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Changes in gcse coursework for writing admissions essay

Changes in gcse coursework

Between 10 and15 hours must be set aside for the completion of the task depending on the qualification. Students might need access to specialist equipment within their school or college to complete their work — it cannot simply be undertaken at home.

In addition, in response to previous consultations, teachers of subjects other than art and design emphasised the wider impact on other timetabled lessons of students completing the exam board set task. We propose that, to mitigate the pressures of time that the pandemic has created and future proof against the risk of further public health restrictions, in academic year to , students should be assessed on their portfolio only, as they were in academic year to This means that where specifications include an exam board set task, this would be removed in to To what extent do you agree or disagree that we should carry forward from academic year to into academic year to the arrangements to remove where applicable the exam board set task in GCSE, AS and A level art and design?

Do you have any comments on our proposed approach to carrying forward from academic year to into academic year to the specific assessment arrangements for GCSE, AS and A level art and design? The analysis of responses to this consultation was published but, as exams for had been cancelled, no decisions were taken. The advance information should not be so detailed that students are able to memorise answers to write in the exam.

Students would focus on the topics that they know would be covered in the exam, but there are some aspects of the content that will be important to be able to study the subject at a higher level. The advance information should not discourage students from investing in further learning.

It should still be possible to differentiate between students on the basis of their performance. It should be possible to identify stronger and weaker candidates, despite the use of advance information. It should not allow students to predict the questions and prepare answers in advance. We therefore propose that the exam boards should provide advance information about the focus of the content of the exams in the majority of subjects at GCSE, AS and A level for exams, in line with the principles above.

However, these subjects were only cited by a minority of respondents. We believe that the fairest approach would be to offer advance information in all subjects which have exams but where we are not proposing to offer a choice of topic or content and we therefore propose to do so. We believe that offering advance information in subjects where adaptations are being made to exams to offer a choice of topic or content would be likely to give an unfair advantage to students studying those subjects, and could undermine the rigour and value of the qualifications.

Subject to final decisions on the introduction of optionality, we do not therefore propose to offer advance information in GCSE English literature, history, ancient history or geography. Should we decide, following this consultation, not to introduce a choice of topic or content in any of these subjects, we would propose to offer advance information instead.

Given the uncertainty of the course of the pandemic, coupled with two consecutive years without national exams, it is important that we build in the ability to adjust plans if needed for the coming academic year. The government believes it is important that students cover the curriculum as fully as possible, so that they are as well prepared as possible for progression to the next stage of their education.

However, should the impact of the pandemic worsen, it would be possible for the exam boards to issue advance information earlier in the academic year to help teachers focus their remaining teaching time. We plan to monitor the ongoing impact of the pandemic on education and to keep the timing of publication of advance information under review in light of this.

To what extent do you agree or disagree that exam boards should provide advance information about the focus of the content of exams for the majority of GCSE, AS and A level subjects? To what extent do you agree or disagree that we should be flexible in the timing of the release of advance information in order to respond to the impact on education of any potential worsening of the pandemic? Do you have any comments on the proposed flexible approach to the timing of the release of advance information in ?

To what extent do you agree or disagree that for GCSE English literature, where we propose that centres should have some choice of topics on which their students will answer questions, the exam boards should not provide advance information about the focus of the content of exams in addition? Do you have any comments on our proposal not to provide advance information for for GCSE English literature?

To what extent do you agree or disagree that for GCSE history, where we propose that centres should have some choice of topics on which their students will answer questions, the exam boards should not provide advance information about the focus of the content of exams in addition? Do you have any comments on our proposal not to provide advance information for for GCSE history?

To what extent do you agree or disagree that for GCSE ancient history, where we propose that centres should have some choice of topics on which their students will answer questions, the exam boards should not provide advance information about the focus of the content of exams in addition? Do you have any comments on our proposal not to provide advance information for for GCSE ancient history? To what extent do you agree or disagree that for GCSE geography, where we propose that centres should have some choice of content on which their students will answer questions, the exam boards should not provide advance information about the focus of the content of exams in addition?

