Question choice in GCE Ordinary Level Chemistry: candidates’ perceptions

The Ordinary Level examination in Chemistry (Syllabus 1) of the Associated Exam Board consists of two papers: a 60 item objective test and a written paper. The written paper contains nine questions, five of which must be attempted. Ideally all questions on such a paper should be of equal difficulty and equal numbers of candidates should attempt each question. Also, ideally, each candidate should select those five questions which will enable him to gain his highest possible mark. In practice, both the question papers and the candidates’ choice of questions fall short of these ideals. The element of choice not only creates problems in question and paper construction, but also causes anxiety to candidates.

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