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Guidance: Ofqual: rolling update

2023 grading

Our Chief Regulator published plans for 2023 grading in September. We will return to pre-pandemic grading, but with protection for students. This means that, broadly speaking, a typical student who would have achieved an A grade in their A level geography before the pandemic will be just as likely to get an A next summer, even if their performance in the assessments is a little weaker in 2023 than it would have been before the pandemic.

For 2023, we recommend that teachers use the familiar pre-pandemic standard as the basis for predicting their students’ grades be that for use internally or for external use such as UCAS predictions.

2023 exam arrangements

Ofqual published a consultation on proposals for support materials – formulae and equation sheets – to be provided in relevant GCSE subjects in 2023. Ofqual has published a consultation on proposals for changes to vocabulary requirements in GCSE modern foreign language assessments. Our proposals are in response to a separate consultation launched by the DfE on its proposal to remove from the subject content the expectation that students engage with unfamiliar vocabulary.

These changes were originally applied for the 2022 series and it is proposed they are now made permanent.

Ofqual and DfE also published a joint consultation on arrangements which will build resilience in the exam system next year for the unlikely event that exams cannot be held in 2023.

All these consultations will close on 20 October.

Level 2 and Level 3 results

It is important that, as regulator, we review what has happened to make sure that students in future years receive results when they expect them, so they can progress in their education, apprenticeship or employment. We will continue to work across the sector, in addition to using our regulatory relationship with awarding organisations, to this end.

It is important that, as regulator, we review what happened with some delayed and inaccurate Level 2 and Level 3 results, which students had expected on GCSE and A level results days on 18 and 25 August . This review will inform our recommendations to prevent delays and incorrect issuing of results happening again. We will continue to work with stakeholders and awarding organisations, and ensure that everyone plays their part to ensure mistakes aren’t made again.

We have written to schools and colleges to ask for evidence, and continue to request feedback from all impacted parties to inform our review.

Subject content and assessment arrangements: 2022 to 2023

Ofqual and the Department for Education have confirmed the arrangements for subject content in GCSEs, AS and A levels and non-exam assessment in qualifications taking place in the academic year 2022 to 2023.

This means that the assessment arrangements for GCSE, AS and A level qualifications being awarded in 2023 will be as follows:

for GCSEs in English literature, history, ancient history and geography, students will study and be assessed on all the usual topics and content
for dance, design and technology, drama (and theatre), food preparation and nutrition, film studies, media studies, music, music technology, physical education (PE), students will carry out the usual non-exam assessment activities
for art and design, students will be assessed by an exam board set task and a portfolio as usual
for geography, geology, and science subjects, students will carry out the usual fieldwork and practical science activities
for GCSEs in English language, students will carry out spoken language assessments as usual and some of these will be recorded by their teachers
for GCSEs in modern foreign languages, students will take formal speaking tests as usual

Replacement certificates

Ofqual does not hold copies of your certificates – we can’t tell you your grade or provide replacements. Certificates are held by the exam board you sat your qualification with. If you don’t know which exam board you took your qualification with, ask your school. If your school don’t know you will need to ask each exam board to do a search for you – they will charge you for this.

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