General Qualifications Bulletin - International - Issue 38 | Pearson qualifications

General Qualifications Bulletin - International - Issue 38

Wed Feb 22 17:00:00 UTC 2023

Dear Colleagues 

As you will know, March 2 is results day for the January exam series. I do hope this is a successful day for you and your students. You will find information for results day and post-results support in this edition of the qualifications bulletin which I hope you’ll find useful.

In this edition of the bulletin, we have lots of news and information, including: 

  • results day support
  • some important information regarding a mandatory Edexcel Online password reset from 7 March
  • contingency dates for the summer exam series
  • a reminder about the importance of centre contingency plans and guidance set out by JCQ
  • security of exam papers
  • subject updates and more.

As always, we are keen to hear your feedback, so please do get in touch with us as we’d love to hear from you. 

With best wishes

Hayley White
Assessment Director

Thursday 2 March is results day for International GCSEs and International A levels. We hope this is a successful day for you and your students.

Our post-results support pages have all the information you and your students will need to help you understand the results.


Get a detailed breakdown of your students’ results through ResultsPlus, our online results analysis service.

Watch our short ResultsPlus video to get an overview of how ResultsPlus can help you learn more about how your students’ performance compares with class and Pearson Edexcel national averages.

Access to Scripts

You can view your candidates’ marked scripts online or download them as PDFs using our Access to Scripts service. 

Find out more and take a look at our user guide and FAQs

Good password management is essential to maintaining the security of our systems and safeguarding important centre and learner data. To enhance security, we have revised our Edexcel Online password policy and from Tuesday 7 March 2023, we will require all Pearson Edexcel Online users to reset their password.  

All Edexcel Online users logging on to Edexcel Online on or after 7 March 2023 will be asked to select a new password. Your existing password will automatically be cancelled from this date, therefore you must use the ‘forgot password’ link to reset your password. 

Please take a look at our guide to resetting your password

Your password needs to be between 8 and 15 characters in length and contain at least one number.

We recommend you use a combination of upper case, lower case, numbers and symbols (- _ @ .) for extra security.

If you have recently reset your password, or if you reset it before 7 March, you’ll still need to set a new password which meets these requirements on or after that date.

You do not need to log into the system on 7 March just to change your password, but the next time you do log in, you will need to set a new password. 

This password reset is the first step in a sequence of additional security measures we’re introducing in order to protect you, your centre and your learners’ data. Thank you for your support in helping us to enhance security.  

If you have any questions or if you would like to speak to us directly, you can get in touch with any questions via our Support Portal

We provided information in our January bulletin on the contingency dates that have been built into the GCSE, AS and A level May/June exam timetables in the UK.  

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, further resilience was needed within the exam timetables, and a single contingency day was not felt to be sufficient if a national event or incident had a significant effect on the exam timetable.

For June 2023, there will now be two additional half-day contingency sessions. These are on Thursday 8 June 2023 and Thursday 15 June 2023. The standard contingency day remains at the end of the timetable on Wednesday 28 June 2023

Schools and colleges should ensure candidates and parents are aware of the contingency arrangements on these three days, and candidates should be encouraged to remain available until Wednesday 28 June 2023, should examinations need to be rescheduled.

Please read more information in the JCQ December newsletter

Centre contingency planning: JCQ guidance

In case of disruption to the exam system, all centres must have contingency plans in place. There are three main categories of disruption:

  • Candidates at risk of being unable to take examinations; centres remain open. 
  • Centres at risk of being unable to open as normal during the examination period.
  • Disruption to transporting completed examination scripts.

Please take a look at the information and guidance provided by the JCQ.

You should review your own centre contingency plans well ahead of the summer exam series to make sure they remain up to date and appropriate.

Full information about the support available for 2023 can be found on our Summer 2023 support page. This includes information and outcomes for all the autumn consultations undertaken by Ofqual.   

