QCAA Shows Some More Class

Not total class, but a ton more class than we’ve ever witnessed from VCAA.

This is a lot of times to write about one multiple choice question, but it is important. A month or so ago we posted a PoSWW on a 2022 Queensland MCQ exam question, for which the accompanying exam report indicated the wrong answer. In a second post last week, we noted that QCAA had updated their exam report, to indicate the correct answer and including a footnote flagging that the correction had been made. QCAA has now gone further.

An attentive reader has alerted us to the fact that QCAA has updated their exam report once more. The footnote now reads (p 27),

Question 3 has been updated to indicate both C and D were awarded a mark due to an identified misconception. Option C is the correct answer.

This is definitely not perfect. There is just one correct answer, after all, QCAA’s footnote is vague on the timing, and it fails to indicate who had the “misconception”, which seems very likely to have been QCAA themselves.* But if this is not perfect, it is way way way closer than anything we’ve ever witnessed from VCAA.

QCAA has not spelt it out exactly, but it is strongly implied that QCAA has gone back and retroactively awarded a mark to those students who gave the correct answer.** Does this matter? Yes, purely as a matter of integrity, it matters. And, purely as a matter of integrity, acknowledging the correction and precise grading matters. Whether this apparent late regrading has also had any more substantive effects, we cannot say. But integrity matters, in and of itself.

If VCAA has ever similarly regraded in response to one of their own many, many errors, we are unaware of it. If VCAA has ever done so, they seemingly never bothered to tell anyone.


*) QCAA’s mathematics syllabus provides two, contradictory definitions of (or tests for) an inflection point, which is the issue at hand (see MCQ4 here). Nothing in the syllabus, however, would lead to a second answer on the 2022 MCQ being considered correct.

**) In a pure world, QCAA would have also taken away the mark incorrectly awarded to other students. It is not difficult to understand why QCAA would have been reluctant to do so, even assuming the topic had been taught correctly. 

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