Exams will return… and they’ll be even tougher: GCSE and A-level tests will be back next summer with a beefed-up system that makes it harder for pupils to get top grades, officials say
GCSE and A-level exams will return next summer, but it will be harder than last year to get an A or A* grade, officials have confirmed.
They have also drawn up ‘contingency plans’ for teacher-assessed grading should exams be cancelled again due to the Covid pandemic.
As part of the plans, schools will have to start gathering evidence for the assessed grades this term.
This should include getting students to take mock exams, closely resembling the real exams they would take in the summer.
GCSE and A-level exams will return next summer, but it will be harder than last year to get an A or A* grade, officials have confirmed (stock image)
If the exams go ahead next year, a smaller proportion of students will get top grades at both A-level and GCSE, meaning fewer will qualify for places at top universities.
Ministers are trying to end the grade bonanza caused by the pandemic which saw record numbers of students getting high grades.
A-level top grades will likely reduce by around ten percentage points while at GCSE they will lower by roughly four points.
However, the marking will still be more lenient than before the pandemic, in recognition of the disruption caused by lockdowns.
The move is intended to restore faith in the system, as many universities were unable to tell who were the top students last year and also over-recruited.
They have also drawn up ‘contingency plans’ for teacher-assessed grading should exams be cancelled again due to the Covid pandemic (stock image)
However, it may anger some pupils who will argue they will be competing for jobs with those who took exams in the ‘easier’ years.
Officials hope to calm pupils’ fears by giving them advance information on the focus of exams so they know what to revise.
This should be made available to schools by February, but teachers’ unions said last night that February was too late to find out about exam topics.
Yesterday the Government recorded another 36,722 Covid cases and 150 deaths.