General Qualifications Bulletin - International - Issue 50 | Pearson qualifications

General Qualifications Bulletin - International - Issue 50

Wed Feb 21 11:39:00 UTC 2024

Dear Colleague, 

Welcome to issue 50 of the International Qualifications Bulletin. Thank you for your continued readership as we bring you all the information, news and updates each month to help you deliver our qualifications and support your students effectively.  

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Included in the bulletin this month is information on the Joint Council for Qualifications updated guidance on AI Use in Assessments. Please do take a look at this and pass the relevant information on to both staff and students. The Joint Council for Qualifications is a membership organisation comprising the eight largest providers of qualifications in the UK. The JCQ provides a single voice for its members on issues of examination administration and, when appropriate, qualification and wider education policy.

If you’ve ever considered becoming an examiner, we have opportunities for you to explore - read on to find out more.

As ever, if you need any more information or want to share any feedback with us, you can always get in touch via our support portal. We will always do our best to get you the answers as quickly as possible.

With best wishes,

Hayley White
Vice President, Assessment 

On 2 February the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) published their updated JCQ guidance on AI Use in Assessments.

The guidance is designed to help students and teachers to complete NEAs, coursework and other internal assessments successfully, giving students the chance to demonstrate skills which cannot be assessed in exams.

Please do share the latest version of the guidance with senior leaders, teachers and assessors in your school or college. This guidance should inform school policies on AI use, so schools and colleges can provide staff and students with clear information.

A summary of the key updates is available on the JCQ website. They've also produced a poster for students on the use of AI and assessments and an information sheet for teachers along with PowerPoint presentations for teachers and students.

Read all the information on JCQ blog and download the updated guidance and support materials

Thursday 21 March is the entry deadline for International to make entries for International GCSE (linear and modular assessment), GCSE, IAL, AS/A level, AEA, Edexcel Award, iPrimary and iLowerSecondary and Mathematics in Context qualifications. Please note that entries made from Friday 23 March will be charged the late entry fee. 

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

So far in 2024 we have seen a tripling of the schools giving their students the option to take their exams onscreen. This has led to a five-fold increase in students choosing to take onscreen assessment for their high-stakes exam across seven different subjects. 

Due to this popularity, we are always reviewing the subjects we offer as onscreen assessment. We have just added new subjects for 2025 and 2026: 

Summer (May/June) 2024
International GCSE Business
International GCSE Economics
International GCSE English Language A
International GCSE English Literature
International GCSE History
International A Level English Literature
International A Level English Language 

Summer (May/June) 2025
New - GCSE English*
International GCSE Geography
New – International GCSE Global Citizenship
International GCSE Islamic Studies  
International GCSE Pakistan Studies  

Summer (May/June) 2026
International A Level Business
New – International A Level Economics
International A Level History 

*We plan to offer GCSE English exams onscreen from summer 2025 (subject to Ofqual approval), in addition to the International GCSE English Language and Literature exams already available as onscreen assessment. This opens the opportunity for UK state schools to benefit from everything that onscreen assessment offers.

Register your interest in Onscreen Assessment to keep updated

Sample Assessment Materials are now available online for the first wave of subjects: Accounting, Commerce, Economics, English Language A, English Literature, Geography, History, and Religious Studies. 

So, if you’re considering the new modular assessment for Pearson Edexcel International GCSE, we now have specifications, course planners, scheme of work, and sample assessment materials available for you to use. 

First assessment for the modular approach for these subjects will be May/June 2024. If you’re happy with the current linear approach, that’s absolutely fine, nothing changes for the linear assessment.

Learn more about modular International GCSE 

Reminder: If you’re planning on making modular International GCSE entries for this Summer (May/June) 2024, the entry deadline is Thursday 21 March for all international qualifications. Please note that entries made from Friday 22 March will be charged the late entry fee. Further key dates are listed in the Key Dates section below.

Art and Design

Take a look at our New: Diversifying the Curriculum Guide for GCSE, International GCSE and A level Art and Design, containing useful links to support teachers diversifying the Art and Design Curriculum. 

We’ve also published our New: Artist Directory - an excel spreadsheet that lists artists from a range of diverse backgrounds which students could use for their investigations.

