• Daniel Tihn

UK A-Level Leaked On Twitter Before The Exam... 3rd Year In A Row


After studying for 2 years, the last thing you want is for your exam to become unfair. Well, for the 3rd year in a row, the UK Maths A-Level paper was leaked a day before the exam stirring a lot of controversy and anger towards their exam board Edexcel. So what happened and what's the way forward?

The Leak


On Thursday afternoon, images started circulating of the exam paper, which started on a since-deleted twitter post offering the whole exam paper for £70 (not a lot considering that could put you over the top for your desired Uni). Pearson, the exam board's parent company stated that the photos "were circulated in a very limited way" before the exam on Friday.


2018 and 2017 saw very similar situations, which led to police investigating and information being passed through Crown Prosecution Service to decide whether criminal charges should be pressed.


The Students


Screenshots of group chats with the paper quickly circulated, leading to a national rise of stress within all Maths students. Most of these screenshots originated from private schools, which made students who hadn't seen the paper worry about their own grade and this new hurdle that they would have to overcome.


This has led to a petition which has been signed by hundreds of students with the aim that when the grade boundaries are set, that this whole situation will be taken into account.


Pearson's Reaction


After the last 2 leaks, Pearson launched new counter measures in the hopes to avoid this type of situation. Since that didn't seem to work, Pearson has launched an investigation into where this leak could have originated.


"Having visited a small group of centres within scope of the investigation, we have identified one centre in serious breach of correct practice,” Pearson publicly stated.


"All students should be reassured we have well-established processes in place to ensure no one will be advantaged or disadvantaged, and this paper will not have to be resat."


The Controversy


Although Pearson seems to be trying their hardest to find the origin of this leak, students are trying to look forward as they try to make sure that the past 2 years of studying hasn't been thrown away.


Many students left the exam on Friday feeling cheated, upset that others got the opportunity to spend a mere £70 (equivalent to€78.50) to get an A-Level. While Pearson has stated that they will take the situation into account, how will they be able to tell which students cheated and who didn't? If they lower the grade boundaries then some who don't deserve to pass may get the A-Level, but if they don't then those who cheated will have successfully gamed the system.


Maybe the paper could have been changed prior to the exam, or was that logistically impossible? There is definitely no easy solution to this, but Pearson needs to stop and think of a way to make it up to the students, and hopefully not let it happen again next year.


How would you feel if MATSEC leaked an A-Level the night before the exam? Tell us in the comments below. 📚