Exam News

Summer 2022 - Updates

7 February 2022

Advance Information for Summer 2022 now available

To support student revising for exams this summer, advance information for the majority of GCSE subjects is now available from the awarding bodies

Advance information is about the focus of content within a specification to be assessed in summer 2022. It gives an indication of some of the content, texts, topics, themes and skills that students can expect in their exams. It will be different across different subjects and different specifications.

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7 February 2022

Additional help for students taking exams in summer 2022: postcard

Ofqual have released a postcard to share with students and parents showing the measures that have been made to help students in England with exams in GCSEs, AS and A levels.

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11 November 2021

Decisions and guidance on contingency planning confirmed for summer 2022

While exams are scheduled to go ahead in summer 2022 and a range of adaptations in place to help students, the Department for Education (DfE) in England and Ofqual today confirmed their contingency plans if exams were not able to take place. This follows a joint consultation on arrangements that apply to GCSEs, AS and A Levels and Extended Project qualifications.

Letters have been sent to students, private candidates and schools and colleges about the plans.

If exams did not proceed, the DfE in England and Ofqual have confirmed that:

  • a teacher assessed grades (TAGs) process – similar to 2021 – is the contingency for 2022
  • if exams were cancelled in some parts of England, TAGs would be implemented nationally
  • Ofqual to publish guidance for teachers about how to collect evidence to inform TAGs
  • Private candidates should register to sit exams in 2022 in the usual way. They will be supported to find opportunities to generate evidence required for a TAG.

Decisions on appeals and overall quality assurance have not been confirmed.

Ofqual guidance

Ofqual published new guidance setting out what teachers should do during the rest of this academic year, until exams are taken, as a contingency. The guidance explains how to collect evidence from students in advance of any decision to cancel exams. It aims to help teachers “take a proportionate approach”, and advises that “where possible, centres’ existing assessment plans should be used”. Information on how TAGS would be determined in summer 2022 will only be published if exams cannot go ahead. Teachers must not attempt to determine TAGs unless exams are cancelled.

Full details of the outcomes can be found on the gov.uk website.

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30 September 2021

DfE and Ofqual announce changes to GCSE assessments, grading and the timing of results days for summer 2022

The outcome of the joint DfE/Ofqual consultation on changes to the assessment of GCSE exams in summer 2022 has been published today. The consultation decisions ‘are designed to mitigate the impacts of the disruption that students have faced during the pandemic without undermining the value of their qualifications and their ability to progress successfully to further study’.

Alongside changes to assessments covering adaptations and advance information, today’s announcements also include the approach to grading of exams and the timing of results days next summer.

A summary of the package of measures:

  • Subject specific adaptations (also known as 'optionality' in choice of topics or choice of content)

Adaptations to assessment will apply in the following subjects:

GCSE English Literature: Students will have a choice of topics to answer questions on during the exam. This carries forward what was planned for exams in 2021.

GCSE History: Students will have a choice of topics to answer questions on during the exam, as planned for exams in 2021.

GCSE Geography: Students will have a choice of content to answer questions on during the exam.

  • Changes to the arrangements for practical activities in sciences and assessment in art and design

GCSE, AS and A Level Art and Design: Students will be assessed on their portfolio only.

GCSE Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Combined Science: Students can observe a demonstration by a teacher, or observe it remotely.

  • Advance information

To support student revision, advance information will be provided by exam boards about the focus of content within a specification to be assessed in summer 2022. This will be communicated by 7 February, in advance of the exams, and apply to the majority of subjects at GCSE.  Advance information will not apply to subjects where adaptations are available (see list in point 1 above). The advance information provided will vary by subject to reflect their different characteristics.

  • Support materials

Support materials will be provided for the following exams; GCSE Mathematics (a formulae sheet), and GCSE Physics and GCSE Combined Science exams (an equation sheet).

  • Non-exam assessment arrangements

As well as the measures announced today, the arrangements for NEA and fieldwork were confirmed in the July 2021 publication of consultation outcomes.

The full details can be found in the Consultation Decisions document on the gov.uk website.

 

Summer 2022 grading

Ofqual has today 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’ that recognises disruption and provides a safety net for students who might otherwise just miss out on a higher grade. 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.

 

Results day

Summer 2022 results day will be in August, as in previous exam years. For summer 2022, this will be:

  • Thursday 25 August: GCSEs, Cambridge Nationals and other Level 2 qualifications

 

Contingency consultation

The DfE and Ofqual also launched a short consultation about contingencies if GCSE, AS and A Level exams do not go ahead as planned next summer. The proposed contingency for 2022 is a TAGs process similar to that used in 2021.

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14 September 2021

Adaptations for Cambridge Nationals during 2021/22 confirmed

The consultation outcome confirmed the proposed adaptations for Cambridge Nationals that were communicated by OCR on 16 July 2021.

The adaptations can be found below, updated to reflect the detail from the consultation decisions.

