2021 and 2022 exam changes

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Consultation launch: arrangements for summer 2022

Published:Monday 12 Jul 2021

The Department for Education (DfE) and Ofqual are asking for views on their proposals for summer 2022 arrangements.

The GCSE, AS and A-level consultation is open until 11.45pm on 1 August 2021, and the Vocational, Technical and other general Qualifications (VTQs) consultation is open until 11.45pm on 26 July 2021.

These changes are for 2022 only.

Here are the key points:

GCSEs, AS and A-levels

  • Schools and colleges will be given some choice about the topics or content that students will be assessed on in GCSE English Literature, History, Ancient History and Geography.
  • For other subjects, advance information about the focus of exam content will be provided, to help students focus their revision. This will be provided in the spring term – or earlier if the impact of the pandemic worsens.
  • Students will be given a formulae sheet in GCSE Mathematics and an expanded equations sheet in GCSE Physics and GCSE Combined Science.
  • There will be changes to the requirements for practical science work and practical art and design assessments.

Vocational, Technical and other general Qualifications (VTQs)

  • Any previous adaptations we told you about last year can be carried forward into 2021/2022 without any reapproval process.
  • For performance table qualifications:
    • All content of the qualifications should be taught. For Functional Skills, this should cover all levels.
    • Internal assessments (tasks and any evidence generated by students who weren’t able to receive an assessed grade this summer) can be carried forward. New students should complete a new task, where available.
    • For mid-flight learners, a student who has received an assessed grade in either 2020 and 2021 will be able to carry this result forward.
    • Streamlining of assessments will be allowed – including reduction in the number of internal assessments/units (mandatory or optional) though this needs to be kept to a minimum.
    • Retakes – up to two retake opportunities for external assessments will be allowed for Applied Generals and Tech Awards (our Tech levels will not be available after 2022, this will also be the final retake opportunity). However, results based on assessed grades will not count as a retake opportunity.
    • Requirements for exams, synoptic assessment and employer engagement will continue to apply as set out in the DfE technical guidance.
  • For functional skills – additional guidance will be given:
    • about the distribution and collection/quarantining of papers before and after use
    • for individuals involved in exam delivery eg invigilators, readers and/or scribes.

The DfE and Ofqual will also be announcing contingency plans in the autumn term, in case exams can't go ahead as planned.

As usual, we’ll be looking at the consultations in detail and responding ourselves.

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