The UK National Statistics Regulator to Check Exam Algorithm

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The UK National Statistics Regulator will review the algorithm used to assign scores in this year’s A level exams for students. That algorithm has been scrapped after severe criticism. It would be discriminatory.


The British regulator will intervene in an exam crisis that has been dragging on in the United Kingdom for several weeks.

An algorithm that was used by the government to award points to students in the so-called A levels automatically is causing considerable controversy there.

The A levels are an essential measure for students and determine, among other things, where they can follow higher education.

However, now that the country is in the grip of a pandemic, the exams have been replaced by an automatic scoring system. And this, say, students and critics, tend to bias wealthier students.

In essence, the algorithm would have ‘cheated’.

It was instructed to make the results as close as possible to those of 2019, so that it would give students from ‘good’ schools the highest grade faster than students with perhaps a better grade history, who, however, attend a school with less gifted fellow students. (often in more impoverished areas).

The Office for Statistics Regulation, the competent UK regulator, will now conduct an emergency review of the approach taken by Ofqual, the exam committee.

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