a review, we decided to award both available marks to every candidate who selected the one correct response provided.”

The question asked for two conclusions to be drawn from a table.

Response D read: “More than 6 customers think the least important reason is the design of the shop.”

But it ought to have read: “More than 6 customers think the most important reason is the design of the shop.”

Source: Independent

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