Despite what we have seen across Wales and Scotland for the upcoming year, as well as across the UK last summer with the cancellation of various exams, it has been confirmed that England’s schools and colleges will be going ahead with their summer 2021 exams. However, last week the Government announced that they are going to be bringing in extra measures to support students during their exams for GCSE and A-Level. This news comes about as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and how individuals are having to adapt to changes in everyday life. Working closely with exam regulator, Ofqual, as well as various exam boards and education sector leaders, the Department for Education has compiled a set of exam measures to ensure fairness and support for students across the country for this academic year.
As the tier system remains in place and self-isolation is still required for students who are or have been in contact with positive Covid cases or if they are showing symptoms themselves, education remains disrupted across the nation. For students in England working towards their GCSE and A-Level qualifications, a number of changes have been made throughout the academic year, and these new exam measures ensure that this will continue for students for at least the next eight months.
From the announcements made by the Government in the past week, it is clear that these changes will affect all subjects, including A-Level Physics, A-Level Biology and GCSE Science – but what are the measures that all students can expect to see this summer?
The first of the additional measures is to ensure that exam grading is more generous than usual to avoid the unfairness in grading experienced by students in the summer of 2020. This more generous grading will also ensure that this year’s cohort of students is not disadvantaged by the other measures implemented this academic year, such as self-isolation and remote learning. This adjustment for exam grading allows students to worry less about narrow grade boundaries and securing specific grades, as well as giving them the opportunity to focus instead on studying and performing as well as they can.
Secondly, students will be given advance notice for some exam topics and areas to focus on during their revision. This will be announced at the end of January, which allows for students to get to grips with the syllabus and learn as much as they can with their teachers and online tutors before revision starts. Ensuring that you spend time learning and understanding all assigned topics in the syllabus prior to this announcement will make it easier when the specific exam topics get revealed, as it means you will have a wider understanding of the subject as a whole. The result of this is that the revision period can then be solely for revision, rather than for learning something new.
In addition to students being made aware of some exam topics and areas to revise in advance of exams, there will also be some exam aids provided in the exam halls. Exam aids include things such as formula sheets, key dates and information. The provision of these materials means that students can cut back on memorisation, which is particularly beneficial for GCSE students, who are often studying for around ten subjects at once.
Additionally, exam aids allow students to focus their revision time on exam technique, which gives them the ability to present their knowledge more concisely during their exams. Exam technique is something that students develop significantly with the support of an online tutor from Tutorspot. Our tutors work daily with students to help them analyse what the questions are asking of them and deliver the key information effectively and efficiently. Speak to your online tutor today if you’re interested in developing your exam technique.
As a result of continued self-isolation and remote learning for many students across the country, the Government has also introduced a series of ‘backup’ exams that will run in July 2021 to give students another opportunity to take an exam that they may have previously missed due to illness or isolation. This measure ensures fairness for students who may miss an exam through no fault of their own and avoids the spread of the virus by ensuring that students do not risk coming to an exam when they may be unwell.
In scenarios where a student misses all exams due to illness or required isolation, grades will be determined by teacher-assessed grades, similar to the eventual summer 2020 results. These grades will be based on mock exam results and assignment grades, as this will most accurately reflect the level at which the student has worked throughout the year. Ensure you achieve your best throughout the year with an online tutor – this will ensure you are prepared for all eventualities, which is key during such an uncertain time.
The final measure brought in by the Government in order to ensure students do not get too severely impacted as a result of Covid-19 – there will also be the introduction of a new expert group. This group will monitor variation in the impact of the pandemic across England, as well a differential learning loss throughout the country to ensure fairness for all. This work will be ongoing and strives to ensure the best for students across the nation.
Supporting students in a range of subjects, Tutorspot’s online tutors provide high quality tuition for students of all ages, levels and abilities. Even with these additional measures introduced by the Government for the summer 2021 exams, GCSE and A-Level students should be preparing for their exams as diligently as any other year. This is where the support of an online tutor for subjects such as A-Level Physics, A-Level Biology and GCSE Science can be hugely beneficial.
Work with your tutor to identify your strengths and weaknesses and adapt your bespoke learning plan accordingly to ensure you can achieve your best results. GCSEs and A-Levels are such a key time in a student’s education as they are the start of your future – so be sure to give yourself a head start and hire an online tutor today.
Booking a tutor online with Tutorspot is easy: simply browse our tutors by subject, communicate with them via our direct messaging system and then book and pay for your sessions directly via the Tutorspot website. We have taken the stress out of the process to ensure our online tuition is accessible to all. To find out more, please contact us today by submitting a contact form on our website or by calling us on 01509 265623.