May 2024 Design and Technology update | Pearson qualifications

May 2024 Design and Technology update

23 May 2024

Here is your May 2024 update for GCSE and A level Design and Technology.

I hope that the NEA marking and sample submissions have gone smoothly at your centre and your students are doing well in their exams. 

This update will bring you information on the exams, support available for exam preparation and other useful items, to help you in the coming weeks. 

Please also spare a little time to fill in the below surveys. Your views are vital and  will help shape the future of D&T. 

Read more

1 June - Contextual challenge release

As per the GCSE D&T NEA timeline, on 1 June 2024 contextual challenges for Summer 2025 series will be released. You will be able to access these from the teaching and learning materials section of the qualification page. The link below will take you there.

Survey on your GCSE D&T NEA experience

We would like to understand your experience around the Non-examined assessment, the contextual challenges and your expectations around moderation of GCSE D&T this series. If you have a moment, we would like your response to this survey: 

Respond to the survey

Future looking surveys for Design and Technology and Food

To better understand the perspectives of current GCSE D&T and Food teachers, we've created two brief surveys to inform our decisions on future qualifications.

We would like to explore a specific question around 100% coursework as an alternative assessment model for D&T, and see if alternative models are preferred to the current exam and coursework split.

This survey enables us to consider your valuable insights and understand how changes might impact your students. Your input is crucial in shaping the future of our qualifications. 

Summer exam dates

Qualification and component Date and time
A level Design and Technology - Component 1 05 June, pm
GCSE   Design and Technology - Component 1 (1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F) 18 June, am

Materials to support revision

exam wizard

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Exam Wizard

An online resource containing a huge bank of past paper questions and support materials to help you create your own mock exams and tests as full papers or based on specification topics. Available for a range of GCSE and A level Design and Technology, including all past papers, SAM and AdSAM.

Access examWizard

Summer 2024 support for students

Help your students feel as prepared as possible for the upcoming exam season. 

In addition to all the support you provide, both Ofqual, JCQ and Pearson have a range of information to help inform and guide your students during this busy time. Please take a look at the information we’ve summarised below and pass it on to your students.

Support from Ofqual
The Ofqual Student Guide 2024 provides students with information about this year’s arrangements for GCSE, AS and A level qualifications, and explains what support is in place when taking exams and assessments.

Read the Ofqual Student Guide 2024

Support from JCQ
The JCQ has a range of information and support for students – from coursework and onscreen exams to written exams, along with a checklist for exam day. 

Take a look at all the support JCQ have to offer for students

Support from Pearson 
As the revision season is now fully under way and students begin to turn their focus towards the summer exam series, we’d like to share our Getting ready for exams guide that includes some top tips and advice including:

  • preparing for exams
  • what happens on exam day
  • where to find further support
  • what happens once exams are over

Take a look at the guide and please pass it on to your student

You can stay up to date with all our support for 2024 on our Qualifications

Assessment support page

According to data published by Ofqual, possession of a mobile phone accounted for 44.5% of all cases of student malpractice - 2,180 cases - in the summer 2023 series. This was an increase on the 1,825 cases seen in the summer 2022 series.

The JCQ awarding bodies have set out the agreed sanctions for the different types of candidate malpractice, including for possession of a mobile phone. These can be found in Appendix 6 of the JCQ Suspected Malpractice Policies and Procedures.

You can see that the sanctions for possession of a mobile phone are severe, because we need to maintain the security and integrity of our exams:

  • mobile phone in the candidate’s possession but no evidence of being used by the candidate – loss of marks
  •  mobile phone in the candidate’s possession and evidence of being used by the candidate – disqualification

We really want to see a reduction in this form of malpractice, which has such a significant impact on so many candidates. Please ensure that you’ve taken the following steps to help your learners avoid committing malpractice:

  • clear communication to learners and their parents about items prohibited in exams, including mobile phones
  • clear publication and display of the JCQ exam room posters - sharing the JCQ Preparing to sit your exams infographic with learners and their parents
  •  having a member of your centre’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT) deliver a pre-exam series assembly, to clearly explain the expectations of learners and the exam rules
  • ensuring you have in place, and learners know about, a process for the safe collection and storage of their mobile phones during exams


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