Pupils protest over ‘too hard’ maths exam

THOUSANDS of Scottish pupils are protesting over one of this year's school exams arguing it was too hard.

More than 20,000 people have signed a petition raising concerns about the National 5 mathematics exams.

The move comes just days after pupils raised a petition complaining about the Higher English exam which had to be changed.

The latest petition claims the first of the two maths papers differed greatly from past and practice papers provided by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

The signatories on change.org are demanding the SQA lower the pass mark after pupils were left shocked by unexpected content in the exam paper.

The petition states: "Pupils across Scotland were shocked at the difficulty of their National 5 mathematics paper 1. This paper was unusually hard and was unlike anything seen in past papers and specimen papers provided by the SQA."

One comment on the petition reads: “My daughter was in tears. Even the teachers were shocked at how hard this paper was.”

Another, by an Edinburgh pupil, described the exam as "absolutely dreadful" while a third commented: "The SQA often retort that lower ability pupils struggle due to a lack of effort.

"I am a pupil who achieved 99 per cent in my prelim and 100 per cent in my second prelim and I found this paper foreign and very difficult to approach today. With all due respect, grade boundaries simply have to be diminished."

Last year, a similar petition on the Higher Maths exam was followed by the SQA admitting one of the questions was too hard.

However, a spokesman for the SQA said: "We are confident the National 5 maths exam provided candidates with a fair opportunity to show their understanding of the subject. It was designed in line with past and exemplar papers and according to our course and assessment specifications.

"We know the exams period can be a stressful time for young people and their families and are aware of the concerns which have been raised."

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