We will use a robust approach based on teacher assessment for International AS/A level assessment in May/June 2021 and exams will not go ahead as planned.
It’s important that you make your entries as usual by 21 March 2021 to ensure that students receive their qualification grade this Summer.
With the approach for UK qualifications now confirmed, we can now provide you with an update on the approach that we'll adopt for International AS/A Level. To ensure fairness for all students around the world, we want to ensure parity with our UK qualifications and so will align the evidence-based approach for international qualifications with the approach for UK qualifications, as far as it's sensible to do so.
Student grades will be derived by teachers and centres, with support throughout from Pearson. With our support, it will be possible to use a variety of evidence to inform the grade that will be submitted to Pearson. We want to ensure that you have access to assessment materials that will enable objective and fair judgements to be made about student performance.
One of the forms of evidence that will be made available is the optional use of unseen test materials. We'll send unseen test materials to all centres – teachers and students will be familiar with the style of the materials as they will look like question papers used in a normal exam series. The materials will need to be kept securely, until a specified date, and we'll provide details of what you'll need to do in due course – it will be very similar to how you typically deal with exam materials.
These test materials can then be used in two ways; firstly, as unseen materials presented to students in a controlled situation, in a specified timeframe, for them to respond to; or secondly, after the specified timeframe, in the knowledge that they may be familiar to students, used as one part of the evidence that supports the teacher grade. We will provide more detail on each of these options in the coming weeks.
To support the use of these unseen materials, we'll be offering an optional marking service where our expert examiners will mark your student responses. We'll mark the test materials and return a mark to you for your consideration when deriving the student grade. We'll provide you with support to understand how the mark aligns with performance descriptors so that you can be confident in your understanding of the mark. This will be an optional service and if you'd prefer to mark the materials yourself, we'll be providing mark schemes and training materials so that you can do so with confidence.
The approach for this series will be underpinned by a quality assurance process that focuses on helping you to make judgements, based on evidence, that are objective and consistent. There will be several different stages, and we'll provide an update as soon as we can, but we are committed to ensuring that it is supportive and not overly burdensome.