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UK’s biggest exam board apologises for ‘confusion’ and ‘stress’ after A-Level law students were tested on unexpected tort topic

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😲 Rylands v Fletcher 😲

The UK’s biggest exam board has apologised to A-Level law students after giving them a question on a topic they did not think they had to revise.

The exam, with up to 100 marks available, included two questions worth 30 marks each, with students given advance information on the focus of the exam in order to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

However, AQA’s pre-assessment info included the topic of one of the 30-mark questions — but not the other. The other topic, worth almost one third of pupils’ overall mark, centred on liability for nuisance under the case law classic of Rylands v Fletcher.

“One of the aims of advance information is that it shouldn’t narrow teaching and learning, so we couldn’t list all the topics on the exam paper,” a spokesperson for the AQA said in a statement. “Although we advised students to revise all topics and included the focus of one of the two 30-mark questions, we appreciate that many students expected us to include the focus of both questions — especially in light of guidance we gave before we released the advance information.”

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They continued: “We didn’t mean to cause any confusion or stress for students and we’re sorry that we did.”

On how the exam will now be marked, AQA said it will look at the results achieved by students and “take any action necessary to protect them”.

The law exam confusion comes just a little over a week after AQA apologised to students sitting a GCSE physics paper for including a question on a topic that had been ruled out in the advance information.

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31 Comments

PurplePig

It will prepare them for the LPC I guess

Obscure questions coming up on niche topics in some random part of the reading

Al

I’ve had a number of cases where we’ve agreed what the actual issue in the case was and put in our respective skellies and submissions on that point.

Then you get to court and the judge says “Surely the real issue in this case is…” and it’s a point that neither side had even considered.

Must confess, there are some advantages now judges don’t have time to actually read the case papers.

Tom

What is the correlation to the original post??

Archibald Pomp O'City

You mean “relation”, not “correlation”, Tom, surely.

Anonymous

More info on the issues with the LPC please- got it coming up later this year.

Tom

I would love to give you a whole list of issues and believe me there are plenty but Legal Cheek are lil fanboys and stans of the two main LPC providers (you can guess which ones) and so they delete any comments which (rightfully) criticise the institutions

Alan

Get over it. Life as a lawyer is not predictable and scripted. Welcome to the real world you snowflake students.

Deep breaths

I’m not sure you would have had this attitude if this happened to your 18 year old self

Alan

How would you know anything about what it was like to be 18 year old me? You have no idea about my life, what things were like before, then, and after. I’d have taken it on the chin and persevered. I’m made from seriously tough stuff. You don’t even know.

Anon

Wow, who’s the snowflake now?

D

Calm down mate. You seem pretty “triggered”, almost like a snowflake 😉

Alan

If this isn’t cyber bullying then frankly I don’t know what is. I hope you all get banned.

Harry

From the way this is written and the use of commas and language style you can tell this is ‘Alan’ pretending to be somebody else to try and discredit what the above anon said looool

‘Alan’ or whatever their real name is needs to get a grip and a life whilst they’re at it lmao spending this sun shining day trolling people on a comments section

Alan

Who’s sadder the troll, or the troll of the troll? The answer is you. Get a life, loser. Comment reported.

Bullingdob

Why did you choo choo choose a career in law, then, Your Lordship?

Pinniped QC

What the deuce did you just ruddy well say about me, you little popinjay? I’ll have you know I graduated top of my class at ICSL, and I’ve been involved in numerous closed hearings at the Court of Protection, and I have over 300 Supreme Court wins. I am trained in Admiralty litigation and I’m the top QC in the entire Bar of England and Wales. You are nothing to me but just another hapless junior. I will wipe you the blazes out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this Earth, mark my blasted words. You think you can get away with saying that poppycock to me over the Internet? Think again, m’learned pillock. As we speak I am contacting my secret network of paralegals across the Circuit and your IP is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, cockchafer. The storm that wipes out the pathetic little thing you call your PQE. You’re very dead, boyo. I can be anywhere, anytime, and I can cross-examine you in over seven hundred ways, and that’s just unrobed. Not only am I extensively trained in legal rhetoric, but I have access to the entire law library of every Inn of Court and I will use it to its full extent to wipe your miserable posterior off the face of the legal system, you little micturant. If only you could have known what unholy retribution your little “clever” comment was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your ineloquent tongue. But you couldn’t, you didn’t, and now you’re paying the price, you bloody fool. I will orate fury all over you and you will drown in it. You’re decidedly dead, brat.

