General Qualifications Bulletin - International - Issue 19 | Pearson qualifications

General Qualifications Bulletin - International - Issue 19

Thu Nov 04 16:00:00 UTC 2021

Dear Colleague,

I hope that those of you who are returning from your half term breaks have had some well-earned time off and are looking forward to the next half term. 

Read more

I fully expect there to continue to be new and important information to share in the coming months as further consultations close. I expect that in the not-too-distant future we will receive the outcomes of the Department for Education and Ofqual contingency consultation. Whilst we await the final outcomes, I suggest reading the proposal as it will help to inform any planning you may be doing around contingency and what it means for your centre.

We have already had the outcomes of the consultation about adaptations for assessments in 2022, which you can find on the Ofqual website. Our guidance and support on these is available on our Summer 2022 support web page along with some useful frequently asked questions . I know that many of you are keen to know the details of what this will look like for your individual subjects and the Joint Council for Qualifications has released some guidance about Advance Information that is an important read. The Advance Information will be released no later than 7 February 2022 but could be earlier, depending on any Department for Education and Ofqual decisions based on any change in the severity of the pandemic. I know this is also prompting some questions about assessments in 2023 and what this might mean for learners. As outlined in the consultation outcomes these changes will apply to exams in summer 2022 only and it is the intention that exams will go ahead as normal in 2023. I would advise you to continue teaching the full course of study for learners expecting to sit in 2023.

I would like to reassure you all that examinations are planned to go ahead as normal for all qualifications in 2022. However, if your centre is in an area where you will not be permitted by local or national agencies to conduct exams then please visit our website for more information or contact us. You may also have received a communication from us where we are conducting some research about the November series for international qualifications. If you have not already done so, I would be very grateful if you could take the time to let us know your thoughts. 

For information on summer 2022 please visit our dedicated Summer 2022 support page. Please continue to visit our dedicated support page, and follow us on Twitter (@ PearsonEdexcel) and Facebook to keep up to date. If you would like to speak to us directly, you can get in touch with any questions via our contact form, or by calling the relevant team for your role.  

Hayley White 
Assessment Director 

On 30 September, the UK Department for Education and Ofqual published the outcomes of the consultation on proposed Summer 2022 adaptations, including optionality and advance information. 

The consultation concluded that all of the proposals set out in the consultation document would be implemented. There are four different types of adaptations for assessments in 2022:

  • Advance Information
  • Optionality
  • Exam support
  • NEA / fieldwork adaptations. 

The Advance Information will be released no later than 7 February 2022, but earlier if the impact of Covid-19 worsens in the UK, if the UK Department for Education and Ofqual deem it necessary.

We have created Frequently Asked Questions that give you more detail about the adaptations and will begin to answer your questions.

Please note, that the changes to assessments published on 30 September are only for summer 2022 and are not intended to be carried forward to summer 2023. Schools and colleges should deliver the full course content for GCSE and A level courses due to be assessed in 2023.

Read more about the 2022 adaptations consultation outcomes.

Read more about the NEA and field work consultation outcomes.

Please visit the Summer 2022 support tab on each qualification page to find out about the specific adaptations which have been put in place for each qualification. The adaptation and optionality information is available on each page. The Advance Information is not yet available for release. When it becomes available it will be published on the Summer 2022 support tab for each qualification. 

International AS/A Levels, iPrimary and iLowerSecondary

Owing to the modular nature of IAS/IAL qualifications, there are no adaptations (except for IAS/IAL Law which is a linear qualification). We can also confirm there will be no changes to the assessment of iPrimary and iLowerSecondary.

International GCSEs

Following the same principles as for our UK qualifications, we will offer adaptations to relevant International GCSE qualifications. These adaptations fall into the following categories:  

  • Advance Information (AI) 
  • Optionality
  • Content adjustments
  • Exam support materials 
  • NEA/Fieldwork Adaptations (this section does not apply to Languages qualifications).

Please visit the Summer 2022 support tab on each qualification page to find out about the specific adaptations which have been put in place for each qualification. The adaptation and optionality information is available on each page. The Advance Information is not yet available for release. When it becomes available it will be published on the Summer 2022 support tab for each qualification. 

