Ofqual has launched a new consultation to look at arrangements for an autumn exam series, following the cancellation of this summer’s GCSE, AS and A levels.
Exam regulator Ofqual has already published its reports on the exceptional arrangements for awarding this year’s GCSEs, AS and A levels, and is now looking at the detail of how autumn exams will be held.
The consultation looks at various aspects, such as the timing of autumn exams, the format of the exams and the role of non-exam assessment and can be read here.
We’d like to encourage all CAS members to respond directly as well as help to inform our response.
We would like to hear CAS members’ views on the key consultation questions that apply for Computer Science, to help inform BCS School Curriculum and Assessment Committee’s response to Ofqual. Please take a few minutes to complete our survey, with just five short questions, available here.
Format of the autumn examinations
Ofqual has considered whether the format of the examinations in the autumn should change to make them more manageable, however, this would result in candidates being presented with an exam format for which they are not fully prepared.
On balance, Ofqual’s view is that the exam papers taken in the autumn should be consistent with those normally taken in a summer exam series, eg with the same duration and number of papers.
Non-examined assessment in A level Computer Science
Non-exam assessment (NEA) also forms 20% of the overall assessment grade for A level Computer Science. While teachers will use evidence from the NEA to inform calculated grades in the summer, Ofqual has concluded that the fairest of the options is for qualifications taken in the autumn to be based on students’ exam performance only, with grading standards set to recognise this is the case, and that this will make the autumn series more accessible to the largest number of students, given the constraints under which centres will likely be operating.
The timing of the autumn exam series
No-one can predict with certainty when centres will be able to manage the logistics of the autumn examinations, given it is not possible to predict entry numbers. Ofqual is proposing a flexible approach.