Exams Update 2021-22
Exams 2021-22 Update
Ofqual have made some important recent announcements.
The new Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi said they have put “fairness at the heart” of their approach, listening to pupils, teachers and parents. New Ofqual chief regulator Dr Jo Saxton said the approach will “recognise the disruption experienced by students taking exams” this year. “It will provide a safety net for those who might otherwise just miss out on a higher grade, while taking a step back to normal,” she added.
Ofqual are calling 2021-22 a 'transition year' and to reflect this, have announced a number of changes:
- Grades will be higher than they were in 2019, before the pandemic, but they won’t be as high as they were in 2020-21. Exam boards will set their initial grade boundaries based on an average of 2019 and 2021 results for each subject so, results in 2022 will be higher than in 2019, but not as high as in 2021.
- For most GCSE and A level subjects, students will get advance information on the areas of focus for the exams. The exceptions are GCSE English Literature, history and geography, which will have a choice of topics (see below). This advance information won’t be detailed enough to give answers to the exam questions or specify which questions will be on the exam papers, but it will cover topics that will be in the exam so students will have a guide for revision.
- Schools will be able to choose the topics their students will do in the exams for GCSE history, English literature and geography. For example in history, it will mean that 3 out of the normal 4 topics will be assessed. This means that teachers can ensure their students will be tested on the modules they have completed.
- Art and design GCSE and A level students will be assessed on their portfolio of work only - there will be no timed practical exam.
- GCSE Maths, students will have access to a formulae sheet in the exam room. For GCSEs in physics and combined science, students will have access to a sheet showing all of the relevant equations.
- For GCSE science subjects, practical work will be adjusted. Teachers can demonstrate practical tasks in class, or remotely if there are any restrictions in place. Students won't be required to complete these practicals themselves.
There is also a ‘Plan 'B' if exams are cancelled for the third consecutive year. The current Plan B is a repeat of Teacher-Assessed grades (TAGs), similar to 2021 and teachers would base grades on assessments that student have completed, such as mock assessments and coursework. Ofqual have written an open letter to all students and this is in the links below.
GCSE & GCE exam dates
Provisional GCSE exam timetables have been released by Edexcel. These timetables confirm that that GCSE exams will begin on the 16 May and finish on 28 June.
If you are interested in finding out more about exams in 2022, you can access these links: https://educationhub.blog.gov.uk/2021/09/30/exams-in-2022-everything-you-need-to-know/