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Cheat sheet

Why couldn't this have happened when I took the AP American History exam in 1978?

LONDON (Reuters) - It sounds like every student's dream -- turning over an exam paper and finding the answers on the back.

But that was what happened to 12,000 lucky British teenagers when they sat their GCSE music exam last week.

The OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA) examination board admitted on Thursday that, because of a "printing error," papers sent to schools had answers to questions on the back page.

"All exam papers have a copyright statement dealing with source material on the back page," an OCR spokeswoman said. "This one in particular had more detail than is usual in a music paper."

The exam board said only 5 percent of the overall marks on the paper were possibly affected and students would not have to do a re-sit as most pupils seemed to have been unaware of their good fortune.

"It is unlikely that any of the 12,000 students sitting the examination would have recognized the value of the information ... and subsequently used it," said the spokeswoman, adding there had been just 20 queries from teachers.

How many times when given an exam, were we told to read the instructions? The article seems contradictory. At one point it is said only 5 % of the overall makrs were affected, but the spokesperson said it was unlikely ANY students recognized the gift they were given. Sheesh, anyone got some dramamine handy?

Hat tip- Dr. Taylor at Poliblog who writes "Sadly, I have had Some Students from whom it Wouldn't have Mattered"


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Comments (1)

Just because people are tol... (Below threshold)

Just because people are told to read the instructions on an exam doesn't mean they will. I've sat through any number of civil service exams where a proctor reads the instructions on the exam to the test-takers, out loud. (I've also sat through civil service exams where the proctor reading the instructions to us stumbled over and mispronounced the hard words in the instruction, but that's another story.)

I suspect the brighter students recognized the gift they had, and the dimmer ones didn't. I know part of the reason I scored as high as I did on the SAT was that the same vocabulary words would show up more than once in the exam. For example, "diaphonous" might show up in a vocabulary matching question, and then again in the analogies section. Usually, there was enough information in those two questions to eliminate a lot of guesswork about that word.

The ability to put 2 and 2 together is one of the things these exams test for, though usually not quite the way this one did.






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