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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By Rona Ankrah on


😲 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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