Summer 2022 Contingency Arrangements

17 November 2021

This update is about the contingency arrangements that are being put in place in the unlikely event that examinations cannot take place in Summer 2022.

Read more

Summer 2022 Contingency Arrangements for UK qualifications

The following information applies to centres offering UK regulated qualifications such as GCSE, AS and A level History. It also applies to overseas centres that are offering these qualifications. Separate advice is provided below for centres offering our International qualifications. 

The Department for Education and Ofqual have confirmed that if exams had to be cancelled in summer 2022, students’ grades would instead be determined by their teachers, using a  Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs ) approach similar to that used in summer 2021. TAGs are based on teachers’ assessment of their students’ work.   

Detailed information on how TAGs would be determined in summer 2022 will only be published if exams are cancelled. At that point, we would take account of the timing of the decision, the reason for the decision and any public health restrictions in place at the time, as well as lessons learned from the 2021 arrangements, and would provide further guidance to centres. In the meantime, teachers should teach and assess their students as they would throughout the year, in line with the guidance below, to gather the evidence they would use to determine TAGs, in case they are needed.

Ofqual guidance on collecting evidence

Ofqual has published specific guidance for teachers on how they should collect
evidence of student performance which could be used towards a TAG in the
unlikely event that exams are cancelled next summer.

A summary of this guidance is provided below.

Conditions under which students should be assessed

  • Students should be assessed under exam-like conditions wherever possible
    – controls may be provided within a classroom rather than exam hall.
  • For example, students:
    - should not know the questions beforehand
    - should work independently and without assistance
    - should not have access to books or revision notes
    - the assessment should be timed and supervised.
  • Wherever possible, a centre must either assess all of its students who are
    taking a particular qualification using the same material at the same time or
    using different materials at different times.
  • If its not possible to assess the whole cohort at same time, the assessment approach should be consistent within a centre, eg students assessed using the same style of assessment (but not the same questions).

When students should be assessed

  • Centres should plan assessment opportunities to a timetable – approaches
    may vary based on what assessments have already taken place.
  • A sensible approach for assessments:
    - second half of the autumn term 2021
    - spring term of 2022
    - first half of the summer term 2022.
  • Many centres will already have assessments planned to support students’ learning and some assessments may already have taken place – where possible these should be used to provide evidence to inform a possible TAG.
  • If assessments have already taken place under different conditions centres should exercise judgement over whether it would be appropriate, and in the interests of students, to contribute towards TAGs if needed.
  • Be prepared to explain the approach in centre policies for TAGs if necessary.

Time spent assessing students

  • Total assessment time should not normally exceed the total time students would spend taking exams for the relevant qualification.

Content on which students should be assessed

  • Students should be assessed on a wide range of content, similar to that which they will expect in the summer exams and across the assessment objectives for the qualification.
  • Assessment opportunities should provide evidence from broadly the same proportion of the specification as would normally be covered in exams.
  • If TAGs are necessary, they must only be on content students have been taught.

Assessment materials

  • Assessments should be as useful as possible for students preparing to take
    summer exams – past papers could be used in full or part.
  • If teachers are designing their own assessments they must be in a similar style to our exam papers.

Student awareness

  • Where assessments are scheduled after publication of the Ofqual guidance, students must be told before they take each assessment that their
    performance in it would be used as part of the evidence to determine a TAG if exams are cancelled.
  • This information should be given sufficiently far in advance of the
    assessment to allow students time to revise and prepare.
  • Students should be told which parts of the subject content will be covered
    by the assessment, but they should not be told the questions in advance or
    be able to predict the questions from information given to them.
  • Teachers setting assessments after the advance information (A level History) for the summer 2022 exams has been published, should take that advance
    information into account when deciding how to assess their students.

Marking and feedback

  • Teachers should mark the assessments in line with published exam board mark schemes and guidance.
  • Students should be provided with feedback, which could include marks or comments.
  • Students should not be given the opportunity to repeat an assessment eg to improve their mark in response to feedback.
  • Teachers may tell the student the grade at which their performance in the assessment indicates they have performed – however make clear this is not a TAG – specific guidance on determining TAGs will be made available if exams cancelled.
  • Teachers should be clear that marking and grading have not been quality assured.

Retention of work

  • The original student work must be retained by the centre. Students may be given copies if this would help support their learning.

Coursework / NEA

  • If exams go ahead as expected, NEA will be marked and moderated as
    usual and combined with students’ exam marks to generate their grades.
  • If exams are cancelled, teachers will be expected to take a student’s NEA into account when determining a TAG.

Further information and support for UK contingency arrangements

Summer 2022 Contingency Arrangements for international qualifications

The following information applies to centres offering international qualifications such as International GCSE and IAL History. It applies to overseas centres and UK independent schools that are offering these qualifications.

