It appears that in England the grading curve is pretty generous. A British high school student received credit for answering an essay question with nothing but “f*** off.” That got her two points out of 27 and a passing grade.
The passing answer was a response to the question “Describe the room you are sitting in.” Examiner Peter Buckroyd found it passing since “It would be wicked to give it zero because it does show some very basic skills we are looking for, like conveying some meaning and some spelling.”
“It’s better than someone that doesn’t write anything at all.” Really?
Buckroyd is a senior examiner for the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance — raising the question of what junior examiner must be like in the AQA.
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He said the expletive was used in 2006 by a student in response to the question: “Describe the room you are sitting in.”
The alliance confirmed the newspaper’s story was accurate, but said Buckroyd’s decision to award the student marks was not official policy.
“The example cited was unique in the experience of the senior examiner concerned and was used in a pre-training session to emphasize the importance of adhering to the mark scheme: i.e. if a candidate makes any sort of response to a question then it must be at least given consideration to be awarded a mark,” the company said in a statement.
It said obscenities on exam papers “should either be disregarded, or action will be taken against the candidate, depending on the seriousness of the case.”