238 students in Singapore affected after A-Level Chemistry exam papers gets stolen in UK

Students from junior colleges across the island thought the worst was over today when they received their A-Level examination results today, but it seems like something went horribly awry in the process of getting their grades.

In a shocking twist of events, exam scripts were reportedly stolen last November in the United Kingdom while they were in transit from the Cambridge Assessment’s office to the examiner for marking. The stolen parcel included a part of answer scripts for Chemistry, of which 238 students from four junior colleges here were affected, revealed the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) in a press release.

On Nov 16, a courier driver discovered that eight of his parcels were missing from his van — one of which contained the answer scripts. The theft was reported to the UK police on the same day.

Till today, none of the scripts have been recovered by the UK police.

The theft was said to have affected about three percent of the 8,843 school candidates who sat for the 2017 GCE A-Level H2 Chemistry examination. Here’s a breakdown of the students who got their papers stolen:


Anderson JC: 58 scripts
Anglo-Chinese JC: 60 scripts
Hwa Chong Institution: 60 scripts
Nanyang JC: 60 scripts

The stolen scripts, however, only carried 35 percent of the entire Chemistry paper — the other three answered sections of the paper made it safe and sound to markers. As such, SEAB and Cambridge Assessment made the decision to give a “valid and fair assessment” for the affected students.

“For this incident, Cambridge Assessment and SEAB took into consideration the candidates’ performance in the other three Chemistry papers, which make up 65% of the final grade, and the cohort’s performance in the subject,” SEAB wrote in their statement.

“To check for consistency in the affected candidates’ overall performance in the Chemistry subject, Cambridge Assessment and SEAB also took into consideration the candidates’ school-based examination results.”

Thankfully, none of the students affected by the theft failed their Chemistry examinations. All 238 candidates obtained at least a pass grade, while 81 percent of them scored As and Bs. SEAB also revealed that all the candidates either attained better grades or maintained their grades in the national examinations, as compared to their school-based papers.

Sabotage?

It is kinda weird though that SEAB only announced news about the theft months after the actual incident. They had their reasons for the delay, apparently, after careful consideration of the possible implications.

SEAB were only alerted to the incident on Nov 30, and the initial indication was that the scripts could still be recovered. By the end of January, however, the police were unable to find the stolen items — and by that time, all the Chemistry papers were already marked.

Deciding not to cause alarm and “undue anxiety”, SEAB kept mum about the theft and graded the affected students according to cohort projections.


238 students in Singapore affected after A-Level Chemistry exam papers gets stolen in UK

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But projections aren’t an accurate reflection of what might have been, and unsatisfied students who were affected have the option to sit for a re-examination of their lost section of the Chemistry paper. Even better, students who re-take the paper will be given the better of the two grades — either the projected grade or the grade awarded in the re-examination.

This would be the first time ever that exam scripts sent to the UK for marking were stolen since Singapore adopted the national GCE examinations in the education system.

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 Source : https://www.msn.com/en-sg/news/singapore/238-students-in-singapore-affected-after-a-level-chemistry-exam-papers-gets-stolen-in-uk/ar-BBJuiZv