GCSE formulae and equation sheets now available

The DfE confirmed in November that, in 2023, students are not required to memorise formulae for GCSE Maths and equations for GCSE Physics and Combined Science.

You can now download the 2023 formulae and equations sheets for GCSE Maths and GCSE Physics and Combined Science from our website. These are the same formulae and equations sheets that were used for the May/June 2022 series and, for Maths only, the November 2022 series, but the date has been changed to 2023.

You can download the new sheets at the links below:

For May/June 2023, we will also be providing equations sheets for International GCSE Physics. You can download these at the links below. For International GCSE Maths, the equations required will be included in the actual exam papers. 

Supporting resilience in the exam system in 2023

Whilst the UK government does not expect to ever be in a position where exams are cancelled nationally and alternative assessment arrangements are required, good public policy means having contingency, even for extremely unlikely scenarios.

Ofqual has therefore provided guidance for all schools and colleges on the steps they should take to collect and retain evidence in the academic year 2022 to 2023 in the unlikely event that exams cannot go ahead as planned.

This guidance covers GCSEs, AS and A levels, Project qualifications, and the Advanced Extension Award (AEA) in Mathematics.

Please read the guidance set out by Ofqual.

Letters from Ofqual to Heads and students

Ofqual has also published open letters to heads and students about arrangements for GCSEs, AS and A levels and vocational qualifications in 2023. Please do take a look and pass this information onto your staff and students.

Stay up to date with all our support for 2023 on our Summer 2023 support page.

Following customer feedback, we’ve undertaken a range of system improvements for our Learner Work Transfer.

New server: we have moved to a new server for Learner Work Transfer that now enables us to handle increased capacity during peak periods. 

Better user experience: we will now confirm when an upload has been completed by the introduction of a new file status called ‘Uploaded’. Once all files are in an 'Uploaded' state, you can submit your request.

Improved scanning: we have removed the ‘Scanning’ status so that this takes place in the background automatically. This means that once a file is uploaded to us, you can leave this within the system and check back to see if it has been ‘Accepted’ or 'Rejected’.

Future improvements for May/June 2023: we’re working on further improvements to Learner Work Transfer which will be in effect for the summer 2023 exam series. These include:

  • being able to remove a file in an ‘Uploaded’ state
  • enabling a Shared Files function so that your learners can be linked to a file once it has been uploaded, rather than waiting for a file to move to an ‘Accepted’ state.

For more support with Learner Work Transfer please visit our support page.

As we head towards the May/June exam series, we’d like to remind you that question paper security remains essential to the smooth running of exams in your centre and for the wider cohort. 

We have bitesize on-demand training on question paper security available for you. This training module covers the importance of question paper security, how to securely handle question papers from receiving the papers right through to returning the completed scripts to Pearson, and how to recognise and report a question paper breach.

Take a look at the bitesize on-demand training.

Just a reminder that the entry deadline for international centres for GCSE, International GCSE, AS and A level, International AS and A Level, Edexcel Award, International Lower Secondary Curriculum and International Primary Curriculum qualifications is Tuesday 21 March. Late entry fees will be charged from 22 March. 

Further key dates are listed in the Key Dates section below. 

When making entries, please remember to enter students as private candidates if they are not receiving tuition at your centre. This includes resit students if they are not receiving tuition at the time the entry is made. A candidate cannot be both internal and private at the same centre for the same series.

Entering private candidates correctly will ensure that they can receive support directly from Pearson when appropriate, for example when accessing the review of marking or appeals processes. 

Pearson Edexcel GCSE History Paper 2 exam arrangements in May/June 2023 

This update is to clarify the exam arrangements for GCSE History Paper 2 in May/June 2023, to ensure that students, teachers and exams officers have a clear understanding of how the paper will be assessed on the day of the exam.

