Summer 2021 Exams; what is happening and how should students prepare?
- April 20, 2021
- Posted by: Amelia Buckworth
- Category: Uncategorized
Exam season is looming. But what does that look like in 2021 after a year of continued disruption and uncertainty? Read on for the latest updates, plus our top tips on how to prepare for the end of another unusual academic year.
GCSE and A-levels
After last year’s algorithm mishap which caused turmoil for students pursuing university places, it is no wonder that the Department of Education is keen to make things simpler this year. In recent months, the Education Secretary has confirmed that for 2021, both GCSE & A Level grades will be awarded based solely on teacher-led assessments.
The concern for A level candidates will remain their university destinations, but students should remember that these institutes will be very aware of the impact of COVID-19; many have already made alterations to the offer process as a consequence. With this in mind, students who remain consistent with their work should be well-placed to achieve the results needed to progress next year.
Students who are taking the IB Diploma have two assessment options, but the pathway you follow will be dependent upon your school. The first option is based on predicted grades and teacher assessment, similar to the method adopted for GCSEs and A-levels. The second option is an exam route, where exams will be held with a few changes; they will be shorter, and the questions will be modified based on the past year of disrupted learning. Furthermore, IBO.org have officially confirmed that ‘grade boundaries have been set for each route, building in generosity that reflects this disruption while taking into consideration how grades are likely to be assigned by other large-scale qualifications.’
International exams will vary per country, so for any local concerns please contact your relevant national examination bodies. Unfortunately, things are continuing to change daily in many parts of the world, and in India for example, it was only announced last week that all school exams in India are now cancelled due to the continued disruption. We anticipate further changes varying by regionso it is important to keep in close contact with your school if you currently have exams scheduled.
For some of our international students studying British curriculum overseas, we know that Cambridge International are proceeding with IGCSEs and A-Level examinations, but similarly to the other curricular listed above, they will facilitate greater flexibility in their modular assessment and grading approach.
How To Prepare:
Students should continue to work towards completing their courses to the highest level possible. Keeping on top of your studies will not only demonstrate your academic ability to the teachers who are awarding the grades, but it will also mean you are best prepared for any internal assessments that are put on at short notice. Plus it prepares you for future studies of course!
For those students not taking external exams, your teachers are the ones responsible for determining the final grades. It is therefore important to stay in close communication with them, so you have as much notice possible for any work that needs to be completed and so that you can also seek assistance with any areas you are finding challenging.
Your teacher may require examples of past work you have completed in order to decide grades, so make sure to keep good records. This will also help for any last-minute exams that might need to be taken, as well as later in the year if there are any disputes.