32 answer scripts for GCE O-Level A-Math lost during train ride in UK

(Getty Images file photo)

Thirty-two answer scripts for the 2018 GCE O-Level Additional Mathematics examination were lost in the UK after a Cambridge examiner’s bag containing them was mistakenly taken by a fellow train passenger in November last year.

The search for the 32 missing Additional Mathematics Paper 2 scripts is ongoing while Cambridge Assessment investigates the incident, said the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) Cambridge on Monday (14 January).

The Cambridge examiner was travelling by train from London to the north of England with the scripts – 20 from Nan Hua High School and 12 from Hong Kah Secondary School – on 21 November when the incident occurred.

SEAB chief executive Tan Lay Choo said that the board was “upset and disappointed” with the news as the incident happened close to a similar incident in the previous year. In November 2017, a parcel containing 238 A-Level H2 Chemistry scripts was stolen when it was in transit from Cambridge Assement to the examiner in the UK.

Students from four junior colleges – Anderson JC (58 scripts), Anglo-Chinese JC (60 scripts), Hwa Chong Institution (60 scripts) and Nanyang JC (60 scripts) – were affected then.

The priority now is to ensure that “the affected candidates are not disadvantaged by the incident, and that they are given a valid and fair assessment”, Choo added.

The affected candidates will be offered the option of a re-examination of the Additional Mathematics Paper 2 on 15 February, with the results released by end of the same month.

Details of the registration for the re-examination have been provided by the SEAB to the affected candidates on Monday, after they had received their result slips.

The re-examination of the paper will be based on the same curriculum that the candidates had been taught in schools and pegged at the same standard as the 2018 Additional Mathematics Paper 2. The examination format will also remain unchanged.

Paper 2 is a two-and-a-half hour paper with 100 marks and 56 per cent weighting while Paper 1 is a two-hour paper with 80 marks and 44 per cent weighting.

For candidates who did not choose to sit for the re-examination, their awarded grade will be recorded as the final grade in their GCE O-Level result slip and certificate. Cambridge Assessment and the SEAB have an established procedure to derive and award a grade for the subject.

For candidates who choose the option of re-examination, Cambridge Assessment and the SEAB will count the better of the two grades and recorded it as the final grade in their GCE O-Level result slip and certificate.

Cambridge Assessment and the SEAB took into consideration the 32 candidates’ performance in the other Additional Mathematics paper (Paper 1), which makes up 44 per cent of the final grade, relative to the entire cohort’s overall performance in the subject.

To check for consistency in the affected candidates’ overall performance in Additional Mathematics, Cambridge Assessment and the SEAB also considered the candidates’ school preliminary examination results.

About 91 per cent of the affected candidates obtained at least a Pass grade, with about 63 per cent attaining distinctions.

Almost all the affected candidates had been awarded better or the same grades for the O-Level Additional Mathematics, compared with their school preliminary examinations.

The Ministry of Education and the SEAB will work with the various institutions to consider the candidates’ re-examination results for off-cycle posting.

O-Level results

Almost 85 per cent of 26,750 school candidates who took the 2018 GCE O-Level examinations obtained five or more passes, said the MOE on Monday.

2018 (top) vs 2017 results. (SCREENCAP: moe.gov.sg)

Result slips of private candidates will also be mailed to addresses provided during the registration period.

Those eligible for SingPass can also use their SingPass account to obtain their results online via the internet Examination Results Release System (iERRS) on the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board website from 2pm on Monday.

Students who wish to apply for admission to junior colleges, Millennia Institute, polytechnics, and the Institute of Technical Education may do so via the Joint Admissions Exercise (JAE) using their GCE O-Level examination results.

The JAE registration will open from 3 pm till 4pm on 18 January. Posting results of the JAE application will be released on 31 January on its website or via SMS to the Singapore mobile number provided by the applicant during registration.

Applicants posted to junior colleges and Millennia Institute are to report to their posted institutions on 1 February.

Those posted to polytechnics and ITE will receive a letter from their respective institutions on the enrolment details.

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