Do you have any comments on our proposal not to provide advance information for for GCSE geography? If you have identified any subjects above, do you have any comments on the subjects that should NOT be given advance information about the focus of exams in ? In some GCSE subjects, students normally have to memorise key information and recall it when they need to use it to answer a question in the exam.

We asked respondents whether they were in favour of students taking GCSE, AS or A level exams in having access to support materials in some subjects. GCSE mathematics was identified as a subject where this support would be particularly appropriate and we therefore propose that students should be allowed access to a formulae sheet in the exam room in this subject. There was also strong support for support materials for GCSE biology, chemistry, physics and combined science in the December consultation.

It was suggested that this could be in the form of access to additional equations in the exam. However, there are no clear or useful equations that can be provided for GCSE biology or chemistry so this would only be an appropriate solution for exams in GCSE physics and combined science. It would also benefit higher tier students to a greater extent than foundation tier students as equations are usually provided as part of questions for students on the foundation tier.

Students sitting physics and combined science papers currently have access to an equations sheet giving more complex equations but are expected to memorise between 20 and 23 equations depending on the subject and tier, and exams test recall of these equations. If all equations are provided, the exam boards would not be able to include questions that required students to recall the equations and would need to replace these with other low tariff questions.

Nevertheless, in the circumstances of the pandemic we think that it is right to consider providing additional support to students by providing all relevant equations on the equations sheet and would welcome views on this. Respondents also identified GCSE English literature as a subject where support materials, specifically the provision of the required poetry anthology, would be appropriate. However, some respondents highlighted that support materials in exams can be distracting depending on the extent to which the student needs to refer to them throughout the exam, and that students need to be familiar with using them for them to be an effective support.

Furthermore, if the proposal to allow students a choice of topics on which to answer questions in GCSE English literature is agreed, students who opt to do the poetry element would be unfairly advantaged over those who choose an alternative option if they had access to the poetry anthology in the exam.

The proposal to allow a choice of topics in GCSE English literature already offers significant support for students in this subject. We are not therefore proposing to provide support materials in English literature. To what extent do you agree or disagree that a formulae sheet should be provided in the exam room for GCSE mathematics in ? Do you have any comments on the proposal to provide a formulae sheet in the exam room for GCSE mathematics in ?

To what extent do you agree or disagree that a revised equation sheet covering all relevant equations should be provided in the exam room for GCSE physics and combined science in ? Do you have any comments on the proposal to provide a revised equation sheet covering all relevant equations in the exam room for GCSE physics and combined science in ?

As part of the plans for exams in , Ofqual consulted on a short delay to the start of the exam period to allow for more teaching time in schools and colleges. The consultation, and further conversations with the exam boards, indicated that there would be significant delivery risks and that these would be exacerbated if a similar change were to be made in For this reason we are not proposing a delay to the exam period in The summer exam series for will therefore take place at the same time as in a typical year, for all AS and A levels and GCSEs, allowing students, parents and teachers to plan ahead.

The Joint Council for Qualifications JCQ will consult schools and colleges in the autumn term on how the exams should be sequenced during this period, ensuring that papers in the same subject are spaced out as much as possible. This should reassure students that they will have the best possible opportunity to take at least one paper in a subject, in the event that they are ill or self-isolating during the exam period.

There is of course continued uncertainty about the path of the COVID pandemic, including whether further disruption may occur over the course of the to academic year. We believe it should be possible for students to take exams safely next year, but we need to have plans in place for the unlikely event that that is not possible.

There also remains a small risk that there is further disruption to education during the next academic year which is so extensive that even with remote education in place and the adaptations we propose, going ahead with exams would not be the fairest approach for students. DfE and Ofqual are therefore working together to develop contingency plans for scenarios where exams cannot be held for any reason, either locally or nationally, or where individual students are unable to sit exams due to illness or self-isolation.

