Given the disruptive last couple of years, there’s still a number of questions about what will happen this year for GCSEs and A-Level exams.
Will there be exams or teacher assessed grades in 2022?
Everyone – government, Ofqual and the exam boards – is very clear that there is every intention that GCSE, A-Level and BTEC exams will take place in summer 2022. BUT that’s also what they said last year and, of course, the 21 exams were cancelled in favour of Teacher Assessed Grades (TAG).
The context for last year was the amount of school closure and remote lessons required, driven by COVID-19 spikes and lockdowns at the beginning of the school year and again in Jan 21. While you can never tell, with case numbers and high vaccination rates, you’d have to think that we are unlikely to see the same disruption. Which will mean that the exams will go ahead.
Do we know when the exams will be?
Not yet. Typically by now the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) has announced the exam period and reserve dates. But as yet nothing. So best not going booking that summer holiday just yet! If you’re willing to take a chance, they normally fall in the first couple of weeks after the May summer half term. But, again, you’re better off waiting before making any plans!
Will there be changes to the GCSE and A Level exam content?
We’re certainly expecting a number of accommodations to the 2021/22 exams series. After all, students have suffered the same kinds of disruption that last year’s students did. There we saw a number of changes, for example dropping a text or poetry anthology from English Literature. When we spoke to JCQ and the exam boards in our podcast each said they anticipated changes and it would make sense to follow the kind of thinking that affected last year. Don’t rely on it just yet, but you can see those changes in our 2021 round-up.
Is there any point revising now?
First off; Revising should be a long term activity whereas we think of it as being the brief period before a test or exam. Little and often is far and away the best habit to get into. And get into quickly!
Most students this year have a bit of leg work before getting to the point that teachers would have wanted to be at the end of Year 10. That’s in addition to continuing with the course in Year 11. It means that there will likely be much reduced (or non-existent) revision time in school.
In addition, much of last year’s content would have been taught remotely which is probably not ideal in terms of comprehension or how well embedded the knowledge would be. So consolidating the learning with independent study – or at least finding out which areas students are less confident about – is going to be a real boon.
If that weren’t enough, as well as mock exams around December/January many schools are running pre-mocks. This is a way of helping acclimatise students to the format and also a way of assessing any gaps. Revising doesn’t give a false recording – it all helps in the long run.
Besides, if exams are cancelled then studying hard now will only help to give teachers the evidence they need should we end up with TAG results again.
How can we help?
Our GCSE Study Bundle will get you up and running with revision and study planning quickly. Our revision sets are a unitised breakdown of each specific GCSE and A-Level course. This way students know exactly what they need to cover and can plan their week ahead. If you have any questions about our approach please get in touch. We are always happy to help where we can.