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Apr 25, 2005

Press Statement from AQA - Electronic Marking

In response to recent reports in the media AQA wishes to clarify a number of points.

AQA is working to deliver an even faster, more efficient and more reliable examination service for its candidates by using new technology in the assessment of their work.

As part of these improvements, some candidates’ examination papers are turned into electronic images in the UK by DRS, our electronic marking partner. Images of answers where only one word or one number is required are then sent electronically to bureaux, either in this country or abroad, where they are keyed into a computer and sent back to DRS. In all cases, the answers are keyed twice to ensure accuracy. The answers are then automatically marked by computer software according to a marking key devised by AQA’s senior examiners.

No marking is carried out overseas and no examination papers are sent overseas. All decisions about the acceptability of answers are made by our senior examiners.

When this process was used in January, for 30,000 scripts in GCSE French and GCSE Mathematics, no problems or delays were experienced and the marking was completed ahead of schedule.

In the summer the process will be used for approximately 360,000 scripts in 8 GCSE subjects (Biology, French, Geography, German, ICT, Mathematics, Science and Spanish). We are confident that this innovative approach will improve both speed and accuracy and we plan to use it increasingly in the future.

AQA is committed to modernising the examination system by using modern technology in ways which maintain and improve quality and fairness.

For further information please contact:
AQA Public Affairs
+44(0)1483 477911