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Education Security United Kingdom

Computer Science GCSE in Disarray After Tasks Leaked Online (bbc.com) 53

An anonymous reader shares a report: The new computer science GCSE has been thrown into disarray after programming tasks worth a fifth of the total marks were leaked repeatedly online. Exams regulator Ofqual plans to pull this chunk of the qualification from the overall marks as it has been seen by thousands of people. Ofqual said the non-exam assessment may have been leaked by teachers as well as students who had completed the task. The breach affects two year groups. The first will sit the exam in summer 2018. Last year 70,000 students were entered for computer science GCSE. A quick internet search reveals numerous posts about the the non-exam assessment, with questions and potential answers.
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Computer Science GCSE in Disarray After Tasks Leaked Online

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Using the study–test paradign to pass on the knowledge and skills of a complex subject just doesn't work.

    Your proof of ability should be your portfolio, and your working relationship with actual professionals.

    Sure, medical doctors do take exams along the way, but they'll all tell you that what really counts are the endless hours of working with their betters until they themselves become somebody else's better.

    Education needs to be re-arranged around this apprenticeship model; interviewing and testing

  • What is that? No idea. Ain't America.
  • Undefined acronym alert! Bad editor alert!
  • I think the ones thinking that was a good idea have just demonstrated they are utter failures at CS and at understanding how it is being used today. If the rest of the thing is of similar quality and level of insight, then this thing is completely meaningless.

  • Terrible summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by ardmhacha ( 192482 ) on Monday November 27, 2017 @04:45PM (#55632705)

    GCSEs are exams given to 16 year olds in the UK, not that you would know that from the summary

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

      GCSEs are exams given to 16 year olds in the UK, not that you would know that from the summary

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      Don't worry .. even TFA doesn't define it.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Don't worry .. even TFA doesn't define it.

        The British Broadcasting Corporation education section of the news didn't define something that anyone in the UK old enough to read the news would already know? The horror!

      • Of course TFA didn't define it.

        A British website defining "GCSE" would be like an american website defining "graduating from high school".

    • That's what I thought they were, which indicates a VERY easy change to make that will blow them all away: Change the language the student must answer in from Java to ZX Spectrum Basic.

  • programming tasks worth a fifth of the total marks were leaked repeatedly online.

    But, but, but... Don't we all know, that information wants to be free? And that any attempts to censor anything are treated as damage and routed around?

    • How in the world do you 'leak a task'? If this was some sort of test or exam, then you could leak the questions, or leak the answers. If you leak a task, does that mean that the task is magically done for you?
      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        How in the world do you 'leak a task'? If this was some sort of test or exam, then you could leak the questions, or leak the answers. If you leak a task, does that mean that the task is magically done for you?

        I'm guessing it's leaking something on the exam - a task that needs to be done. Perhaps it's something like "write a simple program to take in a list of numbers and calculate statistics on those numbers".

        Of course, that is something needs to be done in the 2 hours allotted for the task. Leaking it out

      • by jeremyp ( 130771 )

        The assessment for many GCSE's is done in two parts. There are the formal examinations and there is course work. The formal examinations are done in invigilated conditions, the course work is done by the student during the time they are taking the course.

        What happens is that the exam board sets a task e.g. "write an algorithm to shuffle a deck of cards" or "write a simple pre-emptive multitasking operating system with a Posix compatibility layer". The student then goes away and posts the task on Stack Overf [stackoverflow.com]

        • Except that in this case, the 'coursework' was also to be done in invigilated conditions, with no assistance, in a set amount of time, in school only....and students were taking photos of the tasks and posting them on stack overflow and other sites.
  • According to the College Board [collegeboard.org], 40% of the score for the new Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles course - whose higher-than-other-subject-area pass rates were recently celebrated by tech-bankrolled Code.org [medium.com] - is based upon assessment of non-exam "Performance Tasks."

  • True story. I used to post on the TES forum (TES = UK Education Newspaper). One year there was a problem with the "AS Level" IT exam (AS level is done by 17 year olds roughly, it's the level above GCSE). None of the teachers could do it (it was an Access database). Literally. Slightly worrying when they are supposedly teaching students to do it, but that's the standard of UK "Computing". To be fair it was an insanely stupidly designed question (and about half of it was drivelling on about green issues w
    • by jeremyp ( 130771 )

      None of the teachers should have seen it either, unless it was for coursework, not the exam.

  • Please expand your acronyms.

    The average reader who doesn't work in that industry isn't going to know what "GCSE" means.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      GCSE - General Certificate in Secondary Education. The average UK Secondary school (ages 11 to 16) student will have between 9 and 15 of these from the last years of school in a variety of subjects, Maths, English and Science being the definitely mandatory ones.

      We then move on to now either A Levels for 2 years or Apprenticeships as we have to stay in full time education til the age of 18 now (used to be 16). A Levels are maybe first year USA undergraduate level work, most students take 3 of theses. There's

  • It is always helpful to introduce abbreviations before use, e.g., General Certificate in Secondary Education (GCSE). If your audience includes people from difference contexts, e.g., countries, cultures, continents, please provide the necessary context. For example, secondary education inside the Bologna zone (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bologna_Process) which includes many countries in Europe, secondary education may refer to master degrees, whereas in the EU education framework primary = primary school (

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