PUPILS who took a GCSE Biology exam say the paper contained “no biology” questions and covered few topics they had revised, The Sun reports. The AQA exam board included questions about underage drinking and independent businesses in relation to drugs trials.
Furious students revealed on Twitter and Reddit they pored over syllabus topics such as white blood cells, the menstrual cycle and different classes of drugs. One student, Lorna Armstrong, set up the Change.org petition ‘Please apologise AQA’ as the organisation allegedly encouraged underage drinking.
Lorna revealed that one question asked the teenagers to compare favourite alcoholic beverages among 15-year-olds. She wrote on Change.org: “These exam papers have been sat all over the country, at least, and the impact of including such themes could be massive, considering these papers will be used by other students, perhaps young or easily-influenced, to practice.
“By including this question, AQA make it seem as though underage drinking is perfectly acceptable, and it is not. “We need an explanation. We need an apology.” The hashtag #aqabiology started trending on Twitter as many joked they would now study bizarre topics for their remaining upcoming tests.
Meanwhile, an AQA spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: “Exams aren’t meant to be easy and students are obviously going to tweet about that, but there was nothing wrong with this paper. We wish everyone the best of luck with the rest of their exams.”
An ex-teacher and founder of the Get Revising section of The Student Room, Pete Langley, commented: “It sounds like students have had a really tough exam and are feeling disappointed after all the hard work they’ve put into preparing for it.
“We would advise students not to panic and to look ahead to their other upcoming exams. They’re not alone in feeling this way, we are seeing a record number of posts about the AQA GCSE Biology exam on The Student Room which can provide some reassurance post-exam.”
Lauryn Hallam wrote on Twitter: “I learnt the carbon cycle, menstrual cycle and everything about vaccinations only to be asked about p***ed up rats.” Another student wrote under the pseudonym Tyrell Gaming: “Hope you understand what you’ve done to us.”
Many comments implied the students don’t believe they will pass the exam, however a couple highlighted that the grade boundaries are lowered if a paper is difficult.