Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) has announced that 75 of 238 students whose A-Level Chemistry scripts were stolen in the United Kingdom last year have opted to retake the examination.
SEAB earlier stated that it has been informed by Cambridge Assessment that a parcel containing 238 scripts for the 2017 GCE A-Level H2 Chemistry’s Paper 3 was stolen from a courier in the United Kingdom (UK), which was stolen while in transit from Cambridge Assessment to the Examiner.
According to the board, the parcel contained scripts from four Junior Colleges – Anderson JC (58 scripts), Anglo-Chinese JC (60 scripts), Hwa Chong Institution (60 scripts) and Nanyang JC (60 scripts). This comprised about 3% of the 8,843 school candidates who sat for the 2017 GCE A-Level H2 Chemistry examination.
The students received their A-Level results on 23 February. The stolen scripts were for Paper 3, which consists of free-response questions and carries a weightage of 35 per cent of the entire H2 Chemistry examination.
The final A-Level grades of the affected students were derived through a projection. However, SEAB and Cambridge Assessment stated that the affected students were still able to get a grade for the subject when they collected their A-Level results as the board decided to grade them based on their performance in the other three papers.
The SEAB said earlier that all of the affected students passed the subject, with 81 per cent of them scoring As and Bs and all candidates attained better grades or maintained their grades in the national examinations, compared to their school-based examinations.
However, given the 'unique circumstances', the affected students were given the option to re-sit the H2 Chemistry Paper 3 in April or November and have the better of their two grades recorded in their A-Level result slip and certificate.
Those who wished to register for the re-examination had to do so by Friday (9 March).
SEAB said that of the 75, 28 were from AJC, 28 were from ACJC, seven from HCI and 12 from NYJC. Out of the total, 57 of the candidates registered for the re-examination in April, while 18 registered for the re-examination in November.
The scripts were stolen out of a locked courier’s van in the UK while in transit to the examiners for marking. Cambridge Assessment stressed that it was reviewing their processes to ensure the security of examination papers and scripts and safeguard the integrity of our national examinations.
This is the first incident in Singapore where national examination scripts sent to UK for grading had been stolen. In 1993, some 261 O-Level English Literature exam scripts from four schools also went missing in the UK, however, it was not established back then whether they were stolen.