AQA to launch major on-screen assessment pilot

Published: Tuesday 4 Jan 2022

Up to 2,500 students from 100 schools and colleges will take part in the trials including pilots in GCSE English, maths and science. The trial will also include adaptive – or ‘smart’ – assessments that adjust in difficulty as students progress through the test.

The online GCSE trials won’t replace the actual GCSE (and A-level) exams that students will take this year, which they will sit in the current pen and paper format.

We’re also carrying out a full programme of research on our trials to inform the regulator and the wider industry and help make digital assessment a reality.

Colin Hughes, AQA’s CEO, said:

“Digital assessment is only a matter of time, and, as the largest exam board, we at AQA are determined to play a key role in making it a success. We strongly believe there are real benefits, for learners and teachers.

“Teachers and students are emerging from the pandemic having learnt a huge amount about online learning, and how it can be best delivered. They are now wondering when digital assessment will follow: heads are asking us not whether it's going to happen, but when. Digital assessment can help better prepare students for future learning and work settings, and deliver a more personalised experience. It can even enable improved fairness, along with richer data on learning and achievement, and potentially faster accurate marking.

“Moreover, the pandemic has highlighted the need for resilience in the system which digital can also help provide.”

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