A-levels: Examiners 'pull out the stops' but some results are still late

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The Independent Online

Some students may still be awaiting their A-level results a week after they were published, exam boards acknowledged yesterday.

Some students may still be awaiting their A-level results a week after they were published, exam boards acknowledged yesterday.

Exam board officials said they had to deal with an unprecedented amount of errors in administrative information and late coursework from schools and colleges this year.

One exam board, Edexcel, said it had received 20,000 "erroneous" entries, where information had been incorrectly presented to the board.

In addition, 250,000 pieces of coursework counting towards A-level grades were submitted late and there had been 40,000 "pirate" entries – late entrants for exams where the board had not been notified in advance.

A spokeswoman for Edexcel said she was confident there was nothing outstanding and all candidates had now received their marks.

George Turnbull, a representative of the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance exam board and spokesman for the Joint Council for General Qualifications – the umbrella group which represents all exam boards – said: "There will always be cases where, say, scripts have got lost in the post, where people still haven't got their results. Some scripts just can't be traced.

"But the exam boards have pulled all the stops out. We were dealing with a record 24 million scripts this year.

"You could have a case where there is a death in the family of an examiner or scripts have been sent somewhere they shouldn't have been.

"Sometimes they can turn up weeks later and they will then be marked but in the meantime the student will be given an estimated grade.

"Sometimes, also, we can find that where somebody is concerned about the marking we have to look at other papers marked by that examiner. If we find we have to make changes, we will apologise.

"We are on the side of the candidate. We realise how important it is for them to get their marks on time and 99.9 per cent of the time they do."

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