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Summer 2022 exams are planned to go ahead. There are some adaptations to exams planned to try to mitigate for Covid disruption. This page aims to outline some of the key changes. It may not be complete. We strongly recommend that you access the Summer 22 support on the exam board specification pages to read the full description of changes for each individual spec for subjects you are doing. These changes are just for 2022 as a response to Covid disruption to learning.

Open letter from Ofqual to Private Candidates can be found here.

Content Changes to GCSEs and Edexcel IGCSEs

Ancient History

OCR GCSE Ancient History - J198

The papers will be split into 4 individual papers sat over 2 timeslots.

Candidates will be examined on both period studies and one depth study. Candidates choose which depth study.

Candidates choose from 2 routes

J198 A - Exam 1 will be 1hr 45 mins J198/11 The Persian Empire paper and J198/12 Greek depth study paper. Exam 2 will be 1 hr on J198/21 The foundations of Rome paper.

J198 B - Exam 1 will be 1hr J198/11 The Persian Empire paper. Exam 2 will be 1 hr 45mins on J198/21 The foundations of Rome paper and J198/22 Roman depth study paper.


English Literature

All English Literature GCSEs have a choice of topics beyond a common compulsory component. Details for the more commonly taken ones are below. If you are taking other specs do check the exam board specification pages.

Edexcel IGCSE English Literature - 4ET1

Anthology Poetry will not be assessed in Summer 2022

Paper 1 will now be 1 hour 20 minutes and cover Unseen Poetry and Modern Prose. Paper 1 is closed book.

Paper 2 will remain unchanged. It will be 1hr 30 minutes and cover Modern Drama and Literary Heritage texts. Paper 2 is open book.

AQA GCSE English Literature - 8702

All students will be assessed on a Shakespeare play and Unseen Poetry.

Candidates can then choose two of the following three areas:

  • Anthology of poetry
  • Modern text
  • 19th-century novel.

Paper 1 will be 1hr 40mins and will include candidates choice of 2 from; Paper 1P Anthology of poetry, Paper 1N 19th-century novel and Paper 1M Modern prose/drama

Paper 2 will be 1hr 45mins and will cover the compulsory content; Section A: Shakespeare and Section B: Unseen Poetry

Edexcel GCSE English Literature - 1ET0

All students will be assessed on a Shakespeare play and post-1914  Literature.

Candidates can then choose either the 19th-century  Novel  or  Poetry  since  1789

Paper 1 will be 1hr 45mins and will cover the compulsory content; Section A: Shakespeare and Section B: post-1914  Literature

Paper 2 will be 1hr 15 mins and will cover candidates choice of 19th-century  Novel  OR  Poetry  since  1789

There  will  be  two  different  entry  codes depending  on  which  option  you  choose: 

  • entry  code  1ET0  N  =  Shakespeare,  post-1914  Literature  and  19th-century  novel   
  • entry  code  1ET0  P  =  Shakespeare,  post-1914  Literature  and  Poetry since  1789.


History

All History GCSEs have a choice of topics beyond a common compulsory component. Details for the more commonly taken ones are below. If you are taking other specs do check the exam board specification pages.

Edexcel IGCSE History - 4HI1

Students will study and be assessed on 3 topics instead of 4.

Historical Investigation, in Paper 2, is compulsory.

Candidates choose from 2 routes:

Route A - Paper 1A will be 1hr 30 mins and cover two depth studies. Paper 2A will be 45mins and cover Section A: The Historical Investigation.

Route B - Paper 1B will be 45 mins and cover one depth study. Paper 2B will be 1hr and 30mins and cover Section A: The Historical Investigation and Section B: The Breadth Study.

