SACE investigating how Grammarly was made available during Year 12 exams

Nitin Varma

Nitin Varma

SACE has indicated it could make Grammarly available on an ongoing basis — much to the consternation of concerned teachers.

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South Australian education authorities are investigating how some Year 12 students were able to access a popular grammar and writing app during recent English exams — but have no intention of disabling it for remaining end-of-year assessments.

Key points:

  • The SACE board says its chosen exam browser failed to block Grammarly
  • But it says it is now looking at making it available on an ongoing basis
  • Teachers have raised concerns about the impact on fairly assessing students

Also Read: PTE Exam 2022: Registration, Exam Dates, Eligibility, Cut off, Preparation Tips & Score

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The SACE Board has confirmed students writing their English Literary Studies exam papers last Wednesday were able to access Grammarly — which does not not merely correct grammar and punctuation, but also makes suggested improvements to word choices and writing style.

One senior English teacher has chastised the board as “disingenuous”, accusing it of attempting to downplay the problem and warning that the app had effectively gifted anyone who used it an unfair advantage.

Other teachers have also privately expressed concerns, with one writing that there was “disbelief” among staff about the situation. 

SACE Board interim chief executive Michaela Bensley has confirmed the blunder, telling ABC Radio Adelaide that endeavours were now underway to work out what had gone wrong.

“It wasn’t our intention for Grammarly to be used during the exam,” Ms Bensley said. Ms Bensley said assessment focused on much more than grammar and punctuation.(SACE)

“The SACE exam browser failed to block Grammarly. We’re certainly working with the vendor to better understand why it wasn’t blocked and then we’ll work together to work out what’s the best way going forward. “It’s a standalone application … but once it’s downloaded it activates when the student starts their device, so it’s always working and always in the background.”


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