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Maths student stripped of GCSE after question he found online appeared on his exam paper

Maths student stripped of GCSE after question he found online appeared on his exam paper

He had approached a teacher about the question prior to the exam

A pupil was stripped of his maths GCSE after a question he found online while revising ended up appearing on his exam paper.

Seventeen-year-old Emil Bednarski, a pupil at Kensington Aldridge Academy in London, said he spent lots of time revising and preparing ahead of his exams this year, scouring online sources such as Reddit and TikTok for past papers and questions.

He told the BBC: "This I did preparing for my GCSE exam in maths too. I am very serious about my education, and my educational attainments."

The particular question had actually puzzled the teen so much that he asked his teacher about it just hours before he sat the paper - something he says proves he had not been trying to cheat and that he had ‘no ulterior motive’.

After the exam, Bednarski said he simply believed that the exam board had repeated an old question on the new paper and didn’t think any more of it.

However, Bednarski was reported to Pearson by the school and the exam board then refused to issue his maths GCSE.

The teen was stripped of his maths GCSE over the incident.
Pexels/Skylar Kang

According to the BBC, on appeal, Bednarski was awarded his GCSE but was given a Grade 5, as one of the papers he sat was discounted.

He plans to resit the GCSE next month.

The family told the BBC they would now like an apology and insisted that had all of Bednarski’s papers been marked he would have achieved a Grade 8 or 9.

The school has supported the teen and Bednarski’s dad Cezary says he understands why they had to report the incident.

In a statement, the headteacher told The Times: “I find it very surprising that any student would volunteer to show us a question if that question had been obtained illegally. I feel it is very difficult [and would be very unfair] to penalise him personally.”

The teen told the BBC he plans to resit the paper.

A spokesperson for Pearson told The Times: “We cannot comment on individual investigations — however we take all malpractice allegations very seriously and our expert team investigates each and every one.

"Malpractice is extremely rare. We have well-established processes in place to ensure fair and accurate results.

“All exam boards use analysis during and after marking to look for tell-tale signs of malpractice in exam papers — both at an individual and cohort level.

"Our review found no evidence that would require an adjustment to the marking or grading of exams.”

Featured Image Credit: Bednarski Family / Getty Stock Photo

Topics: Education, UK News