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In Victoria, academics to scour VCE exams to avoid mistakes that plagued last year

March 04, 2024

Original Article:

More academics will be involved in the writing and editing of VCE exams in an effort to avoid the mistake-laden tests of previous years.

Education Minister Ben Carroll on Thursday pledged to leave “no stone unturned” to ensure that 2024 VCE exams had gone through a “rigorous process” before they reach students’ desks.

Carroll said the former head of the NSW Education Standards Authority, Dr John Bennett, was reviewing previous errors. Carroll has been briefed on the initial findings and committed to releasing the full review when it is delivered next month.

The education minister asked the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority to review its processes last November, after a series of “stuff ups” in VCE exams that he said should never have occurred.

Thousands of general and specialist maths students were awarded bonus points due to errors in last year’s exams. A number of exams also had confusing typos, and six students were given the wrong Chinese language test.

Carroll said he had also refused the assessment authority’s board a pay rise as a result of the errors.

“I thought that was an important signal, not only to the authority but to the Victorian community and all VCE students how seriously I take those errors that occurred last year,” he told ABC radio.

Mistakes in the 2022 maths exam triggered a number of investigations, which found no “major mathematical errors”, but identified “room for improvement” in language and grammar.

Carroll said he had met with academics who had raised concerns, and it was clear that Victoria needed “a lot more academic rigour” in the preparation and the writing of VCE exams.

He said he would implement recommendations in the Bennett review “to the best of my ability” but warned the system would never be “100 per cent foolproof”.

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