Northern Ireland

AS-level Economics exam error under investigation in NI

Pupil sitting at desk Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption CCEA subsequently contacted schools on Friday about the paper

Northern Ireland's exams body is investigating an error in one of its AS-level Economics exam papers.

The Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) has written to 30 schools about the Unit 2 paper taken on Thursday, 16 May.

It said 462 pupils had sat the Economics paper in question.

CCEA said it had been made aware of a formatting "issue" over a graph in one question, which was worth five marks out of a possible 80.

"We will work with schools to advise of the action we are taking and we will keep them updated," CCEA told BBC News NI.

'Consider a range of measures'

A teacher who spoke to BBC News NI said their students had been confused by the question and it had distracted them from the exam.

CCEA subsequently contacted schools on Friday about the paper.

They said they would consider a range of measures according to Joint Council for Qualifications guidelines.

As a result, CCEA said they would consider action including:

  • giving all candidates full marks for the problem question
  • giving candidates credit for responses based on alternative interpretations of the question
  • removing the problem question from the marking
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption One teacher told the BBC the question under investigation had distracted students during the exam

"We recognise that an error, no matter how small, may lead to anxiety," CCEA told schools.

"We would wish to assure your candidates that we will take the appropriate action required to ensure they are not adversely affected."

In a further statement, CCEA said it took considerable care in setting and checking exam papers.

"We will investigate why this error has occurred in paper production and take action to avoid future occurrences," the body added.

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