cheesethegreat writes "The Royal Society of Chemistry has sharply criticized the 'catastrophically' falling standards for UK school exams in the sciences. The RSC had 1,300 highly achieving students take an exam made up of questions taken from the last 50 years. The students averaged an appalling 15% on 'hard' numerical questions set in the 1960s, but managing much higher marks on the more recent 'soft' non-numerical questions. This latest report has garnered mainstream media attention. The RSC has also created a petition on the UK Prime Minister's official website, calling for urgent intervention to halt the slide, which has garnered over 3,000 signatures. The issue of declining exam standards has been an ongoing concern in the UK, with allegations that exam results have been manipulated by the government to increase pass rates and meet its own targets."