A Level Exams in Summer 2022

Dec 16, 2021

Following the cancellation of summer exams in 2020 and 2021, the government plans for A level and GCSE students to take exams as normal in summer 2022.

The exam timetables for the summer have now been published, and they can be found on the individual exam board websites at the links below.

AQA
Edexcel
OCR
WJEC

Although most subjects will be assessed as usual, there are a few adjustments that will be made to compensate for the disruption to students’ education over the past two years.

  • For A level science subjects, students will not be required to complete 12 practical activities, but they will need to complete the minimum number needed to demonstrate their competence against the Common Practical Assessment Criteria (CPAC).
  • In A level Art and Design, there will be no exam component, and students will only be required to complete their portfolio.
  • In A level Geography, students will not be required to complete four days of fieldwork, although they will still need to submit an Independent Investigation as part of the Non-Examined Assessment (NEA).

In addition to these changes, exam boards will publish advance information for all A level subjects to help students prepare for the summer exams. The DfE has confirmed that this information will be provided no later than 7 February 2022. Summary guidance on the advance information can be found on the individual exam board websites below.

AQA
Edexcel
OCR
WJEC

Contingency plans

As we have seen from the last two years, it is possible that the pandemic may cause exams to be cancelled again this summer. Therefore, the DfE have put contingency plans in place in case we find ourselves in this situation once more.

In summer 2021, Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) were used to award grades based on students’ work throughout the year. If exams are cancelled in summer 2022, a similar TAGs approach will be used.

The DfE have asked centres to collect evidence of student work in case TAGs will be needed to determine grades. This evidence should include work done under exam-like conditions, i.e. closed-book, timed and supervised.

Centres have also been advised to assess students throughout the year, e.g. in the second half of the autumn term, in the spring term, and in the first half of the summer term.

All students should be made aware if they are taking an assessment that may be used as evidence to award a TAG in the event that exams are cancelled. If students have been granted exam access arrangements, these should also be applied for any assessments.

As mentioned before, the TAGs system will only be used as a contingency plan, so students should expect to sit exams in the summer, unless this guidance changes.

Further information from the DfE and Ofqual can be found at the links below.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/contingency-arrangements-gcse-as-a-level-project-and-aea/outcome/decisions-on-contingency-arrangements-2022-gcse-as-a-level-project-and-aea

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-contingency-arrangements-for-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-summer-2022/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-other-exam-centres-on-contingency-arrangements-for-students-entering-gcses-as-and-a-levels-the-advanced-extension

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