Languages | Pearson qualifications


Subject update | 8 May 2024

Listening and Reading Exam Scheduling from 2026

We can confirm that the reading and listening exams for GCSE French, German and Spanish will be scheduled in separate exam sessions from Summer 2026

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Our new 2024 Pearson Edexcel French, German and Spanish GCSEs have generated lots of positive conversations with teachers, and we have been listening to your thoughts about the scheduling of the listening and reading papers – how it works (or doesn’t work) currently, and what you would prefer for the live exams in 2026.

From your feedback, we know that the current model for the listening and reading exams can intimidate and worry students, making them feel anxious and unconfident. The new GCSE is an opportunity for us to challenge the status quo and do something different that will improve the student experience.

In our new qualifications, the three listens, moderate speaking pace, appropriate pause lengths, chunked texts and gap fill in dictation will all be working to make our listening paper much more accessible for your students. All these great features have required a slight increase in the exam duration for listening compared to the current exams, an additional 10 minutes at Foundation and 15 minutes at Higher. Therefore, it was important that we reviewed the current practice of scheduling the listening and reading exams in the same exam session to make the right decision for you and your students.

We’ve listened to our teachers and students in informal conversations at events, as well as through online surveys, and it is clear that the overwhelming majority would prefer
the scheduling of the reading and listening exams to take place in separate exam sessions.

To hold true our vision for compassionate assessments, we need to ensure the best and most successful exam experience for students, with their wellbeing at the heart of our decision.

For the full details of our findings read:

An overview of your thoughts and feedback


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