It is the government’s intention that examinations will go ahead this summer as planned but there have been a few adaptations to reflect the challenges that students are facing due to the COVID pandemic. There are also plans in place to make grades fairer as well as procedures if examinations can’t take place. Please read the information below carefully, so that you know the procedures that will be followed:
If the 2022 exams cannot go ahead due to further COVID disruption, grades will instead be determined by your teachers, using a Teacher Assessed Grade (TAG) approach. Ofqual has published decisions about this approach following a public consultation, which included students. This means that your teachers will gather evidence, through assessments, to help them determine Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) if exams do not take place.
In recognition of the fact that students’ education has been disrupted by the pandemic, they have been given extra help to prepare for their exams as follows, as confirmed following a joint DfE and Ofqual consultation:
- Students taking AS and A levels have been given advance information about the focus of the content of the exams to support their revision.
- Students taking GCSE mathematics will be given in their exams copies of formulae they would in other years have to memorise.
For more information see:
- student guide to exams and assessments in 2022
- postcard on this year’s changes
- subject-by-subject guide to the changes
When grading exams in 2022, Ofqual (the examinations regulator) will aim for a grading standard that reflects a midway point between 2021 and 2019. This means that exam boards will set the grade boundaries so that more students get higher grades in 2022 than before the pandemic. This will provide a safety net for those students who might otherwise just miss out on a higher grade. Ofqual has taken this decision to reflect the disruption that students in this cohort have experienced already in their courses. Grading is monitored by the experts every step of the way, who will review results for each subject before they are published to students.
The IB have also shared a letter providing a further update for the May 2022 examination session, which can be accessed here.
This is used where a student has temporarily experienced an illness or injury, or another event outside their control, which is likely to have adversely affected their ability to demonstrate their knowledge and skills during the examination.
The JCQ (Joint Qualifications Council) definition of special consideration is:
Special consideration is a post-examination adjustment to a candidate’s mark or grade. This is to reflect temporary illness, temporary injury or some other event outside of the candidate’s control at the time of the assessment. It is applied when the issue or event has had or is reasonably likely to have had, a material effect on a candidate’s ability to take an assessment or demonstrate his or her normal level of attainment in an assessment. Candidates may be eligible for special consideration due to the impact of COVID-19.
For more detailed information on the standard special consideration processes, please refer to the JCQ document, A Guide to the Special Consideration Process. This contains information on the types of special consideration available, the eligibility of candidates, and the application process. There is a relaxation of the rules in 2022 in applying for special consideration on the grounds of absence. Candidates can still get a grade if they have completed one unit/exam.
COVID-19: Special considerations for students with symptoms or positive test results
The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) has updated its guidance on special considerations to take account of the latest UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) guidance.
The guidance explains that an ‘acceptable reason’ for special considerations includes a student staying at home and avoiding contact with others, in line with UKHSA guidance, at the time of the examination. This could be because of symptoms in the guidance (e.g. a high temperature) or a positive COVID-19 test result.
If a student doesn’t attend their examination; their parent/carer will need to fill in Form 14 (self-certification for candidates who have missed an examination).
For Examinations in the June 2022 Series
There’ll be a minimum of 10 days between examinations in each GCE AS, A-level, and GCSE subject, to reduce the chance of students missing all examinations in a subject due to this ‘acceptable reason’.
Students will be awarded a grade where they’ve completed the assessment(s) for at least 1 whole component within the specification.
Please click here for the 2022 examinations handbook. This is a comprehensive examination overview for students and parents.
Anxiety and Mental Health Support
This has been a difficult time for students who have shown great resilience in the face of the challenges presented by the pandemic. Students should make sure they speak to somebody if they are feeling anxious or struggling with mental health. Please ensure that your son/daughter is making a member of the Post-16 Team know if they are feeling overly anxious about their examinations.
If you have any questions concerning the above, please contact the Post-16 Team in the first instance.
Many thanks for your ongoing support.
Head of College
Leading on Examinations