Archibald Pomp O'City

“I’m not sure you would have had this attitude if this happened to your 18 year old self”

You have monumentally missed the point. The point being that the doubtless tiny proportion of 18-year-olds who would have weathered this with aplomb are those more likely to have enough intellectual agility and preparation skills to be good lawyers. By contrast, your ilk would be breathlessly slagging off the exam boards on social media while your mother arranged mental health appointments to repair the trauma.

Dave

So you post a comment with zero understanding of what the exam board was supposed to do and how they didn’t actually do it and not only do you side with them and call the students snowflakes, but you then whine about it and report comments when people call you out on your ignorance because you can’t take even a shred of criticism when you clearly have no idea what you are talking about? How ironic!

Alan

How do you know what my level of understanding is? I suggest you know nothing about me, who I am, and what I know. It’s obvious your only purpose is bullying. Go away.

We have all known an Alan

I reckon your family all dislike you strongly and you take solace that you are not alone in your fury at much of the world by the comforting words of the Daily Mail.

Don’t you love the sort that gives it out (rather badly in a basic cliché sort of way) but can’t take it?

David

I don’t need to know anything about you. I know your level of understanding is woefully inadequate. If you actually bothered to read the article, you would see that the exam board have literally admitted wrongdoing. But you want to mouth off at innocent kids and call them snowflakes then start whining when multiple people call you out on your ignorance right?

And FYI, this is not me bullying you, this is me (and others) standing up to bullies like you who pick on innocent kids who have done nothing wrong, and the exam board have even said they got it wrong.

Barista

I am continually amazed at the ability of exam boards to screw up exams. It is not hard to get this stuff right. The subject matter of the exam, after all, is supposed to be intelligible to secondary school children. It is not rocket science. It cannot be difficult to write questions which actually match the syllabus. It cannot be difficult to write questions which are coherent and which match the answers. Given that the exam boards have a captive market I cannot imagine they are short of money to do things properly.

Dave

They have known about this situation for two years! It’s inexcusable that they have done this, not only here but on the physics paper too!

Alan

You don’t know what you’re talking about. Please stop commenting.

Anonymous

Alan had it all stored up but then then it all escaped everywhere in a most disastrous manner

David

I know an awful lot more about this than you. I work in education. I have been following what exam boards have said extremely closely. I literally have the advance information on some of the subjects affected. Your ignorance is showing and I’m not the only one who has called you out on this. The exam boards have not done what they have been told to do and promised that they would do. Students would have literally no idea the exam board have this until they are sitting the exam. The exam board have literally apologised publically for this and admitted they are wrong. And you are there trying to defend them and call people ignorant despite them saying themselves that they did the wrong thing!

What part of this are you struggling with?

Nursie

I think Alan needs a nappy change!

Disappointed but not surprised

*coughs in BPP*

Real Headlines

“Students examined on topic ion syllabus but which those that tried to cut corners did not study sufficiently”

Archibald Pomp O'City

They can just give A-grades to all the pupils, instead of all of them. Problem solved. In today’s exam system, even the thickest students get a prize, as they should.

Law of Words

I think it fair to say that you have all taken the points made in the story, and some how managed to turn it into a ‘im better than you’ and ‘your this and your that slanging match. Very pathetic and selfish state of affairs.

Considering some of you claim to be of the legal profession, it’s embarrassing to think I could share a chambers or court space with you. You should be ashamed.

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