It will be essential that any contingency approach delivers grades that support students to progress and does not detract from high quality teaching and preparation for exams. This process has provided schools and colleges with the flexibility to select the range of evidence on which students are assessed, and ensured that students were only assessed on content they have been taught. In order to inform our contingency planning we want to understand how arrangements this year could be improved upon should TAGs form part of the approach in Our survey for teaching staff on teacher assessed grades and our survey for students on teacher assessed grades both close on 7 August As public bodies, both DfE and Ofqual are subject to the public sector equality duty.

We have considered whether any of our proposals might impact positively or negatively on students who share particular protected characteristics. Most will have been directly affected by the closure of schools and colleges to the majority of students. Students who were studying independently, for example because they are home educated, might have been less directly affected by these closures, but they will, nevertheless, have been affected by changes to other aspects of their lives.

Some students will have had the opportunity to — and chosen to — engage in a full programme of remote education facilitated by their school or college. Others will have been less able to take advantage of remote education, for a variety of reasons. The impact of the lost education on students might also vary according to the period over which they were studying the GCSE content, as some schools teach GCSEs over 3 years rather than 2. Those students whose education might have been and might continue to be most badly disrupted include:.

Nevertheless, there is concern — and we share that concern - that attainment gaps between different groups of students might grow in While we can bring about some adjustments to the way students are assessed and examined, as proposed in this consultation, it will always be the case that students who have been better prepared for the exams and assessments will be likely to perform better than others.

In proposing changes to the exams and assessments for , we have sought to guard against proposing changes that would further advantage students whose education has been less disrupted than that of others. However, changes to exams and other assessments cannot effectively address the differential impact on students of the disruption as any changes must apply equally to all students taking the assessment.

In proposing changes to exam and assessment arrangements we have taken care to consider how any changes might have an impact on disabled students, some of whom will have reasonable adjustments when taking their exams and assessments.

We believe, for example, that changes that would make exam times longer or exam papers unfamiliar could be particularly problematic for some disabled students. We have not identified any aspects of our proposed changes to the way GCSEs, AS or A levels are assessed in that would have a negative impact on students who share particular protected characteristics.

We have considered whether the proposed adaptations for GCSE English literature, history, ancient history and geography would limit the breadth of content studied so that students would not study topics about different nations or different groups of people. We are confident that this will not be the case. Do you have any suggestions for how any potential negative impacts on particular groups of students could be mitigated? Our aim in proposing changes to the exam and assessment arrangements for students taking their exams in summer is to help schools and colleges manage any public health restrictions that may be in place at the time and to make the exams and assessments more accessible to students, while ensuring the qualifications remain valid and meaningful.

We have developed these proposals with input from the exam boards, with the aim of putting in place arrangements that are both appropriate and manageable. We anticipate that schools and colleges will experience some, but limited, burden from these proposals. They will need to take time to understand subject by subject the implications of the changes proposed and may need to re-plan teaching and exam preparation in light of those changes in some subjects.

They may need to secure additional resources to support changes to teaching e. We hope that these will be available free of charge, or at low cost, for example from subject associations or as freely available web resources. Some of the changes, as outlined above, are intended to reduce burden on centres, to enable more time for teaching. Exam boards will incur costs to understand and implement changes to the exam and assessment arrangements, although these proposals would not require them to undertake major changes.

We would not require the qualifications to be re-accredited. That would be disproportionate, as the changes are intended to be in place for one further year only and as there are limited ways in which the exam boards could respond to the changes. Because we are not proposing significant changes to the format of exams we do not believe that it would generally be necessary for the exam boards to issue new sample assessment materials.

Depending on the changes introduced to GCSE geography, there may be additional but limited materials provided by the exam boards. The exam boards would have to change the information they provide about their exam and assessment arrangements to help teachers and students understand any changed arrangements and to prepare appropriately. They would also have to provide exemplar advance information materials to ensure that teachers and students were aware of the kind of information that would be provided in relation to the exams.

