Cambridge A Level Exams Leak … in an exam crazy nation

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That’s the talk of the town these days … there were leaks in the exam papers for Physics, Chemistry and Maths … how can Cambridge, “which never errs” have allowed that??? Everyone is going crazy about that and slandering the Mauritius Examination Syndicate (MES), Cambridge and The Ministry (& Minister) of Education has become the favorite pastime of many Mauritians!

Who’s Concerned?

Before we continue, let’s see who is affected. Is it all the 10,000 candidates or more precisely the 2,000 competing for a scholarship? Well no. Not all of them do Maths, Physics and Chemistry. So I guess that at most it’s 1000 and just for 3 papers at most! Is it reasonable to hold the exams again? Certainly not! As some students rightly pointed out, no one is going to move from C to A coz of the leaks!

La critique est aisée, mais l’art est difficile.

Instead of taking a malicious pleasure at slinging mud around, let’s try to analyze what can be done. Not much and that’s obviously why the MES and the Ministry of Education are more than happy to lie waiting for Cambridge to come up with a magical solution. They have quickly realized that they unfortunately won’t be able to please everyone.

The only possible solution lies along the path of least pain and again, everyone has his/her theories about what it is … but they cannot seem to agree!

So what now?

  • Can we request Cambridge to make special papers just for us and will they agree?

We need to realize that we are in this Mauritius-Cambridge relation, we are the weaker of the two. Of course, all this bad publicity is doing nothing good to Cambridge’s image but we also need to realise that most of the fuss is about Mauritius, not about Malaysia , Australia or in the international press. You don’t agree with me: Google for Cambridge A levels exams leak. It’s hardly in the news! We are crazy about exams but sorry for you Mauritians … the rest of the world is not!

  • Requesting Cambridge to hold our exams before any other country

Timezone cheating will always be there since it’s impossible to hold the same exams at exactly the same time (I’m afraid that switching to International Baccalaureat won’t help). I don’t know how Cambridge will receive that but that may be the best solution for us for the coming years. We seem to be more crazy about exams that other people around!

  • Speading false rumors

How to get at cheaters. Was I responsible for exams at Cambridge, as from next year, I would have hired people whose sole job would have been to spread rumors around exams time! That should teach potential cheaters a nice lesson.

  • For now, special exams?

Well, the main issue is the Scholarship scheme. Who’s going to get it? Most of those who want to retake the exams are those concerned with the scholarship. So let those who badly want to compete for it take one special paper for each of the incriminated subject. This should allow the Government of Mauritius to see who “really deserves it”. As for the others, let just the exams minus the “leaked” questions count! That should be enough!

By the way, in Europe, scholarships are meant for poor students who would otherwise not have been able to go to the university had they not been paid or subsidized for them!

To conclude

A witchhunt is useless here, well I know it’s good to be blaming others but i think it’s time for solutions. To the students that want to redo the exams to become “laureats”, prove your worth, this time not through bookish learning but rather by proposing worthwhile solutions.

6 responses to “Cambridge A Level Exams Leak … in an exam crazy nation

  1. Another solution would be to have different exams for Mauritius. I am sure Cambridge must have enough resources to prepare a different set of questions for us. The question is do we measure enough on the scale for that kind of consideration. This can surely be a gauge to measure our international influence.

  2. Hi Pascal,

    I have blogged about that issue and, in fact, I disagree with two points you raised.

    (1) Special paper for Mauritius

    CIE is a commercial entity and if Mauritius pays enough I don’t see why they’ll refuse to do a special paper for us… but this will be costly which brings us to…

    (2) Exams at the same time

    It is possible to have all students over the whole planet sit for the same exams at the same time (except for those in the Pacific.) When I was at the MCCI, students there had a BTS exams and they had the same paper as every single student worldwide except those in Nouvelle Calédonie who had a specific paper. Due to timezone constraints, the exam started at around 18:00 (if I still remember clearly), but I don’t remember my students complaining.

  3. Hello

    (1) Dead right – if we pay more I’m sure Cambridge will agree but everyone is already complaining that it’s too expensive … if the government foots the bill, maybe it will work.

    (2) At the Chamber of Commerce it works but when the last busses are at 6 p.m and students have to travel from Beau-Bassin to say Flacq at 8 or 9 p.m. this will be a major logistic issue and it won’t work. We can however ask Cambridge to do our exams before everyone else – say at 14:00 the same day – we are the only ones who seem to be that crazy about exams!

    I hate exams but they are a unfortunately a necessary evil😦

  4. I would suggest that Cambridge set up different examination papers for different countries. Hence problem is solved.

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