Results days will be returning to one week apart:

  • Thursday 18 August: AS/A level and International AS/A Level and other Level 3 qualifications
  • Thursday 25 August: GCSE, International GCSE and other Level 2 qualifications. 

The Final timetables for all UK and International qualifications in Summer 2022 are available on our Exam timetables web page.

Examinations will be taking place in January 2022. Please make sure that you have looked at which International GCSE qualifications are available in the series via our website as some amendments have been made. We can confirm that there will be no adjustments made to assessments for this series, other than the changes to International GCSE English Literature 4ET1. Teachers entering students for the optional spoken language endorsement for International GCSE English Language A or B are not required to make or submit video recordings of assessments.

January 2022 Timetables

The final timetables for all International qualifications in January are on our Exam timetables web page

Digital Learner Work Transfer - January Units

The following units will also be using the Digital Learner Work Transfer system in the January series. 

More information about the system, including how to upload samples and accepted file formats, can be found on our website.

Project Qualification

  • P101 Foundation
  • P201 Higher
  • P301 Extended
  • P302 Extended
  • P303 Extended

International GCSE

  • 4ET_03 English Language A
  • 4ET_01 English Literature

For all other subjects, samples will be submitted as hard copies in the usual way. You can find out more about coursework and NEA submission on our website.  

From the January 2022 series onwards, we will no longer be dispatching CDs for the listening exams. In place of the manufactured CDs, we will be supplying centres with the audio files digitally via the Secure Download Service (SDS) platform. To find out more about SDS (if you do not already use this system) and how to set up an account, please refer to our guidance article.   

There are a couple of reasons behind our decision to remove CDs and we hope that you will experience the benefit. Firstly, we are aware that there has been a developing change in technology, and many centres do not have access to CD players. CDs can cause delays in transit, as parcels containing CDs are often searched by customs and are subject to higher customs charges. Finally, CDs are not recyclable, and we are looking to reduce our environmental impact globally where possible.

As in 2020, results from the October and November series will be issued as follows:

Qualification Exam Session Results to Centres Results to Students
AS/A level Nov 2021 15 Dec 2021 16 Dec 2021
International AS/A level Oct 2021 12 Jan 2022 13 Jan 2022
iPrimary, iLower Secondary Oct 2021 12 Jan 2022 13 Jan 2022
GCSE English Language and GCSE Maths Nov 2021 12 Jan 2022 13 Jan 2022
GCSE (all other subjects) Nov 2021 23 Feb 2022 24 Feb 2022
International GCSE (all subjects) Nov 2021 23 Feb 2022 24 Feb 2022

We are pleased to be able to confirm the speaking windows for our modern foreign languages. More information about these can be found on our languages support pages.

ResultsPlus is an online results analysis tool that is included in your qualification entry fee that gives you a detailed breakdown of your students’ performance in Pearson Edexcel exams.

ResultsPlus provides detailed analysis of your learners' performance and will help you to identify potential topics, skills and types of questions where students may need to develop their learning further. Whilst there hasn’t been a typical examination series for a while, you may find it helpful to understand how your students’ performance compares with class and Pearson Edexcel country averages and to gather some insight data that may support effective teaching and learning approaches. Find out more on our ResultsPlus web page.

We’re running some online training sessions for our English, Maths and History qualifications. These are applicable to all qualifications as the principles will apply across AS/A Level, GCSE, International GCSE. You can book onto these sessions via our Professional Development Academy

You can also book onto the sessions using the links below:


We have recently released our training programme for Exams Officers for 2021/22. We are offering 17 modules throughout the year, as on demand interactive e-learning. These will cover both academic and vocational qualifications, taking you from making entries through to issuing results.

You can access these at any time, and you’ll receive an electronic certificate after each completed module. You can find our first modules on our Exams Officer support pages. We’ll release new modules every month, so please look out for these in the GQ bulletin and EO newsletter.

There is a new Teaching, learning and assessment page for Vocational and Technical qualifications in 2021/22. You will find the latest information and support for our vocational qualifications on this web page, where you can also find news and updates, with links to our regular VQ Bulletin which contains all the key updates you need for our vocational qualifications. Please do bookmark this page for future reference.

{{ gatDoctitle }}


Are you sure you want to exit this session?