This would impose a cost on them. We believe that students should not experience additional costs from the proposed changes and would welcome views on this. Are there additional activities associated with changing the exam and assessment arrangements for students taking GCSE, AS and A level qualifications in summer that we have not identified above? What, if any, additional costs do you expect you would incur if the proposed changes to the exam and assessment arrangements were introduced for summer ?

Ofqual have already announced changes to non-exam assessment NEA and fieldwork requirements for summer , following consultation. These changes apply to:. As part of our consultation process, you are not required to provide your name or any personal information that will identify you.

However, we are aware that some respondents would like to provide contact information. If you or your organisation are happy to provide personal data, with regard to this consultation, please complete the details below. We would like to hear as many views as possible and ensure that we are reaching as many people as possible. In order for us to monitor this, understand views of different groups and take steps to reach specific groups, we may ask for sensitive data such as ethnicity and disability to understand the reach of this consultation and views of specific groups.

You do not have to provide this information and it is entirely optional. If there is any part of your response that you wish to remain confidential, please indicate at the appropriate point in the survey. Where you have requested that your response or any part remains confidential, we will not include your details in any published list of respondents. However, we may quote from the response anonymously in order to illustrate the kind of feedback we have received.

We implement appropriate technical and organisational measures in order to protect your personal data against accidental or unlawful destruction, accidental loss or alteration, unauthorised disclosure or access and any other unlawful forms of processing. If you would like to exercise your rights, please contact us using the details below. Please note that information in response to this consultation may be subject to release to the public or other parties in accordance with access to information law, primarily the Freedom of Information Act FOIA.

We have obligations to disclose information to particular recipients including members of the public in certain circumstances. Your explanation of your reasons for requesting confidentiality for all or part of your response would help us balance requests for disclosure against any obligation of confidentiality.

If we receive a request for the information that you have provided in your response to this consultation, we will take full account of your reasons for requesting confidentiality of your response and assess this in accordance with applicable data protection rules. Members of the public are entitled to ask for information we hold under the Freedom of Information Act On such occasions, we will usually anonymise responses, or ask for consent from those who have responded, but please be aware that we cannot guarantee confidentiality.

We will use your response to help us shape our policies and regulatory activity. If you provide your personal details, we may contact you in relation to your response. We will analyse all responses and produce reports of consultation responses. In the course of analysis, we will where possible avoid using your name and contact details.

We will only process the body of your response, but we are aware that in some cases, this may contain information that could identify you. This is a joint consultation undertaken by Ofqual and the Department for Education DfE , with Ofqual collecting the responses. Therefore, your consultation response will be shared with DfE as this forms part of work involving both organisations.

Where we share data, we ensure that adequate safeguards are in place to ensure that your rights and freedoms are not affected. You can find details of how DfE processes personal data here. We use Citizen Space, which is part of Delib Limited, to collect consultation responses and they act as our data processor.

Your response will also be shared internally within Ofqual in order to analyse the responses and shape our policies and regulatory activity. We use third party software to produce analysis reports, which may require hosting of data outside the UK, specifically the US.

Please note that limited personal information is shared. All personal contact information is removed during this process. Where we transfer any personal data outside the UK, we make sure that appropriate safeguards are in place to ensure that the personal data is protected and kept secure.

Following the end of the consultation, we will publish an analysis of responses on our website. We will not include personal details in the responses that we publish. We may also publish an annex to the analysis listing all organisations that responded but will not include personal names or other contact details. Following the end of the consultation, we will publish an analysis of responses on the Ofqual website. Unless otherwise stated, Ofqual will keep your personal data if provided for a period of 2 years after the consultation closing date.

