Laurie Bidwell

Labour spokesperson on Education in Dundee


SQA Admit That 2015 Higher Maths Exam Was Too Hard

24 September 2015

The fairness of the Higher Maths examination, which pupils sat in May 2015, is an issue that won't go away. The Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) gave evidence to the Education and Culture Committee meeting at the Scottish Parliament this week.

Dr Janet Brown, Director of the SQA informed the Committee that the Higher Maths paper had been written along the same guidelines as exemplar and specimen papers, and the "structure and nature of questions within it was part of the course and was explained to teachers".

But, she added, it became "very obvious" that the exam had been "a standard which was over and above what we had anticipated". She also confirmed that the pass mark had been reduced to 33.8% to compensate.

Scottish Labour’s Opportunity Spokesperson Iain Gray said the statement showed the SQA “still don’t get it” and that parents and students affected will take “no comfort” in the fact the results were adjusted. He called for the Government to review what had gone wrong.

“They now need to face up their responsibility and ensure that people can have confidence in the SQA and its exam system,” he said.