Edexcel GCSE History - 1HI0

All students will be assessed on Paper 3 Modern depth study

Candidates can then choose two of the following three areas:

  • Thematic study with historic environment (Paper 1)
  • British Depth Study (Paper 2B)
  • Period Study (Paper 2P)

Paper 2 is split into 2 different papers each lasting 55 mins; Paper 2B - British Depth Study, Paper 2P - Period Study

There are no SPaG marks on Paper 1

Candidates choose from 2 routes:

1HIA - Candidates sit Paper 3, Paper 1 and Paper 2B or Paper 2P

1HIB - Candidates sit Paper 3, Paper 2B and Paper 2P

Edexcel History Entry Code Calculator (will be updated for 2022 after Autumn series)

AQA GCSE History - 8145

All students will be assessed on the Wider World Depth study (Paper 1, Section B).

Candidates can then choose two of the following three areas:

  • the Period study (Paper 1, Section A)
  • the Thematic study (Paper 2, Section A)
  • the British Depth study with the historic environment (Paper 2, Section B).

There are no SPaG marks on the Thematic study (Paper 2, Section A)

Each unit will be a separate 1 hr exam paper. Students will sit 3 papers. TBC

AQA History Entry Code Calculator

Geography

All GCSEs have had the requirement to complete fieldwork removed and reduction in questions as a result. There is also an optional content element. As PCs usually do IGCSE for Geography we have not listed the GCSE changes here but for 2022 the GCSEs are more accessible to PCs. If you are doing GCSE check the exam board specification pages for details on the changes.

Edexcel IGCSE Geography

The requirement for students to conduct their own fieldwork has been removed.  Familiar fieldwork will not be assessed in Paper 1 or Paper 2 with questions on students’ own fieldwork removed for 2022. Questions in Paper 1 and Paper 2 will be set in an unfamiliar fieldwork contexts only.

Content optionality

Paper 2 Human Geography, Section A - Candidates choose one (instead of two) out of three questions on: economic activity and energy, rural environments, urban environments

Advance Information for GCSEs, Alevels and Edexcel IGCSEs

To help students revise, exam boards will provide advance information about the focus of exams for all subjects at GCSE, AS and A-level – with the exception of: GCSE English Literature, GCSE History, GCSE Geography, GCSE Ancient History and A-level Art and Design

Advance information will be published by 7 February 2022 – or earlier if the impact of the pandemic worsens.

Pearson are intending to release advanced information on IGCSEs - with the exception of IGCSE History, IGCSE English Literature and IGCSE Geography.

The information should be available publicly through exam board websites.

More information with examples of how the advance information could look can be found here.


NEAs, Fieldwork and Practical Assessments for GCSE, A Levels and Edexcel IGCSE

Some practical requirements have been reduced and can now be completed through watching a demonstration rather than students undertaking them themselves. This *may* make it more straightforward for private candidates to access subjects that are typically inaccessible at GCSE such as Sciences. These requirement changes only apply to Summer 2022.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/arrangements-for-non-exam-assessment-for-qualifications-in-2022


Art and Design

Candidates taking GCSE, Edexcel IGCSE, AS and A level art and design will be assessed on their portfolio only. There is no controlled assessment.

Astronomy

Edexcel GCSE Astronomy

The requirement for students to undertake two observational activities remains. The requirement can be met by students watching these activities taking place, if it is not possible to undertake the activities safely themselves. Centres will still need to sign off the observations.

English Language

English Language GCSEs

Centres do not need to submit a sample of audio-visual recordings for the Spoken Language endorsement in summer 2022.

The Spoken Language assessment can:

  • take place in front of one teacher who will represent the ‘audience’
  • be conducted virtually at any point during the course.

These changes theoretically make it easier for centres to facilitate the Spoken Language endorsement for PCs. However, centres still need to submit an declaration showing that all candidates have been given the opportunity to complete the Spoken Language endorsement. So it is still going to be more difficult to facilitate than IGCSE.

Geography

GCSE, AS and A level

For 2022 the requirement for centres to make a declaration to exam boards confirming they provided all students with the opportunity to undertake a mandated number of occasions or days of fieldwork activities outside of the school or college premises for GCSE, AS and A level geography.

