75 Singapore students affected by theft of Chemistry paper to retake exams

A student being consoled at Nanyang JC after receiving a slip of paper informing them of a briefing that they were affected by the theft of the GCE A-Level H2 Chemistry paper 3 examination scripts. — TODAY pic
A student being consoled at Nanyang JC after receiving a slip of paper informing them of a briefing that they were affected by the theft of the GCE A-Level H2 Chemistry paper 3 examination scripts. — TODAY pic

SINGAPORE, March 13 — Seventy-five of the 238 students affected by the theft of the A-Level Chemistry exam scripts last year have opted to retake the examination, said the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB).

Responding to media queries yesterday, some two weeks after news broke that the A-Level Chemistry H2 paper was stolen last year while being delivered to an examiner in the United Kingdom (UK) for grading, the SEAB said that of the one-third students who opted to retake the exams, a majority — 57 of them — will re-sit for the H2 Chemistry Paper 3 in April, while the rest will be taking it in November this year.

The 238 students affected by the theft came from Anderson Junior College (AJC), Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC), Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) and Nanyang Junior College (NYJC), and they made up about 3 per cent of the total 8,843 H2 Chemistry school candidates who sat for the exam last year.

Each of the four schools had about 60 affected students.

When the SEAB broke the news about the theft in February, the stolen scripts for last year’s H2 Chemistry Paper 3 had yet to be recovered, and police investigations were still ongoing in the UK.

Although the stolen H2 Chemistry Paper 3 — which comprises essay questions — has the highest weightage among the four papers that students have to take for the subject, the affected students were still able to get a grade for the subject when they collected their A-Level results on Feb 23 because both SEAB and Cambridge Assessment decided to grade them based on their performance in the other three papers.

The SEAB said then that all of the affected students passed the subject, with 81 per cent of them scoring As and Bs.

“All candidates attained better grades or maintained their grades in the national examinations, compared to their school-based examinations,” the board added.

However, all affected students were also given an option to retake the exams, and had up to March 9 to register their intention to do so.

Of the 75 retaking the exams, 28 were from AJC, 28 were from ACJC, seven from HCI and 12 from NYJC.

This is the first incident in Singapore where national examination scripts sent to UK for grading had been stolen. In 1993, some 261 O-Level English Literature exam scripts from four schools also went missing in the UK, but it was not established back then whether they were stolen. — TODAY

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