Consultation seeks views about exam advance information

Extra support for GCSE, AS and A level 2021 exams – consultation on principles for exam topic advance information and support materials

Ofqual is seeking views about advance information that will be given to students to help them focus their revision before exams next summer.

The consultation, Advance information about topics to be covered in GCSE, AS and A level exams in 2021 and support materials in exams, follows the Department for Education’s decision earlier this month to allow students to benefit from exceptional measures to support students given the disruption caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Students will be given advance information for many subjects ahead of sitting GCSE, AS and A level exams next summer. The nature of this will vary from subject to subject. Some support materials, such as formulae sheets and equations, will also be provided, for science and maths exams for example.

Exam boards will decide what information will be provided to teachers and students before the exams. This information will be published at the end of January 2021. Before then, Ofqual is seeking views on the broad principles that:

• advance information should not be so detailed that a student is able to memorise answers to write in an exam
• the information provided before an exam should not encourage students to overly narrow their learning
• the qualifications should differentiate between students on the basis of their performance

Ofqual is also seeking views on any equality related implications of the approach.

Those who wish to respond can fill out a short survey accessible from the consultation page, which is open until 11:45pm on Sunday 20 December.