For GCSE and AS geography, the exam boards will not ask questions in written examinations about fieldwork that students have undertaken themselves. Length of papers may change as a result. Theoretically this makes it easier for external candidates to access. However, best to check with exam centre and as this is for 2022 only it removes any flexibility to rearrange exams.

A levels still have NEAs so will remain extremely difficult for PCs to access.

Edexcel IGCSE

The requirement for students to conduct their own fieldwork has been removed.  Familiar fieldwork will not be assessed in Paper 1 or Paper 2 with questions on students’ own fieldwork removed for 2022. Questions in Paper 1 and Paper 2 will be set in an unfamiliar fieldwork contexts only.


Modern Foreign Languages

Speaking tests for GCSE and Edexcel IGCSE

Formal Speaking tests are expected to resume in 2022 and candidates should prepare to be assessed on Speaking in the normal way. If public health restrictions prevent this from happening, the speaking endorsement approach adopted in 2021 will be implemented again in 2022.

Vocabulary for GCSE and Edexcel IGCSE

The regulatory requirement for assessments to use words outside of vocabulary lists has been removed. AQA say "We may still include a small number of basic vocabulary items (eg primary colours, cognates/near cognates) not listed in the specification which students may need to understand in order to answer the questions. This will only happen where excluding such items from the assessments is likely to increase the demand of the tasks." Pearson say "Where a word from outside the vocabulary list cannot be avoided, it will be glossed. " This applies to Writing, Reading and Listening assessments.

Writing Papers for GCSE

The GCSEs have adapted the written papers slightly to include extra optional questions. As it varies by exam board it is best to check out the specific specification you are studying.

Cambridge IGCSEs

Cambridge IGCSEs are planning on carrying forward component exemptions and adaptations that were available in Summer 2021 to Summer 2022. For more details about this, and about their contingency plans for 2022, see this newsletter:

https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/news/news-details/view/update-for-cambridge-schools-20210930/

Autumn 2021 Exam Series

Cambridge (CAIE) IGCSEs

Cambridge's normal Autumn exam series is set to go ahead from 1st Oct - 18th Nov. As a standard exam series it is open to new sitters.

Timetable

Entry deadline is Sept 21st although exam centres will have a deadline earlier than this to allow them to process registrations. If you want to resit you will need to register soon.


Edexcel IGCSEs

Pearson are running a special Autumn series from Nov 1st - Nov 26th

Timetable

The series is open to new entrants. Any adaptions to syllabuses/exams planned for the summer 2021 series will be in place. Entry deadline is Oct 4th although exam centres will have a deadline earlier than this to allow them to process registrations. If you want to resit you will need to register soon.

This document shows the availability of subjects in the Nov 21 and Jan 22 series

GCSEs and A Levels

There will a GCSE special Autumn series from Nov 1st - Dec 2nd

There will be an A Level special Autumn series from Oct 4th - Oct 22nd

Timetables

Edexcel GCSEs

AQA GCSEs

OCR GCSEs

Edexcel A Levels

AQA A Levels

OCR A Levels


Entry for the autumn 2021 exam series for GCSE, AS and A level examinations is restricted to students who have received a teacher-assessed grade in summer 2021 and to students who are able to demonstrate that they would have entered summer 2021 exams had they not been cancelled.  Exam boards will give the benefit of doubt to private candidates, to address concerns that they might not be able to provide evidence of their intention to take exams in the summer had they taken place. In this situation the student should make a declaration to the entering centre to confirm that they would have entered in summer 2021 if exams had taken place. Centres should retain these declarations and make them available to the awarding organisation or the JCQ Centre Inspection Service if requested. 

The exception to the above restriction is English Language and Maths GCSEs which have a regular November exam series and are open to new candidates who are 16 or older on 31/8/2021

Any adaptions to syllabuses/exams planned for the summer 2021 series will be in place.

Entry deadline for A Level is 8th Sep and GCSE is Oct 4th, although exam centres will have deadlines earlier than this to allow them to process registrations. If you want to resit you will need to register soon.





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