Students taking their GCSE biology exam were asked a very odd question

Bridie Pearson-Jones
Thursday 18 May 2017 13:00

Yesterday afternoon, thousands of GCSE students were left baffled when a “stupid” question about Charles Darwin on the AQA Biology exam.

Students taking the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) version of the GCSE biology exam were asked why a Victorian journalist had satirised Charles Darwin as a monkey.

Students reported wanting questions on the menstrual cycle or photosynthesis, instead they were asked to "Explain why Darwin is drawn as a monkey".

Speaking to Huffington Post, an AQA spokesperson said:

It’s completely normal for students to tweet about their exams. 

We only ever ask questions about things that are covered in the syllabus - but we can’t ask questions about everything on the syllabus, so students will always end up revising topics that don’t come up.

The question about the famous natural scientist caused outrage among some students on Twitter, who called it unfair and said they were asked about a "Victorian meme".

One student tweeted:

It's nice to see AQA are ruining this years GCSEs and not just last years #AQABiology.

It is not the first time the AQA biology exam has angered teenagers.

Last year, students were left fuming over the GCSE biology exam that contained questions about drunk rats and teenage drinking.

However, students one teacher explain to the Plymouth Herald why the question was necessary.

He said that the question was near the start of the paper, and formed part of a series of questions on the subject of evolution and natural selection.

This question was near the start of the paper and only carried one mark.

Students were asked to suggest one reason why cartoons were drawn of Charles Darwin as a monkey, they were also asked why his theories took so long to be accepted.

The image of Darwin wasn't included in the question.

Inevitably students won't get asked about everything they have revised.

Exam boards are often accused of asking weird questions, but the aim is to differentiate between the A* and the C grade students.

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