From The Times:
Pupils are being rewarded for writing obscenities in their GCSE English examinations even when it has nothing to do with the question.
One pupil who wrote “f*** off” was given marks for accurate spelling and conveying a meaning successfully.
And what does the marker responsible, chief examiner Peter Buckroyd, have to say for himself? He told The Times, "It would be wicked to give it zero". Yeah! Obviously he was tempted, then. Oh, hold on...
It would be wicked to give it zero, because it does show some very basic skills we are looking for – like conveying some meaning and some spelling.
Is wicked really the word he wants here? Shouldn't it be sensible maybe, or inevitable? But then he is chief examiner of English for the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance.
The choice phrase, given in answer to the question “Describe the room you’re sitting in”, on a 2006 GCSE paper, was not punctuated. “If it had had an exclamation mark it would have got a little bit more because it would have been showing a little bit of skill,” Mr Buckroyd said, “We are trying to give higher marks to the students who show more skills.”