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Adaptations to GCSE, AS and A-level exams summer in 2022

The Department for Education (DfE) and Ofqual have confirmed the arrangements for summer 2022 GCSE, AS and A-level exams

Advance information

Exam boards will provide advanced information about the focus of exams for all GCSE & A Level exams by 7th February 2022.


The only exceptions to this are:
• GCSE English Literature
• GCSE History
• GCSE Geography
In these subjects, schools are being given some choice about the topics or content that students will be assessed on (optionality).

GCSE English Literature (AQA)
• The awarding body are reducing the required subject content. All students will be assessed on a Shakespeare play (Paper 2), but the content assessed in Paper 1 will only cover two areas, instead of three (these will be chosen by teachers).
• The total exam marks available will fall from 160 to 130.
• The total exam time for GCSE English Literature will also fall from 4 hours to 3 hours and 25 minutes. This is because students will only answer two of the three areas explained above.
• There will be no other advanced information on what exams will cover for GCSE English Literature.

GCSE History (OCR J411 - School History Project)
Students in summer 2022 will not have to study the full course and will not be assessed on all the content:
• All students will need to study and will be assessed on the British Depth Study.
• Students will study and be assessed on three out of the four remaining studies: Thematic Study, History Around Us, the Period Study and the World Depth Study. Teachers will choose which three of these studies students will be entered for.
• Each exam paper will be assessed within its own timetabled slot.

GCSE Geography (AQA)

Formulae Sheets

Formulae sheets will be given in GCSE Maths and a revised equation sheet in GCSE Physics and GCSE Combined Science covering all the equations required in the subject content. These will be made available not only in exams but beforehand, so students and teachers can familiarise themselves with them.

Practical work

There will be changes to the practical work requirements for some subjects:
• GCSE and A-level Art and Design – students will only be assessed on their portfolio (there will be no exam).
• GCSE Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Combined Science – teachers can deliver practical science work by demonstration.

Non-exam assessment (NEA)

GCSE Design and Technology (OCR)
Students will not have to make final prototypes for their non-examined assessment (NEA). However, students will still need to demonstrate their use of machinery, tools and processes.

GCSE Geography (AQA)
• Students won’t need to complete two occasions of fieldwork for their exam.
• Students won’t need to answer questions relating to their own fieldwork experience because question 5 will be removed from 8035/3 Paper 3: Geographical applications.
• Consequently, 8035/3 Paper 3: Geographical applications will reduce from 76 marks to 56 marks (a removal of 20 marks attached to familiar fieldwork questions).
• There are three SPaG marks in question 5 and these will be moved to one of the 6 mark questions within Section A (issue evaluation) so that students can still access these marks.
• The total time allocation for the 8035/3 paper will reduce from 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour.

GCSE Media Studies (WJEC)
• Unit 2: Understanding TV and Film (Written Exam) 30% - Students will choose to study either Section A: Wales on Television or Section B: Contemporary Hollywood Film. Learners complete either Section A or Section B of the Unit 2 exam.

GCSE French (Edexcel/Pearson)
The information below is taken from the Gov.uk, but applies for all MFL GCSE qualifications
• Assessments will not use vocabulary that is not on the vocabulary lists.
• Students should prepare for spoken language in 2022 to be assessed in the normal way, through formal speaking tests.

GCSE Music (OCR J536)
Ofqual have confirmed that students taking GCSE Music in summer 2022 will have a reduction in NEA requirements for performing and composing.
• Only one performance piece and one composition are now required as part of the students’ integrated portfolio.
• There will no longer be a requirement for an ensemble performance piece, although they may still be submitted.
• The minimum durations will be reduced for both the students’ performance and composition.

The board have split the NEA components for GCSE into two:
• The practical performance and evaluation/analysis aspects have been separated into two discrete components.
• Students will be awarded marks for each component separately – this is something we already do in GO 4 Schools.


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