It also links to our Contextual References guides that list different websites students could use as well. There is a video tutorial on how this resource can be used at New: Artist Directory video tutorial.

We’ve recently added new exemplars to each Exemplar Library for GCSE, International GCSE and A level Art and Design, covering a range of titles and new examples used in our recent training:

Finally, if you’ve missed any of our Art and Design training and network events you can catch up by watching the recordings. 

Watch the events on our New: YouTube Art and Design Training and Network Events playlist

Religious Studies

In November 2023 we announced that we would be making changes to the level descriptors within (d) evaluation questions for GCSE Religious Studies A and B to provide a better experience for all students by improving accessibility, simplifying language, and clarifying expectations for students and teachers. 

These changes will take effect for first assessment from Summer 2024 and all UK GCSE Religious Studies assessments will use the amended mark schemes.

In response to the queries you sent to us, we’ve put together some Frequently Asked Questions and support to help clarify exactly what this means for you and your students.

Download the FAQs

Subject Advisor support

Make sure you’re signed up to receive all the latest news and updates from your Subject Advisor.

You can also find out more about the support your Subject Advisor offers by watching a short video they’ve each created.

Take a look at your Subject Advisor's video and sign up for your subject newsletter today

We're looking for knowledgeable and passionate individuals to become Pearson examiners for the 2024 exam series across a wide range of subjects.

Becoming an examiner is a great way to deepen your subject expertise, spread your assessment knowledge within your department and acquire valuable insights into the assessment process, empowering you to better prepare your learners for their exams. 

You can enjoy the convenience of working remotely, fitting it around your other commitments, and augmenting your income. It can also help you build your professional networks and benefit from opportunities for progression and continuous professional development.

View the current opportunities

We're pleased to announce the launch of our new and improved Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) space. The new web space makes it much easier to find all your resources to support inclusive education, from teaching and learning content, blogs, research, case studies and much more.

Explore our new DE&I homepage

We published our provisional timetables for May/June 2025 on Monday 22 January as agreed by JCQ and all other awarding bodies.

They are available on our Provisional timetables page.  The consultation window will run from Monday 22 January to Friday 23 February.
Please do send any comments to

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 during January 2024.





28 Feb 24

GCSE English Language and Mathematics

Nov 23

Date by which certificates will be issued

6 Mar 24

International A level, Project and Edexcel Award

Jan 24

Restricted release of results to centres

7 Mar 24

International A level, Project and Edexcel Award

Jan 24

Release of results to candidates

8 Mar 24

GCE Drama 9DR0/02 and GCSE Drama 1DR0/02

June 24

Centres must complete the submission of text choices at least six weeks before the intended examination date (final submission deadline is 8 March 2024)

21 Mar 24

All general qualifications

June 24

Entry deadline (International centres)

21 Mar 24

All general qualifications

June 24

Final date to process applications for access arrangements using Access arrangements online (AAO)

21 Mar 24

All general qualifications

June 24

Final date for requesting transferred candidate arrangements using Centre Admin Portal (CAP)

22 Mar 24

All general qualifications

June 24

Late entry fees will be charged from this date (International centres)

25 Mar 24

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

June 24

Speaking tests may begin

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

As always, our essential information guide is available for you to access throughout the academic year. This guide is designed to aid you with frequently asked questions and various processes that you might require assistance within your day-to-day activities as an Exams Officer.

In 2023 we unveiled the Pearson Development Hub - a designated space specifically tailored for exams officer training. You can sign up for our monthly live Exams Officer events where we’ll walk you through the latest news, updates, and upcoming processes for the weeks ahead, providing you with the opportunity to pose any questions you may have. Don’t worry if you miss one, you can also view recordings of previous events on our Pearson Development Hub.

And if you’ve not done so already, do sign up for our regular Exams Officer updates to get all the latest news, information and support sent straight to your inbox.

Instructions for Conducting Examinations

If you are running examinations in 2024, it is important for you to stay up to date with the official exam regulations.

The JCQ have published the 2023/24 version of their Instructions for Conducting Examinations (ICE) document. We’ve also included this and links to all other regulatory documents in our support article that includes the JCQ ICE, BTEC ICEA and general regulations.

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