OFQUAL has announced the return of exams, how ready are your students.
Ofqual’s plans for GCSEs and A levels in 2022
1. Grades will be lower than in 2020, but higher than 2019
Ofqual announced today that grade distributions will be pitched at a midway point between pre-pandemic levels of 2019 and results in 2021.
They will be lower than both years when teacher assessment was used in 2020 and 2021 following the cancellation of exams, but higher than those for the 2019 cohort.
2. Ofqual aims to get back to pre-pandemic grading levels in two steps
Chief regulator Jo Saxton said Ofqual’s “aim is to return to a pre-pandemic grade profile”.
But she adds that “we don’t think it would be fair on 2022’s students to do it all in one go, given the disruption they have experienced”.
“We will aim, therefore, to return in broadly two steps.”
Dr Saxton says exam boards will use prior attainment data as a starting point to align subject standards, as in any other year, and that these will be based on an average of the 2019 and 2021 results for each subject.
3. No new top grade in 2023
Ofqual said there would be no new top grade at A level in 2023, with the aim instead to return grading distributions to pre-pandemic levels at this point.
Ofqual said there will be no grading scale changes in 2023.
4. Exam mitigations for 2022
If exams do go ahead as planned, GCSE English literature, history, ancient history and geography students will have a choice of topics in their exam.
For other subjects where optionality is not available, students will have advance notice of exam topics to focus their revision by no later than 7 February 2022. In the event of further disruption to schooling caused by the pandemic, this information could be released earlier.
In GCSE maths, students will be provided with formulae sheets, and they will be able to use equation sheets in GCSE physics and combined science.
The same adaptations will be available for GCSE maths and English language in the autumn series next year.
For students sitting the autumn series 2021, the grading standard will mirror the results profile of this summer.
5. Teachers should think about 2019 results when predicting Ucas grades
Teachers are advised to use the 2019 grading profile when predicting Ucas university admissions grades this year – but to bump up borderline students to the higher grade.
“Teachers this term will be predicting the grades their students will receive in summer 2022 for use on their higher education applications,” Dr Saxton said.
6. Results days are back to normal
Results days will be held over two weeks as usual, with A-level results released on 18 August and GCSEs on 25 August.
This year both set of exams results were announced in the space of three days in the same week.