Embarrassing Year 12 exam blunder


Queensland's first external Year 12 exams in decades have been marred by an embarrassing blunder after a late change to the Mathematical Methods test was not made to all of the papers.

Some schools were unable to access advice to make a correction to one of the questions sent out by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) before the exam got underway yesterday, sparking concerns about test fairness.

The QCAA, who issued the notice about Mathematical Methods (Paper 1) as part of a daily bulletin to schools on Tuesday at 6am, last night said they were aware some schools had not been able to access the information in time but said students would not be disadvantaged.

"While the bulletin advised that a minor amendment should be made to the wording of one question, no student will be disadvantaged if they were unaware of the change. All students can still achieve full marks," QCAA chief executive Chris Rider said.

"Measures are in place to ensure this won't happen again."

But a school source said: "Year 12s have had a hard year and now they're having to adjust for last-minute changes literally when they're in the exam room."

A script of instructions for exam invigilators said they should announce the change before the test began and write the correct question on the whiteboard for students.

"In the second sentence, the words 'the derivative f dash x and' are to be removed. The sentence should read: 'identify the graph of the second derivative f double dash x from the graphs in Diagram 1, Diagram 2, and Diagram 3'," the script said.

"When written on the whiteboard the second sentence should read 'Identify the graph of the second derivative f' (x) from the graphs in Diagram 1, Diagram 2, and Diagram 3," the instructions said.

One Year 12 student told The Courier-Mail they were instructed to correct the error in the question before the exam.

"We had to cross out a section of the question before it started. The exam was quite challenging though," the student said.

Of the 37,318 Year 12 students sitting at least one of the new external exams under the revamped Queensland Certificate of Education system, 9684 students are enrolled in Mathematical Methods.

Paper 1 and Paper 2 of Mathematical Methods are each worth 25 per cent of a student's final result for the subject.








Originally published as Embarrassing Year 12 exam blunder