Scotland

Concerns over quality of computer science exam

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Concerns have been expressed over the quality of last month's National 5 exam paper in computer science.

Some teachers have claimed there were a number of problems with questions - including the way some were phrased.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has defended the exam paper and said it was in line with the course specifications.

The exam marks, which will be published in August, will help show if there actually was a problem.

If the mark needed to pass or the boundaries for particular grades need to be lowered substantially, it may lead to questions for the SQA.

Complex concerns

One teacher who contacted BBC Scotland said: "I am very disappointed with the quality of this paper overall and personally, I think this paper is a disgrace and am really wondering if it actually went out to any checkers.

"I have gone through the entire paper and although some of my points are probably a little pedantic, they are valid."

The teacher said others shared his concerns.

The precise concerns made by the teacher were quite complex. Some involved the phrasing of the questions or the scenarios they described.

The SQA said the exam paper met its course and assessment specifications and that the anecdotal feedback it had received was positive.

A spokesman added: "The breadth of questions allowed candidates to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding. The paper did contain a small number of typographical errors.

"SQA takes its responsibility to uphold the high standards of Scottish qualifications very seriously and has systems in place to ensure assessment is high-quality, rigorous and meets national standards.

"These systems and processes are subject to continuous improvement."

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