Where you provide personal data for this consultation, we are relying upon the public task basis as set out in Article 6 1 e of UK GDPR to process personal data which allows processing of personal data when this is necessary for the performance of our public tasks. We will consult where there is a statutory duty to consult or where there is a legitimate expectation that a process of consultation will take place.

Where you provide special category data, we process sensitive personal data such as ethnicity and disability, we rely on Article 9 2 g of UK GDPR as processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest. We ask that you read this privacy notice carefully as it contains important information about our processing of consultation responses and your rights.

If you have any questions about this privacy notice, how we handle your personal data, or want to exercise any of your rights, please contact our data protection officer at dp. We will respond to any rights that you exercise within a month of receiving your request, unless the request is particularly complex, in which case we will respond within 3 months.

Please note that exceptions apply to some of these rights which we will apply in accordance with the law. In , the new grading system will be tied to the former grading system so that the same proportion of students will achieve:. By summer , all exams will be marked This year, in the main, it looks like universities are asking for a minimum grade 4 in GCSE English language and maths to move on to university degrees. Sixth Forms are showing greater diversity in their entry requirements, with some demanding 5s in English language and maths as a basic requirement to move onto A level study, and others considering appicants with grade 4s.

Students who achieve grade 4 in GCSE English language and maths will not be expected to resit these exams post Video clip: all you need to know about changes to GCSEs. If you want to find out about how A levels have changed, see our article, A Level Reform. Download this article. New article: Getting the most out of remote career guidance What to Expect from a Further Education College?

All Articles About us Find a careers writer Contact. The updated qualifications will feature some new topics and more demanding content.

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May 29, at am. May 29, at pm. Exams is the only fair way forward. Teacher assessed is biased and unfair. In mock tests, some teachers give more clues than others to the questions in the test papers. Also without exams, there is mo chance for students to make improvements to their grades, many students put in extra effort before final exams. May 30, at pm. From 17th March until 17th March our son was at his school for the total of 3 months he is now in Year During the first lockdown his school sent out homework after homework with no online lessons or support.

He was meant to self teach. In the second lockdown he has minutes Zoom lessons maximum. Most days he would have 1 or 2. Sometimes no Zoom lessons at all. It has been awful. I feel he is emerging from a dark hole. His motivation and engagement severely dropped as his returned homework was ignored. I am a teacher of 24 years myself so I understand the pressures teachers faced this last year but he was so badly let down.

However, the Department of Education must acknowledge that the current Y10 have had the worst deal and this MUST be acknowledged and the impact of these two lockdowns must be reflected in the content and marking system for GCSEs June 2, at pm. The lack of clarity is cruel beyond belief. Exams need to address and adapted for years to come in all honesty. June 5, at pm. Teaching has been variable, as some subjects do not easily adapt to on-line delivery and also because some teachers have not adapted as well to this mode of delivery.

There has been no real monitoring of all of this! All of this means there will be great inequality from one school to another. Pupils ae currently doing mock exams and these are a farce, as pupils have huge gaps in their learning. The mocks are therefore not going to give pupils a true preparatory experience of public exams. We are already hearing of how many pupils are emotionally fragile. Exams are totally unfair for this cohort! June 8, at pm.

I really think the government have to consider pupils taking there gcses in These children have been in the thick of the covid crisis. With most of there learning being on-line it is obvious that they do not have the time to catch up and be at there true potential. They have been through enough emotional stress and the important year 10 learning has been destroyed. Year 11 is usually revising what has been taught so if anyone should have help it should be the gcse year.

June 12, at am. The only fair and reasonable approach has to be a reduced curriculum and coverage ahead of exams. To expect this cohort to be able to return to a full exam of 2-years worth of maths units, science topics and the same number of texts in English is ridiculous. And this decision needs to made swiftly and filtered through to schools so teaching and learning can be more focused from here in.

