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Will GCSE and A Level exams happen in 2021?

As if the year ahead won’t be trying enough for students, now MPs and the Media are weighing in on whether exams will actually take place.

Today Labour shadow education MP, Kate Green, has announced Labour’s position that GCSE and A-level exams should be pushed back. They are arguing that the exams could take place as late at July. This, they argue, would allow more teaching time.

It comes following months of disrupted schooling for students expecting to take their exams in the summer of 2021.

But this isn’t a new idea. In response to Ofqal’s consultation paper earlier in August 2020; a significant number of respondents said that exams should be delayed.

The big ‘but’.

However an overwhelming number felt that the exams should only be delayed if the release of results (being mid August) was unaffected. This isn’t something that Ofqual could commit to, and so have continued to investigate.

Of course, the reason that you would want the results timing to stay the same is to help colleges, universities and employers to plan with minimal disruption. However this appears to be the latest in a long line of decisions that put the continuation of the ‘system’ ahead of the well-being of students.

Will 2021 exams take place?

This news comes hot on the heels of a Sunday Times’ article. Robert Halfon MP, who chairs the Commons Education Select Committee, said there is only a “50:50 chance” that exams would take place in 2021.

He argues that a decision should be made in October as to whether to hold exams or to apply a teacher based assessment, as happened this year.

This another twist in an already tumultuous journey for exam facing students. It also isn’t especially helpful. It’s only opinion and flies in the face of the ‘exams must happen’ message out of government.

What if exams are cancelled

It is difficult to imagine that there would be no exams this year.

  • The is less evidence for teachers to base predictions on.
  • Students education was severely disrupted
  • There is more time this year to find alternative arrangements
  • Teachers may be more inclined to take a more optimistic view, given the eventual outcome of this year’s results.

Some of those alternatives might be more formal mocks in the course of the year or perhaps moderated essay. It is always going to be best to assume that the end of year assessments are going to take place. However it is also sensible to plan for some of the alternative situations. For that reason starting Year 11 or 13 with gusto can only be a good thing. Make sure you get into good studying habits from outset. Treat each piece of homework as if it were part of the final exam and keep on top of revision.

Our GCSE bundle will help you to make sure that you have all of the content covered in your revision planning. And ask us if you are interested in our sets for A Levels. But even without our sets, follow our 5 step process to adopt The Study Buddy method in your own revision scheduling.

Make sure you’re ready for 2021 with the GCSE Revision Bundle.


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