How are papers set?

Exams test students’ knowledge, understanding and skills. Each exam is developed by the exam board over an 18-month period to ensure it will produce a fair assessment. The exam board’s subject officer manages the process.

A principal examiner drafts each question paper and the mark scheme. This is checked and amended by a colleague called the reviser. The materials are then reviewed by a committee of subject experts to ensure each question is understandable and a valid assessment. At least one member of this committee is a Welsh speaker.  

After proofing and typesetting, a scrutineer then tests the paper to ensure it can be completed in the time allowed, there are no errors or omissions and it is pitched at the correct level. The paper is then translated into Welsh by a subject expert and checked by a translator. 

The English and Welsh versions of the paper are then returned to the subject officer, principal examiner and reviser for a final check before submission.