A-level English too easy, says exam board


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The Independent Online

An examination board has come under fire for making its A-level English course too easy.

The Assessment and Qualification Alliance has replaced Captain Corelli's Mandolin and Catch-22 with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Northern Lights, prompting Ofqual, the exams watchdog, to report that "Neither text offered the same level of reading demand."

Captain Corelli's Mandolin and Catch 22, "have more challenging vocabulary and a complex narrative structure," it said.

A review comparing the 2005 A-level English examination with that of 2009 found that some questions in the latter were less demanding.

Nick Gibb, the schools minister, said: "Some aspects of Ofqual's reports clearly give cause for concern.

"We are committed to restoring confidence in GCSEs and A-levels as rigorous... qualifications which match the best in the world.

"The findings on English literature reflect the concerns we have already identified."