Jo Saxton, Chief Regulator for Ofqual has written a message for all students who will be completing exams and assessments during the summer term.
The letter contains information about support services and resources that are available to students as well as some guidance about best practice and do’s and don’ts.
We would encourage all students who are in their second year of studies or who will be completing their studies this summer to read the letter. The letter can be found below.
As we head towards the start of the summer term, I firstly want to take the opportunity to send you my best wishes in your upcoming exams and assessments. While I know some of you might be approaching your exams with some nervousness, that is perfectly normal. This is an opportunity for you to really show what you can do.
Where to find more information
Qualifications will help you to find the right pathway for you. The National Careers Service provides free and impartial careers advice, information and guidance and runs a dedicated exam results helpline for all students taking qualifications.
Ofqual has produced a student guide to exams and assessments in 2023 with more information about what to expect this summer. Ofqual has also worked with specialists to develop a guide to coping with exam pressure.
It's important that before your exams start you make sure that you understand the rules, including what you can and can’t take into exams. For example, you must not take mobile phones or watches into the exam room. Sometimes people will offer fake exam papers online before exams take place. Make sure that you don’t engage with these, because you could face consequences if you do. Tell your teacher if someone offers you an exam paper in advance of the exam.
Your teachers will be able to help you if you’re not sure what you need to do. If you’re not studying at a school or college, you should speak to the exam centre where you’ll be sitting your exams.
Support in place this summer
There is a package of exam and assessment support in place this summer, including formulae and equation sheets in some GCSEs, the spacing of exams in the timetable to give you time to prepare between exams, and protection in place when it comes to grading. The grading protection that we have introduced for GCSE and A level students means that a student who would have achieved a particular grade before the pandemic should be just as likely to do so in 2023, even if the quality of their work is a little weaker.
If you are taking a different qualification, such as a vocational or technical qualification, then it is likely you will already have taken some assessments. You may already have a teacher assessed grade from 2021 that will contribute to your final qualification result for example. For this reason, vocational and technical assessments and exams happening this year will take place as normal. Some awarding organisations have also put in place, permanently, arrangements that worked well through the pandemic, such as changing the timing or format of assessment and introducing remote assessment. For those vocational and technical qualifications that are similar in structure to GCSEs and A levels, with assessments taken at the end of the course, awarding organisations will also consider the grading approach used in GCSE and A levels.
Wishing you the best of luck in your upcoming exams and assessments.
Jo Saxton PhD
Earlsdon Park, 53-55 Butts Road, Coventry, CV1 3BH
0300 303 3344