Will school exams return in 2022 and how will they work?

Will school exams return in 2022 and how will they work?
Will school exams return in 2022 and how will they work?
Exams are expected to return to schools in 2022 (Picture: Tom Maddick / SWNS)

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on schools since 2020, which led to in-person exams being pulled for two consecutive years.

And with exam results being revealed on Thursday, students may already be worrying about what to expect in 2022.

This year saw GCSE, AS level and A-level exams being cancelled and replaced with school-based assessments.

And while they aren’t likely to follow a traditional format next year, the exam system is returning according to Education Minister Gavin Williamson.

A range of changes have been announced, so read on to find out what to expect.

School children in hall
Students are likely to be sitting exams in summer 2022 (Picture: Tom Maddick/SWNS)

How will school exams work in 2022?

With a proposed return date of summer 2022, exams will recognise and ‘mitigate’ the disruption caused by the pandemic.

The proposal, launched on Monday July 12, by the Government and Ofqual suggests allowing teachers to choose the topics that students will be assessed on for several subjects including GCSE English literature, history and ancient history.

This also applies to the choice of content for GCSE geography.

Practical activity requirements for science subjects, as well as assessment in art and design subjects, are also due to change.

And, schools and colleges are also likely to receive information about the focus of the exam content prior to the exam dates for most GCSE, AS and A-Level subjects.

There will also potentially be support materials for GCSE mathematics, physics and combined science exams.

School children sit in a hall for a lesson
Schools are set to receive exam content information beforehand (Picture: Jacques Feeney/Getty Images)

When will the 2022 exams be held?

It is understood that summer 2022 exams are set to take place at the same time of year that they usually would.

According to the proposal, the risk of delaying the time of year that exams are held would be too high.

Fortunately, all factors will be taken into account as the proposal states: ‘In order to ensure that they can do so fairly, we must recognise that students in the 2022 cohort have experienced significant disruption to their education, and we propose that exams and assessments should be adjusted to take this into account.’

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The changes have been proposed to both ‘free up’ teaching time and to reduce pressure on students given the disruption to schools since the pandemic began.

When will the exam changes for 2022 be confirmed?

Any changes are expected to be confirmed in September during the autumn 2021 term.

The Government’s proposal was launched on Monday July 12 and the consultation window ended on Sunday 1 August.

During that time, pupils, parents and teachers, were all asked for their views on the proposed modifications.

It explains: ‘We have set the length of this consultation so that decisions can be announced early in the next academic year, giving students, teachers and exam boards time to plan for exams taking place next summer.’

So, while students may not be rejoicing about the return of exams, the good news is there are plenty of measures in place to make the assessments as fair as possible.

MORE : When are GCSE and A-Level results released in 2021?

MORE : Most schools to use tests for GCSE and A-levels despite exams being cancelled

MORE : Drop in Covid cases may be due to schools closing for the summer holidays

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Author: Surena Chande