Read more about exam arrangements for Pearson Edexcel GCSE History Paper 2

Reminder on the importance of writing answers in the correct space in Edexcel GCSE History exams

The following guidance serves as a gentle reminder to students, teachers and exam invigilators about the importance of writing answers in the correct space and continuing on a separate piece of paper if extra space is needed to ensure the full answer is seen by the examiner before a mark is awarded.

Writing answers in the correct space in GCSE History exams.

A diverse future for GCSE Design and Technology 

Following our research into the subject of Design and Technology, we have updated our shortlist of 8 designers and design-related organisations to become a list of 41 named designers and organisations. The list provides choice for every material specialism and has been built to ensure that all parts of the UK are represented, alongside a broader commitment we have made to include designers of more diverse backgrounds. The GCSE specification has been updated so that teachers of Design and Technology can easily engage with our enhanced designer list. 

Find out more about the updates to the GCSE Design and Technology specification.

Our Key Dates Finder enables you to find all of the key dates for Pearson general qualifications and subjects in one place. Here are those taking place in the next few weeks. 



Exam Series



GCSE English Language & Mathematics

Nov 22

Date by which certificates will be issued


International GCSE, International A level, Project and Edexcel Award

Jan 23

Restricted release of results to centres


International GCSE, International A level, Project and Edexcel Award

Jan 23

Release of results to candidates


A level Biology A 9BN0/03

Jun 23

Pre-release material issued on our website


GCSE, International GCSE, AS & A level, AEA, International AS & A level, Entry Level Certificate, Level 3 Core Maths, Project, International Lower Secondary and Primary Curriculum

Jun 23

Entry deadline


GCSE, International GCSE, AS & A level, AEA, International AS & A level, Entry Level Certificate, Level 3 Core Maths, Project, International Lower Secondary and Primary Curriculum

Jun 23

Late entry fees will be charged from this date


International A level, International Lower Secondary and Primary Curriculum

Oct 22

Date by which certificates will be issued


International GCSE Chinese, French, German and Spanish and English as a Second Language

Jun 23

Speaking tests may begin


A level Drama 9DR0/02 and GCSE Drama 1DR0/02

Jun 23

End of practical examination window


GCSE, International GCSE, AS & A level, AEA, International As & A level, Entry Level Certificate, Level 3 Core Maths, Project, International Lower Secondary and Primary Curriculum

Jun 23

Deadline to submit applications for access arrangements

For more information on key dates for post results services please visit our Post-results services key dates web page

Ever thought about becoming an examiner (Associate)? 

Starting out as a general Associate with us can be the start of a great career in examining, with opportunities to move up to Team Leader and other senior examining roles. 

Some of the benefits include:

  • paid to attend training events and meetings
  • discounts on Pearson resources
  • career progression
  • access to a wide variety of free CPD
  • flexible working.

We are currently exploring how we can get more examiners from across the world. If you are interested, then please let us know via this simple form

Monthly Exams Officer Zoom sessions

Throughout the 2022/23 academic year, we’ll be hosting a series of online training sessions for Exams Officers. These live events go through news, updates and various other areas to support you in your role over the coming months.

All events are recorded, so if you’re unable to attend you can go back and watch previous events on our support portal.

Our next session for international Exams Officers is on Friday, 10 March, 07:00–08:00 GMT; register now if you'd like to attend.

With the May/June series on the horizon, now is the time to make sure you’re signed up for your Subject Advisor updates. 

All our Subject Advisors are here to support and help you as you teach our qualifications. They all send out regular newsletters with information, support and reminders about your subject area. Make sure you’re signed up to ensure you have all you need to deliver the qualifications to your students. 

Sign up for your Subject Advisor support.

Stay informed with Vocational Qualifications by following us on Twitter @PearsonBTEC, where we will update you with the latest information, or access our support and information page for 2022/23, which is updated frequently.

Teaching, learning and assessment 2022/2023

For responses to any suggestions or feedback you have for us, please visit our Contact Us page. You can also review our past bulletins if you’ve missed any, or sign up to receive future updates.


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