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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 2 October, 2002, 13:15 GMT 14:15 UK
Students' angry A-level e-mails
Students will get their new grades by 15 October
Students who have been in limbo for weeks over their A-level grades are learning whether their results are being reviewed.

The head of the independent inquiry into allegations of grade-fixing, Mike Tomlinson, has said tens of thousands of students could be affected.

As the list of the subjects where re-grading might take place was released, many students were e-mailing BBC News Online.


I lost my place at a top university and have lost my trust in a system that degrades academic ability

Tamsin Thorne, Devon
For some, it seems the re-grading has come too late. They have already begun courses at universities which were not their first, second or third choices.

Tamsin Thorne, from Devon, e-mailed us to say: "I'm angry as I had to go through clearing and am now having to share a room at uni - because of all the problems my uni is oversubscribed.

"It has become ridiculous and I'm now awaiting for all of my three A-levels to be reviewed.

"I lost my place at a top university and have lost my trust in a system that degrades academic ability."

Those who had opted for a gap year are slightly better off, in that they still have time to apply for a place for next year, but many of these are confused and angry too.

The uncertainty will last for at least another two weeks, until they find out whether their results have been improved.

Duncan McRae e-mailed to say: "I missed out on a place at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, to read classics by very narrow margins but had considered the case closed.


The deadline for 2003 Ucas applications is 15 October, the same day I will apparently hear if my grade goes up or not! Aaaarrghhh!

Emma Greig
"But now I find that three of my four A-level subjects are being reviewed. Once again I find my mind in turmoil.

"I am on a gap year but don't know whether to reapply to university because I don't what grades I really have."

Students should find out by 15 October if their grades have been changed.

Some, like Emma Greig, have already begun courses to prepare for re-takes, but may find they need not have bothered.

Emma wrote: "I was five marks from getting into medical school this year as I only achieved a C instead of the required B in OCR chemistry.

"I am now at a private sixth form re-taking my chemistry. It is very fustrating not knowing if I will need to retake.

"It is also hard because the deadline for 2003 Ucas applications is 15 October, the same day I will apparently hear if my grade goes up or not! Aaaarrghhh!!!"

Ucas says 15 October is the closing date for initial applications for Oxford and Cambridge, for medical schools, dentistry and veterinary medical science.

The closing date for other courses beginning next year is 30 June.

Criminals

Some students, like Paul Hearty, were angry their course was not included: "It is a shambles that more papers aren't being re-marked.

"My PE coursework was clearly marked down and so were a lot more on the AQA board and they get off scot free.

"The exams boards are criminals messing with pupils lives. I lost my my uni place because of them. This isn't enough to help all the people who have suffered."


I feel robbed of the happy day that 15 August should have been

Robert Johnson
Joe Durrani was also disappointed his papers were not included.

He narrowly missed out on a place to study medicine and is now studying for re-takes at a crammer college, while waiting for the results of remarks already underway.

"I feel completely confused, demotivated and angry.

"This disgraceful affair has caused disruption and emotional and practical turmoil to students.

"No one in the political world seems to have thought beyond the effects the scandal has on politicians and universities."

Robbed

Robert Johnson e-mailed News Online. His history grade is among those being reviewed.

"Before this summer I had never had a U mark in my life," he wrote.

"I was lucky to get my first choice university - not everybody has that opportunity, and for their sake, and for of us who want our 'real' marks, I hope that this remark is carried out carefully so as to avoid further errors.

"When my history result first came out, OCR had made another mistake - confusing my mark from an exam with that of another candidate - meaning that I received his 6/120 instead of my 103/120."

"Although that problem was solved, I feel robbed of the happy day that 15 August should have been."

'What about us?'

But there is also anger and bewliderment from those left off even the provisonal list.

Sue Griffin wrote: "Why are so few exams being reviewed? Why not all?

"My son sat Edexcel history and his results were A for all modules except module 6 for which he was awarded U!

"The results of this module affected the grades of most of his fellow A-level history students. The exam was either poorly moderated when written or else the marking was not correctly moderated. I am appalled."

Anger and doubt

Aaron Reader believes he was also affected: "My grades in economics show ABAAEU.

"I obtained 100%, 21% and 9% this year; not a true representation of my predicted grade (A). My overall grade was a C!"

But the exam board was AQA - whose economics papers are not even being reviewed.

Likewise, Peter Clubb says it is shocking that more exams are not being considered.

"I received ACAAAU in AQA philosophy, and AAABAU in AQA law. Neither of these subject are being reviewed and quite frankly I have no trust in my results and feel cheated."

Steven Alderson in Liverpool: "How dare the government selectively regrade papers. Do they honestly think this will give us renewed faith in the education system?

"Every single pupil in the country that sat A-levels is now wondering 'what if...', and this level of doubt cannot be allowed to continue.

"Re-grade or remark every paper. Nothing else will give people the certainty or faith required."

Are you affected by the re-grading?

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Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.
 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Kim Catcheside
"Mr Tomlinson concluded the grade boundaries in some subjects may have been out of line with previous years"
National Association of Head Teachers' David Hart
"We have about a fortnight to sort out this fiasco"
The alleged A-level grades manipulation

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02 Oct 02 | Education
28 Sep 02 | Education
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