Changes for 2022

Because of the ongoing impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there are some changes to how GCSE French will be assessed in 2022.

These changes are for 2022 only.

What you need to know

  • Optionality for Paper 4 (Writing)
  • Paper 4 (Writing) exam time extended
  • No requirement for vocabulary outside specification
  • Speaking tests to take place as normal, with a contingency in place
  • Advanced information on exams will be available

Optionality for Paper 4 (Writing)

There will be more optionality in the Writing component for summer 2022.

Writing papers will include an additional optional question for the overlap question at both tiers (Question 4/Question 1) and for Higher tier Question 2.

This is so students can answer on their preferred theme. For each optional question, the theme will be given in the introduction to the question in the question paper.

Foundation tier

There will be an additional option for Question 4 and this will be numbered in the question paper as Question 4.3. Students will need to answer one question from a choice of three.

Higher tier

  • There will be an additional option for Question 1 and this will be numbered in the question paper as Question 1.3. Students will need to answer one question from a choice of three.
  • There will be an additional option for Question 2 and this will be numbered in the question paper as Question 2.3. Students will need to answer one question from a choice of three.

View our sample papers for 2022 (please note: these are the same papers provided for Autumn 2021).

Paper 4 (Writing) exam time extended

To give students time to read all of the optional questions carefully before making a choice, we’ll be adding an extra five minutes to the scheduled exam time at both tiers for the Writing paper in Summer 2022. Here are the updated exam times.

  • Foundation tier: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Higher tier: 1 hour 20 minutes.

Vocabulary

The regulatory requirement for assessments to use words outside of vocabulary lists has been removed.

We’ll review and update all our papers for summer 2022 to reflect this.

We may still include a small number of basic vocabulary items (eg primary colours, cognates/near cognates) not listed in the specification which students may need to understand in order to answer the questions. This will only happen where excluding such items from the assessments is likely to increase the demand of the tasks.

Speaking

Teachers and students should prepare for spoken language in 2022 to be assessed in the normal way, through formal speaking tests.

Ofqual will publish contingency assessment arrangements for spoken language that include assessment criteria, and which reflect the speaking endorsement arrangements set out in the 2021 Subject Level Conditions for GCSE MFL qualifications.

Teachers will be asked by Ofqual to have regard to the assessment criteria throughout the course

If, at any point before the formal speaking tests begin, it becomes clear they cannot or should not be taken, Ofqual will implement the contingency arrangements.

Advance information on exams will be available

To help students focus their exam preparation, there will be advance information on what exams will cover.

This advance information will be available by 7 February 2022, or sooner if the pandemic worsens.

In the meantime, the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) has published guidance for teachers and students on the use of advance information for 2022.

Help and support

If you require further guidance or support, please contact us.