Pupils up and down the country have been left upset and fearful about what will happen to their grades after the supposed leak of the AQA A-Level Chemistry paper 2.
The exam was sat by students on Monday 20 June and appears to have been available to view, or even buy, on social media sites Snapchat and TikTok for more than a week before students sat down in the exam hall.
‘It’s annoying me and I’m a parent’
AQA is Britain’s biggest exam board, and it is said the alleged leak could be the biggest in the exam board’s history.
The dad, who wishes to remain anonymous, said his daughter, who attends Northampton School for Boys' sixth-form, was frustrated after revising diligently over the course of the pandemic.
He said: "All schools are fuming. It's annoying me and I'm a parent. It showed all the questions and people were discussing online what the answers were going to be.
"To find this out, my daughter was devastated. As a father, A-Levels are stressful enough post pandemic but to now have my daughter potentially impacted because of leaks is simply not acceptable.
"There's been no leniency in terms of exams and revision throughout the pandemic, so my daughter's frustrated with that and then to find out that her exam paper was leaked, she's fuming. It's not fair."
He added: "Going forward, it should be an online programme rather than an old fashioned paper exam."
Exam board is investigating
A spokesman from the government’s Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (OFQUAL) said: "We know how hard students have worked and how much they wanted to sit their exams.
"Ofqual and the exam boards take security breaches extremely seriously and there are many processes to keep exam papers secure.
"On the rare occasions breaches occur, penalties can be serious. Procedures are in place to make sure no one is advantaged or disadvantaged. Students who cheat risk not gaining their qualifications.”
A spokesperson from the AQA previously said: “Our exams integrity team is investigating and will take any action necessary, including working with the police.”
Northampton School for Boys’ headmaster, Richard Bernard, said: "The exam board has assured all centres and schools who had students sitting the paper that it is investigating the potential leak and that it is taking steps to ensure students will not be disadvantaged if a leak has occurred.
"As our students sat the paper, we will follow the outcome of the AQA investigation with interest."
This summer is the first time students have sat GCSE and A-Level exams normally since before the Covid pandemic, when assessments were cancelled and teachers set grades instead.
Some students have now said they are worried that the grade boundaries for the paper, which are based on averages, could now be skewed.
One of the options available to AQA will be to discount the entire paper.
There are three AQA Chemistry papers, with each carrying about 35 percent weight, and so if the exam board does cancel the second exam they would need to raise the weighting of the other two papers to 50 percent.