June 15, at am. I have children in both year 9 and year 10, they have both been hugely effected by the pandemic , we have had national lockdowns , bubbles closing due to cases, further lockdowns due to vulnerable people in the household …. This year, in the main, it looks like universities are asking for a minimum grade 4 in GCSE English language and maths to move on to university degrees. Sixth Forms are showing greater diversity in their entry requirements, with some demanding 5s in English language and maths as a basic requirement to move onto A level study, and others considering appicants with grade 4s.

Students who achieve grade 4 in GCSE English language and maths will not be expected to resit these exams post Video clip: all you need to know about changes to GCSEs. If you want to find out about how A levels have changed, see our article, A Level Reform. Download this article. New article: Getting the most out of remote career guidance What to Expect from a Further Education College?

All Articles About us Find a careers writer Contact. The updated qualifications will feature some new topics and more demanding content. In the past, GCSEs were divided into modules and students were assessed by module. Now, the focus will change to final exams covering the whole two-year syllabus, rather than smaller assessments throughout this period.

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For example, had exams gone ahead this year, it was proposed that there would be reduced content assessed in GCSE ancient history, history and English literature. Comments: May 16, at am. May 20, at pm. They must remember that no matter what year 10 have missed a large amount of work and time at school. This has affected their confidence and their mental state and this needs to be taken into consideration.

May 29, at am. May 29, at pm. Exams is the only fair way forward. Teacher assessed is biased and unfair. In mock tests, some teachers give more clues than others to the questions in the test papers. Also without exams, there is mo chance for students to make improvements to their grades, many students put in extra effort before final exams. May 30, at pm.

From 17th March until 17th March our son was at his school for the total of 3 months he is now in Year During the first lockdown his school sent out homework after homework with no online lessons or support. He was meant to self teach. In the second lockdown he has minutes Zoom lessons maximum. Most days he would have 1 or 2. Sometimes no Zoom lessons at all.

It has been awful. I feel he is emerging from a dark hole. His motivation and engagement severely dropped as his returned homework was ignored. I am a teacher of 24 years myself so I understand the pressures teachers faced this last year but he was so badly let down. However, the Department of Education must acknowledge that the current Y10 have had the worst deal and this MUST be acknowledged and the impact of these two lockdowns must be reflected in the content and marking system for GCSEs June 2, at pm.

The lack of clarity is cruel beyond belief. Exams need to address and adapted for years to come in all honesty. June 5, at pm. Teaching has been variable, as some subjects do not easily adapt to on-line delivery and also because some teachers have not adapted as well to this mode of delivery. There has been no real monitoring of all of this!

All of this means there will be great inequality from one school to another. Pupils ae currently doing mock exams and these are a farce, as pupils have huge gaps in their learning. The mocks are therefore not going to give pupils a true preparatory experience of public exams. We are already hearing of how many pupils are emotionally fragile. Exams are totally unfair for this cohort! June 8, at pm. I really think the government have to consider pupils taking there gcses in These children have been in the thick of the covid crisis.

With most of there learning being on-line it is obvious that they do not have the time to catch up and be at there true potential. They have been through enough emotional stress and the important year 10 learning has been destroyed.

Year 11 is usually revising what has been taught so if anyone should have help it should be the gcse year. This year, in the main, it looks like universities are asking for a minimum grade 4 in GCSE English language and maths to move on to university degrees. Sixth Forms are showing greater diversity in their entry requirements, with some demanding 5s in English language and maths as a basic requirement to move onto A level study, and others considering appicants with grade 4s.

Students who achieve grade 4 in GCSE English language and maths will not be expected to resit these exams post Video clip: all you need to know about changes to GCSEs. If you want to find out about how A levels have changed, see our article, A Level Reform. Download this article. New article: Getting the most out of remote career guidance What to Expect from a Further Education College? All Articles About us Find a careers writer Contact.

The updated qualifications will feature some new topics and more demanding content. In the past, GCSEs were divided into modules and students were assessed by module. Now, the focus will change to final exams covering the whole two-year syllabus, rather than smaller assessments throughout this period.

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