The UK Secretary of State for Education has reconfirmed on 3 December 2020 that exams in the summer this year will go ahead across the country. Regardless of the pandemic situation, exams are still the most accurate and reliable way to measure educational performance and attainment.
With that in mind, we are going to take a look at a few facts that you should know about school exams in 2021:
Exams Moved Back Three Weeks
Main exams will be moved back to 2 July from 7 June to allow for more teaching time. This should compensate for the disrupted or reduced learning sessions during the pandemic situation.
Exams Graded Appropriately To Ensure Fairness
The DfE (Department for Education) worked with Ofqual, the regulator of qualifications to better improve grading for 2021. The grading system will ensure that students in 2021 will be graded fairly relative to their pre-pandemic performance.
Safety For Students
Students can be particularly vulnerable to the transmission of COVID-19. Depending on the severity of the pandemic, some students could be required to attend exams from their homes. Because homes are a less strict environment, exams can be designed to assess the student’s level of comprehension about the subject, instead requiring them to memorise certain facts. Math, chemistry, and physics exams will be made more challenging, if students are allowed to open textbooks.
Adapt Exams For The Disruption
There was a significant disruption in the educational process across the UK during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic and it will continue during the first half of 2021. Many students may notice that certain topic areas are not well covered during the online learning sessions. Regardless of the teacher’s best efforts, students may fail to achieve the expected depth of understanding. Exams will be adapted for the ongoing disruption in the educational process and students will be treated fairly.
Grading Through Consideration Process
There’s a higher possibility for students to miss all or a part of their exams due to the coronavirus pandemic. The need for self-isolation or sickness could prevent students from attending an exam in person. The DfE has allowed a special consideration process for such students. Schools and educators may require medical evidence about the health status of students. They can be awarded a qualification of passing the exam, based on the most recent performance in learning process. If students miss GCSE or any A level assessment due to the pandemic situation, they can be eligible to prepare a contingency paper.
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