Why we’re starting to move to digital exams

The world around us is changing. The way we test students needs to change with it.

Students use technology every day. They’re more familiar with digital formats than a pen and paper.

Digital exams have amazing potential. They can:

  • be more inclusive and accessible
  • allow for new ways to design questions
  • transform how we see and report on performance
  • help us build a more sustainable exam system.

Using technology to take exams is the future. That's why we’re taking small, considered steps forward with digital exams.

Watch the video below to find out more about our vision.

The first step to digital exams

In summer 2026, the reading and listening components of GCSE Italian and Polish exams will go digital. This is subject to regulatory approval.

Working with teachers, schools and experts, we found that these subjects work well in a digital format.

Rest assured – the taught skills and knowledge students need remain the same and there won't be any changes to subject content.

How digital exams will work

In 2026, our digital exams will be traditional exam papers just on a screen. All the familiar features of an exam will be there.

Students will be able to:

  • bookmark pages
  • return to questions with ease
  • enter special characters or accented letters via specially developed toolbars.

We’ve spent the past two years conducting research, pilots and trials in schools to make sure that they’re safe, secure and fair.

Students will access the exam questions and nothing else.

They won’t be able to use:

  • the internet
  • spell check
  • auto correct.

Other than the introduction of a screen, not much else is changing. Teachers, examiners and invigilators will play the same important roles, marking remains the same and security is still key.

Our digital exam platform

We’re committed to finding more engaging ways of assessing what a learner knows and can do. That’s why we’re working with the market leader in digital assessment to make sure that we get digital exams right.

Our demo includes example question types for a range of subjects. This isn’t the finished platform, or an indication of which subjects might go digital next. This is your chance to have a look at the technology and see how we’re preparing for all types of assessment.

Try our demo

See how our digital exams are coming to life. It’s best viewed on a laptop or desktop device rather than a mobile or tablet.

Start a digital exam demo

Research and reports on digital exams

We've done a lot of research on the topic of digital exams. To find out more, you can read the reports that we’ve published.

Next steps

You’ll have questions about digital exams and how they’ll work in your school. We’ll answer them, so that you’re exam ready in 2026.

Over the next two and a half years, we’ll be working with you to make sure you’re prepared. Taking small steps together, we’ll be on hand with detailed guidance, technical support and advice as you come with us on this exciting journey.


Find us at these events

Location: Liverpool

A CPD experience for all senior and aspiring school, college and trust leaders.

March 2024

Connect with us

Contact us

Email: eos@aqa.org.uk

Tel: 0800 197 7162

+44 161 696 5995 outside the UK

Our opening hours are:

8am-5pm Monday to Friday

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If you're a reporter with a query, please email pressoffice@aqa.org.uk

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