Edexcel further maths A-level paper replaced amid cheating concerns

An A-level paper due to be sat by thousands of students this Thursday is to be replaced amid concerns over cheating, the exam board Edexcel has said.

An investigation by Pearson, Edexcel’s parent company, has found that a packet containing copies of its further maths A-level paper was opened at a “centre”. Around 7,000 learners were due to sit the paper this week.

Our message to students is not to worry about this and focus on your revision as you normally would

The breach was identified following a probe into the same centre, which has not been named, was launched after sections of the A-level maths paper 3 exam were shared on social media last week.

The investigation revealed that “a packet containing the further maths paper…had been opened by an individual at the centre”. Police are now investigating.

The exam board said that although there was “no current evidence” to suggest that the further maths paper “or any of its questions” have been shared, it is “taking the necessary precautionary steps to safeguard the exam for the students sitting it”.

“We are making arrangements to deliver the papers to all centres shortly before the exam, apart from the centre that is the focus of our investigation, where we are making separate arrangements to ensure these students can complete their exams.

“Centres with entries for this qualification will receive communications from us this morning. If any centres still have questions after receiving this, we encourage them to get in touch with us directly.”

Sharon Hague, Pearson’s senior vice president, said: “We have reached out to all of our centres directly to inform them of this decision.

“We will continue to support and communicate with them through this unusual yet necessary step, that is vital for the safeguarding of confidence in the examination system and to ensure fairness for all learners.

“Our message to students is not to worry about this and focus on your revision as you normally would.”