Awarding academic grades in 2022
This article applies to GCSE, AS and A levels (for BTEC, OCR Cambridge Technicals, Pre-U, Core Maths, IB, professional and technical qualifications see our article: Awarding vocational and technical qualifications in 2022)
The Government has confirmed that examinations will take place for all qualifications in 2022 and non-exam assessments will take place in the usual way throughout the year. Because some students have missed a lot of face-to-face schooling due to Covid-19, they will get some help to prepare for their exams and their school will be able to tell you about the details for each subject. Examples include:
Being given advance notice on specific areas that will be included in examinations (rather than being expected to know the full syllabus);
Being given examples of formulae in Maths that in other years they would have to memorize.
In the unlikely event that exams will be cancelled due to the pandemic, then qualifications will be awarded similarly to in 2021 – by teacher assessment. Grade boundaries will be set to help more students achieve higher grades reflecting the disruption they have experienced during their studies.
How will teachers assess grades?
Teachers will be encouraged to use a broad range of evidence, such as course work, tests, mock exams, homework, in class and online learning. Students will be told which parts of their work count towards their grade. Although there will be no Centre Assessed examinations, past papers will be provided by the exam boards, and some teachers may test knowledge and understanding of parts of the syllabus by setting exams. This is not compulsory, so there will be different approaches depending on teacher preferences.
Schools will receive support materials, including questions, mark schemes and advice on making grading judgements to help teachers with this process. Subject teachers will lead on selecting grades, but there will also be input from other teachers in the department and from more senior staff members.
What does this mean for my child?
It means that exams or no exams, they should stay focused! The work they are doing throughout the year could count towards their final grade, and even if there are not examinations, they may need to take “mini exams” as part of their overall assessment.
Results days 2022
Thu 18 August – A and AS levels
Thu 25 August – GCSEs
Appeals and results
As always, a student can appeal their grade if they don’t feel it’s fair. This first involves checking whether the school or college has made any administrative or procedural errors and then whether the final grade reflects an appropriate exercise of academic judgement. Exam boards will have the final say. Don’t forget – grades can go down as well as up when appealed.
The Government’s letter to students
The Government has published an open letter to students explaining the situation and you can see it here.
Help your teen with their revision
If you’re interested in what you can do at home to help your teen do better with their studies, check out The Parents' Guide to Study and Exam Revision - GCSE and sixth form.