Changes to 'must pass' rule for BTEC Nationals | Pearson qualifications

Changes to 'must pass' rule for BTEC Nationals

22 March 2018

Ofqual announces changes to level 3 qualifications for learners
who narrowly miss a pass grade

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Ofqual has published an open letter encouraging Awarding Organisations to consider changes” to their level 3 Applied General and Tech Level qualifications "to provide a ‘safety net’ for students who narrowly miss a pass on one or more externally-assessed units.

What could this mean for learners?

This means that learners can now pass the overall BTEC National qualification without having to achieve a Pass grade in every externally assessed set test and task.  However, they can only do this if they narrowly miss the Pass grade, and if they still achieve enough points throughout the qualification.

Since these new qualifications launched in 2016, Pearson has been listening to the concerns of teaching professionals on this issue, and getting actively involved with Ofqual to discuss solutions.  So this announcement is welcome news which will help ensure level 3 learners’ final grades fairly reflect their achievements throughout the course.

Read the full announcement from Ofqual

Here to help

Our subject teams are already exploring how to make these changes in time for learners completing their studies in summer 2018.

We’ll be in touch in early April 2018 with more news on what this will look like in practice for our BTEC Level 3 Nationals, and our Subject Advisors will be on hand with guidance for teaching teams preparing for assessments in the summer term.   

Sign up for advice from your Subject team.


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