Exams will take place in 2022 for International GCSE and International AS/A level. In the unlikely event that exams cannot take place in some jurisdictions again because of the pandemic, we are now able to confirm that in the exceptional circumstance that exams cannot go ahead in your country in summer 2022, students’ grades would instead be determined by using an evidence-based approach which would then be marked and graded by us.  Centres would have to submit at least one set of past papers as part of the portfolio.

Detailed information on how grades would be determined in summer 2022 will only be published if exams are cancelled. At that point, we would take account of the timing of the decision, the reason for the decision and any public health restrictions in place in specific international regions at the time, as well as lessons learned from the 2021 arrangements, and would provide further guidance to centres. In the meantime, teachers should teach and assess their students as they would throughout the year, in line with the guidance below, to gather the evidence they would use to determine grades, in case they are needed.

Guidance on collecting evidence for interntional qualifications

The following information provides guidance for teachers on how they should collect evidence of student performance which could be used towards a TAG in the unlikely event that exams are cancelled next summer.

Conditions for assessment should international exams not be able to go ahead

Teachers should assess their students to provide them with opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding across the range of content they have been taught and in ways that cover the assessment objectives for the qualification.

Students should be assessed under exam-like conditions wherever possible, for example:

  • students should not know before the assessment the questions they will answer
  • students should work independently and not be assisted (other than as required for a reasonable adjustment)
  • students should not have access to books or revision notes
    the assessment should be timed and supervised.

These controls may be provided within a classroom rather than exam hall setting.  

A centre must either assess all of its students who are taking a particular qualification using the same material at the same time, or using different materials at different times. 

If it is not possible to assess the whole cohort at the same time, the assessment approach for any particular qualification should be consistent within a centre, for example, students must be assessed:

  • at broadly the same time
  • over the same range of content
  • using the same style of assessment (but not the same questions).

Exceptions might be needed, for example:

  • if a centre is assessing a private candidate who has not covered the same content as the centre’s students
  • if a student joins a centre later in the year
  • if an individual student has been taught significantly less than the cohort because of illness.  

Reasonable adjustments should be made for disabled students.

When should students be assessed?

One past paper that has not previously been sat by learners should be identified and sat and would be part of the portfolio submitted.  Any other normal assessment points should be used to provide evidence to inform the portfolio if they are needed.  This could be, for example:

  • in the second half of the autumn term 2021
  • in the spring term of 2022
  • in the first half of the summer term 2022.

Any other normal assessment points should be used to provide evidence if they are needed.  

Some centres, for good reason, might adopt a different approach to assessing their students, for example because of the characteristics of their students, or the nature of their provision. In such cases, centres should be able to provide a rationale for their approach to the exam boards if exams cannot go ahead.

What content and assessments should students be assessed on and with?

One past paper that has not previously been sat by learners should be identified and sat and would be part of the portfolio submitted.  Students should only be assessed on content they have been taught. Teachers should plan the package of assessments so that students are assessed, across the assessments when taken together, on a wide range of content, similar to that on which they will expect to be assessed in their summer exams, and across the assessment objectives for the qualification.  

The assessments should be as useful as possible for students preparing to take summer exams. Assessments should be similar to full or parts of the exam papers they are preparing to take next summer. Past papers could be used, in full or part, where appropriate. If teachers develop their own assessments, the questions used should be in a similar style to those found in Pearson’s exam papers and marked in line with Pearson’s approach to marking exam questions for the qualification.  

If setting assessments after the advance information for the summer 2022 exams has been published, teachers should take that advance information into account when deciding how to assess their students. They should make their students aware of the fact that they have done so prior to their assessments.  

Students should not be given the opportunity to repeat an assessment, for example to improve their mark in response to feedback. Their performance in later assessments might, of course, reflect feedback on their performance in earlier assessments. 

Should we tell students about the assessments?

Yes. Where assessments are scheduled after the publication of this guidance, students must be told before they take each assessment that their performance in it would be used as part of the evidence to determine a grade if exams are cancelled. This information should be given sufficiently far in advance of the assessment to allow students time to revise and prepare. 

Students should be told which parts of the subject content will be covered by the assessment, but they should not be told the questions in advance or be able to predict the questions from information given to them. This means that students should not, for example, be assessed using past papers from one particular year spread over three assessment points, as students would be able to predict the questions they would be answering in the later assessments.

In exceptional circumstances, it might be necessary for work that was not undertaken in line with this guidance to be used to inform a grade, for example where a student misses the later assessments because of illness. Guidance will be provided on this if exams are cancelled.  

Should I keep the students' work?

The original student work must be retained by the centre securely – students may be given copies if this would help support their learning. 

Further information and support for international contingency arrangements

We'll continue to keep the 2022 Support web page up to date and provide news and information in the regular Pearson Qualifications Bulletin. For more information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Subject advisor

×

Are you sure you want to exit this session?