Scandal as Media Studies AS-level exam accidentally features basic numeracy question

The UK’s exam bodies were again under scrutiny after an AS Level Media Studies exam paper  featured an ‘impossible’ question requiring basic knowledge of the 7 times tables. Instead of the planned question ‘Discuss the need for media regulation,’ students were asked to solve the equation 7y = 63.

More than 100,000 teenagers took the not-as-good-as-an-A-Level, with many of them were expecting grades as high as D. Tarquin Forbes-Smyth, one of the students who took the paper, said he was traumatised by the experience.

‘I spent nearly 15 minutes puzzling over this question. If I could do basic maths, I wouldn’t be doing Media Studies would I?  I didn’t even realise there was a ‘y’ times table.’

The examining board OCR were quick to defend the slip up. PR manager David Collins, himself a Media Studies graduate, told the press: ‘Whilst we accept the error isn’t acceptable, the issue isn’t as severe as it sounds. The question concerned only carried a maximum of 8 marks out of a total of 80.’

‘That’s less than 2%” of the mark’ he added after a few seconds, tongue lolling with concentration.

Jonny P

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Posted: Jun 11th, 2011 by

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