These questions and answers have been compiled to help you understand the approach being taken for the summer 2021 assessment series as set out by the Department for Education and Ofqual.

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Advance notice

In their announcement on 3 December, the Department for Education stated that students will be supported in their preparations for the summer 2021 assessments through providing advance notice of some of the topic areas that will be covered in exams.

Read the announcement - Guidance to support the summer 2021 exams

Students’ education has been disrupted this year by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. To make exams in 2021 less daunting for GCSE, AS and A level students, for many subjects they will be told in advance some of the topics that will or won’t be on the papers, helping them to manage their revision.

Our intention is to announce details at the end of January.

Advance notice is being provided for some GCSE, AS and A level qualifications. We will confirm arrangements for International GCSE in due course.

The advance notice which is provided for any subject or level will also apply to the additional exam papers that are being prepared to give students a chance to sit a paper if the main exams or assessments are missed due to illness or self-isolation. 

No. Advance notice applies to the Summer 2021 exam series only, including the additional paper.

No. BTEC qualifications have had a number of adaptations to their assessments for the 2020/21 academic year which have been introduced to free up time to focus on teaching students all the knowledge and skills they need to progress. 

Find out more - Teaching and assessment 2020/21