S’pore A-level Chemistry exam scripts stolen but students still graded, explained

Result tabulated from other papers.

By Joshua Lee | February 23, 2018

On Nov. 10, 2017, A-level students sat for their H2 Chemistry Paper 3 examination.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, for 238 of them, their papers were stolen while being delivered en-route to an examiner for grading in the United Kingdom.

Cambridge Assessment in Cambridge, UK. Via.

Timeline of events

Here’s a timeline of what happened and how Cambridge Assessment arrived at a finalised score for the affected students.

Nov. 10 to 16, 2017: Completed papers were to be sent to Cambridge where they were divided into smaller batches to be delivered to examiners via courier service, Parcelforce.

Nov. 16, 2017: On the way, one of the courier drivers discovered that he was missing eight parcels. They were taken from his locked van. One of the missing parcels contained 238 H2 Chemistry Paper 3 scripts. He filed a police report. Cambridge Assessment then spent 11 days searching for the missing parcel before ascertaining that the scripts were stolen.

Nov. 30, 2017: Cambridge Assessment notified Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB).

Jan. 5, 2018: Cambridge Assessment informed SEAB that UK police could not recover the stolen scripts.

Week of Jan. 15, 2018: SEAB representatives flew to UK to meet Cambridge Assessment and discuss an appropriate course of action.

End January 2018: Unaffected students’ scripts were marked and grades finalised.

First week of February: SEAB and Cambridge work to give the affected students a finalised grade based on their performances in the other three Chemistry papers (see section below). Affected schools (Anderson Junior College, Anglo-Chinese Junior College, Hwa Chong Institution, and Nanyang Junior College) were informed after the grades were finalised.

Feb. 23, 2018: Affected students are informed of the stolen scripts during the release of 2017 GCE A-level exam results in Singapore, when they collected their result slips.

How to calculate final grade without one script?

There is a procedure for awarding grades to students who miss a paper with a valid reason.

This can only be done if the weightage of the missed paper does not exceed 50 percent of the total score.

The student is graded according to their remaining papers.

In this case, there were four Chemistry papers each candidate took, so Cambridge Assessment graded affected students on the remaining three papers.

  1. Use student’s performance on remaining three papers to determine percentile rank within cohort.
  2. Use percentile rank to determine score for missing paper.
  3. Look at previous school-base Chemistry papers to check for consistency.

Students who are not satisfied with their grades can choose to re-sit for their paper on April 25 or in November. They must register by March 9, 2018 if they wish to do so.

Top images of Chemistry exam papers via.

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