Last reviewed 4 October 2021

While students will sit GCSE, A and AS level exams next year, the Department for Education (DfE) and Ofqual have confirmed that there will be adaptations to recognise the disruption to their education.

Following a public consultation, they have said that these changes will include:

  • a choice of topics in some GCSE exams such as English literature and history

  • advance information on the focus of exams to focus students’ revision in subjects, where there is not a choice of topics

  • support materials including formulae sheets in maths.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “We’ve put fairness at the heart of our approach and listened to pupils, teachers and parents. The measures we’re putting in place will help reduce the impact of the significant disruption this group of young people have had to face — allowing them to move onto the next stage of their lives.”

The consultation gathered more than 6000 responses — with almost a quarter from students — and showed that more than 90% of students and parents were in favour of giving advance information and around 80% or more agreed with offering choices of topics.

It is the Government’s firm intention that exams will take place next year but, together with Ofqual, it has also published proposals for Teacher Assessed Grades as a contingency measure if exams cannot go ahead, in the event that the course or impact of the pandemic changes.

See the GOV.UK website for more details.

Ofqual’s Chief Regulator, Dr Jo Saxton, said: “Our grading approach will recognise the disruption experienced by students taking exams in 2022. 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.”

Results for exams next year will return to their normal format, with AS and A levels being released on 18 August, and GCSEs on 25 August. VTQs used to progress in a similar way will be issued on or before the same days, and other VTQs results will continue to be issued throughout the year.