  • Reduction in the number of assessments of moderated units due to lost learning

If teachers need to free up time spent on assessment to help address students’ loss of learning, we will allow a reduction in the number of assessments taken of moderated units as we first announced in December 2020. Delivering the content is vital for your students’ progression and all content must be taught for the units due to be taken in 2021/22. We will ask schools and colleges to provide confirmation of this.

  • Adaptations to take account of remaining public health guidance

For Cambridge Nationals, that’s permission to produce work from home and to use unit-level adaptations such as alternative forms of evidence e.g. professional discussion in place of performance. We anticipate schools and colleges will make use of these in line with their response to the guidance so that assessments can take place for all students.

Full details can be found on the OCR news pages.

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6 August 2021

Consultation outcome - Arrangements for the assessment and awarding of vocational, technical and other general qualifications: 2021 to 2022​

Following this consultation, the Department for Education has confirmed its’ policy position that exams and other assessments should go ahead in academic year 2021 to 2022. Awarding organisations will however be permitted to make adaptations to their assessments and qualifications to assist in mitigating the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

Full details of the outcomes can be found on the gov.uk website.

We will follow the guidance from our awarding organisations on any such adaptations that may affect any vocational and technical qualifications offered at the Academy.

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14 July 2021

Proposed changes to the assessment of GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2022 – consultation open

A joint consultation published by Ofqual and the Department for Education on proposed changes to the assessment of GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2022 has opened.

The consultation proposes a package of measures to help mitigate the impact of disruption to students’ education, and seeks views on proposals on the following areas:

  • choice of topics in GCSE English literature, history, ancient history and choice of content in GCSE geography
  • changes to the requirements for the delivery of practical activities in science subjects, and assessment in art and design
  • the provision of advance information on the focus of the content of exams, in the majority of subjects at GCSE, AS and A level
  • the provision of support materials in GCSE mathematics, physics and combined science exams.

Full details of the consultation can be found here.

The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 1 August 2021.

You can submit your views here.


12 July 2021

Arrangements for the assessment and awarding of vocational, technical and other general qualifications: 2021 to 2022 ​– consultation open

In this joint consultation Ofqual and the Department for Education set out the arrangements for assessing and awarding vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) and other general qualifications in the academic year 2021 to 2022.  These proposals are made in the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has resulted in disruption to education during the current (2020 to 2021) and previous (2019 to 2020) academic years.

Full details of the consultation can be found here.

The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 26 July 2021.

You can submit your views here.


16 June 2021

Arrangements for non-exam assessment for qualifications in 2022 - consultation outcome

Ofqual have decided to implement all of the proposals they set out in the consultation document. In summary, these decisions mean that for summer 2022 they will regulate to put in place the changes set out below:

Non-exam assessment

Ofqual will allow for a range of adjustments to the non-exam assessment (NEA) arrangements to accommodate public health restrictions in dance, design and technology, drama (and theatre), film studies, food preparation and nutrition, media studies, music, music technology, and physical education (PE).

Fieldwork in geography

Ofqual will remove the requirement for centres to make a declaration to exam boards confirming they provided all students with the opportunity to undertake a mandated number of occasions or days of fieldwork activities outside of the school or college premises for GCSE, AS and A level geography.

For GCSE and AS geography, the exam boards will not ask questions in written examinations about fieldwork that students have undertaken themselves.  Of course, schools and colleges can continue to provide fieldwork activities for their students if they are able to do so.

GCSE English language

Ofqual will remove the requirement for teachers to submit an audio-visual recording of a sample of students undertaking their spoken language assessments in GCSE English language.

GCSE modern foreign languages

Exam boards will not have to include vocabulary that is not on the vocabulary lists for assessments in GCSE modern foreign languages (MFL).

Teachers and students should prepare for spoken language in 2022 to be assessed in the normal way, through formal speaking tests.  If, at any point before the speaking tests begin, it becomes clear they cannot or should not be taken, Ofqual will implement the contingency arrangements.


14 May 2021

2022 non-exam assessment and fieldwork requirements consultation

Ofqual is consulting on arrangements for non-exam assessment (NEA) and fieldwork requirements for some GCSE, AS and A level qualifications in 2022.

This consultation focuses on the subjects for which preparation and work for non-exam assessment and fieldwork activities will be taking place this term for students who will be taking their exams in 2022. It covers:

  • non-exam assessments in dance, design and technology, drama (and theatre), film studies, food preparation and nutrition, media studies, music, music technology, and physical education
  • fieldwork activities in geography, geology and environmental science
  • assessment of speaking skills in GCSE modern foreign language (MFL) qualifications
  • assessment of spoken language in GCSE English language

Ofqual are seeking views on their proposal that they largely carry forward to the next academic year the flexibilities and adaptations they put in place in these subjects.

Full details of the consultation can be found on the gov.uk website.

You can submit your views online here.  The deadline to respond is 11:45pm on 28 May 2021.


 


 


 

 

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