Evil Homer
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The Department For Education have today released new measures and changes for students taking exams in 2021 in a bid to "ensure fairness and support students" These measures include:

  • more generous grading than usual, in line with results from summer 2020, so that this year's cohort is not disadvantaged

  • students getting advance notice - at the end of January - of some topic areas covered in exams to focus revision

  • exam aids - such as formula sheets - provided in some exams to cut down on the memorising required

  • An additional backup paper in each subject- to be held in July - to give students a second chance to sit at least one paper if they have to miss all their papers in a subject due to illness or self-isolation.

  • In extreme cases where all papers in a subject and the backup paper is missed due to illness than teacher given assessment will be used instead, but the Department Of Education stresses this will be an incredibly low number of students.


Potentially the biggest changes for students here is the news that grading will be 'generous' and set in line with the grades students received last year in their GCSE and A-levels. You can now also expect to see a list of topics you will be assessed on at the end of January, which will be a huge help in managing your revision!

How are you guys feeling about the changes? Are you happy that these measures have been put in place, and do you think they address the issue of exams being a level playing field?

Edit: We are expecting to hear of changes to BTEC and other vocational qualifications later on today, and will link to the thread on this when we have more info
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lilz0403
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We just got our mock timetables and got told these revisions to the exams and I am suddenly very very scared... I don't know where to start!!
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FARVEAZ
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Why do we have to wait for 2 months to get a list of specific topics which will be in the exams ???? They should just give it to us now so we have more time to crack on and start revising.
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Evil Homer
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(Original post by FARVEAZ)
Why do we have to wait for 2 months to get a list of specific topics which will be in the exams ???? They should just give it to us now so we have more time to crack on and start revising.
From what I can gather there are two reasons it's going to be the end of January:

1.) Exam boards need to prepare that information and make sure every subject is catered for equally.

2.) They still want all students learning all the topics before revision time so that you don't finish your A-levels or GCSEs only learning half of the content you should have.
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starshine1155
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What do they mean by "generous grading"??? Lower grade boundaries??????
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DoBOL
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Does this include private candidate i really hope so
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学生の父
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(Original post by starshine1155)
What do they mean by "generous grading"??? Lower grade boundaries??????
One can but assume that the grade boundaries will be adapted to ensure that the same profile of grades is maintained as last year.

Whether this means lower grade boundaries depends on many factors.
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FARVEAZ
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(Original post by Evil Homer)
From what I can gather there are two reasons it's going to be the end of January:

1.) Exam boards need to prepare that information and make sure every subject is catered for equally.

2.) They still want all students learning all the topics before revision time so that you don't finish your A-levels or GCSEs only learning half of the content you should have.
Oh ok that makes more sense. Thank you for informing me.
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1234567890xyz
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Does that mean unis wont "respect" the a levels as much now? Ie give less offers because more people are likely to get their grades?
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Notnek
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students getting advance notice - at the end of January - of some topic areas covered in exams to focus revision
HopefulIy this means that students will still need to revise all of the topics. Otherwise some schools may just abandon their scheme of work and only teach the required topics from February. That would not be good
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mnot
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The backup paper seems a good idea, especially in case a class or group at a school has to self-isolate. But im not a fan of the rest of it.

A-level grading is already done over a curve so I dont see how being more generous is any way helpful, it actually just dilutes the performance of strong candidates. And advanced notice of exam topics (isnt that what a syllabus is?..you cant give away the questions), and science & maths have always had formula sheets; the thing with a formula sheet is as long as its small details & the student still has to know how to apply then its fine.
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学生の父
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(Original post by Prince Philip)
HopefulIy this means that students will still need to revise all of the topics. Otherwise some schools may just abandon their scheme of work and only teach the required topics from February. That would not be good
Who knows, Your Royal Highness? During the media round this morning, Gavin Williamson claimed that schools would still have to deliver the whole specification content. If they know the topics, though, why would schools try to teach the whole spec?
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Elizabeth II
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One does rather worry at how this will all turn out. Hopefully it goes as smoothly as my ministers assure me it will.
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Notnek
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(Original post by 学生の父)
Who knows, Your Royal Highness? During the media round this morning, Gavin Williamson claimed that schools would still have to deliver the whole specification content. If they know the topics, though, why would schools try to teach the whole spec?
Even if schools have the deliver the whole content, if students know which topics will be on the test then they aren't going to care about the other topics. That is until they get to A Level / university and realise they don't know the prereqs!

I haven't been following this too closely - do we know if schools will just be told "some" of the topics? Or have details not been given yet?
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Notnek
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(Original post by Elizabeth II)
One does rather worry at how this will all turn out. Hopefully it goes as smoothly as my ministers assure me it will.
I'm all over this, don't worry.
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学生の父
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(Original post by Elizabeth II)
One does rather worry at how this will all turn out. Hopefully it goes as smoothly as my ministers assure me it will.
Your Majesty's faith in Your Majesty's ministers is admirable, Ma'am.
(Original post by Prince Philip)
I haven't been following this too closely - do we know if schools will just be told "some" of the topics? Or have details not been given yet?
We honestly don't know. Apparently the details will have been worked out "by the end of January".
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K Russell
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If we only are told 'some' of the topic areas that will come up in our exam then this is pointless as we will still have to revise all of the content anyway. I'm happy with the generous grading and if we are told all of the topics that would be a massive help and would reduce such a large amount of stress. I think that the backup paper is a good idea, and overall am really happy with these changes.
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Musician9
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It overcomplicates it all, it really does
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Ha loL
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(Original post by Evil Homer)
The Department For Education have today released new measures and changes for students taking exams in 2021 in a bid to "ensure fairness and support students" These measures include:

  • more generous grading than usual, in line with results from summer 2020, so that this year's cohort is not disadvantaged

  • students getting advance notice - at the end of January - of some topic areas covered in exams to focus revision

  • exam aids - such as formula sheets - provided in some exams to cut down on the memorising required

  • An additional backup paper in each subject- to be held in July - to give students a second chance to sit at least one paper if they have to miss all their papers in a subject due to illness or self-isolation.

  • In extreme cases where all papers in a subject and the backup paper is missed due to illness than teacher given assessment will be used instead, but the Department Of Education stresses this will be an incredibly low number of students.


Potentially the biggest changes for students here is the news that grading will be 'generous' and set in line with the grades students received last year in their GCSE and A-levels. You can now also expect to see a list of topics you will be assessed on at the end of January, which will be a huge help in managing your revision!

How are you guys feeling about the changes? Are you happy that these measures have been put in place, and do you think they address the issue of exams being a level playing field?

Edit: We are expecting to hear of changes to BTEC and other vocational qualifications later on today, and will link to the thread on this when we have more info
Hey mate

You got any info on the BTEC's ?
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Evil Homer
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(Original post by Ha loL)
Hey mate

You got any info on the BTEC's ?
I was told information would be released last week, but I've yet to find any. I will ask around today and see what we can find
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