GCSE, A and AS exams will be adapted next summer in England. The adaptations will aim to help mitigate the impact of disruption to teaching and learning caused by the pandemic, balanced with the policy decision to return to exams in 2022.
Following consultation, the Department for Education (DfE) and Ofqual have confirmed changes such as: a choice of topics in some GCSE exams like English literature and history; advance information to focus students’ revision in subjects where there is not a choice of topics; and support materials like formulae sheets in maths. A summary of the adaptations, including subject-specific changes, is available on the OCR website.
It is the government’s firm intention that exams will take place next year, but the DfE and Ofqual have also published proposals for the use of Teacher Assessed Grades as a contingency measure if exams cannot go ahead, in the event of further disruption.
The adaptations for GCSEs, A and AS Levels apply to summer 2022. It is the intention that exams will go ahead as normal in 2023.
Ofqual has also confirmed the approach to grading for summer 2022. The approach is intended to get back to the pre-pandemic standard but not in one jump - 2022 will therefore be a ‘transition year’. Results overall will be higher than in 2019, but not as high as in 2020. The aim is for 2022 to ‘reflect a midway point between 2021 and 2019’ with the ‘aim to return to results that are in line with those in pre-pandemic years’ in 2023.