Changes for 2022

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

These changes are for 2022 only.

What you need to know

  • Practicals can be taught by teacher demonstrations or simulations
  • Advance information on exams will be available

Practicals can be taught by teacher demonstrations or simulations

Students can study the required practical activities through demonstrations and simulations if it is not possible to carry them out in hands on sessions in class. However, we still recommend doing hands on sessions where possible.

This will make it easier for teachers to plan and deliver the practical activities.

It should also still enable students to learn about the practical apparatus, techniques and processes in enough depth to demonstrate their understanding in exams.

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.

No other changes

There are no planned changes to our assessment for GCSE Biology (8461) in 2022.

Summer 2022 exams will follow the same structure and format as those in summer 2019. They will assess all of the components and assessment objectives described in the specification, including students’ knowledge and understanding of working scientifically, maths skills, the apparatus and techniques and the required practical activities.

Help and support

If you require further guidance, please contact us.