Further update on 2021 exams
Published 12 October 2020
Students now have more time to prepare for their exams next year, as most AS, A levels and GCSEs will be held three weeks later to help address the disruption caused by the pandemic.
The Prime Minister and Education Secretary are clear that exams will go ahead, as they are the fairest and most accurate way to measure a pupil’s attainment.
Today (12 October), the government is announcing the summer exam series will start on 7 June and end on 2 July for almost all AS/A levels and GCSEs.
Results days are Tuesday 24 August for A/AS levels and Friday 27 August for GCSEs so students will start the following academic year as normal.
The government continues to prioritise children’s education in its response to the pandemic, building on the remarkable efforts of teachers, students and parents in keeping pupils learning at school and at home.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
Fairness to pupils is my priority, and will continue to be at the forefront of every decision we take in the lead up to exams next summer. Exams are the fairest way of judging a student’s performance so they will go ahead, underpinned by contingency measures developed in partnership with the sector.
Students have experienced considerable disruption and it’s right we give them, and their teachers, the certainty that exams will go ahead and more time to prepare.
Combined with our £1 billion catch-up programme and the changes proposed by Ofqual to free up teaching time, the changes I am announcing today give young people the best chance of being ready for their exams without undermining the value of the qualifications they receive.
I will continue to work closely with stakeholders and I’m grateful for the commitment and willingness that’s been shown in delivering this additional time to ensure young people have the best opportunity to succeed.
Schools and colleges have shown exams can be held, even in areas of local restriction. The autumn exam series - involving more than 20,000 entries – is already underway.
Given rising case numbers and the battle to suppress the virus, it is also right that there is consideration of the range of scenarios which might impact students’ ability to sit exams and develop contingency plans.
The Education Secretary has today written to Ofqual to ask the regulator to work closely with him, school and further education leaders, exam boards, unions and the higher education sector to develop these arrangements.
The Government will engage widely with the sector over the next six weeks to identify any risks to exams at a national, local, and individual student level, and consider measures needed to address any potential disruption. This could be a student unable to sit exams due to illness or self-isolation, or schools affected by a local outbreak during the examination season meaning centres cannot open.
More detail will be published later in the Autumn, to ensure students have confidence that they will be fairly treated in terms of assessment in 2021.
One maths and one English GCSE exam will be held just before the May half-term, giving any Year 11 pupils who are affected by Covid-19 the best possible chance of still sitting a paper in each of these core subjects.
The government is also confirming today that no further subject-level changes to exams and assessments will be made for GCSEs, AS and A levels. The changes outlined by Ofqual are designed to release time for teaching and to take account of public health considerations. This confirmation gives teachers, school leaders and pupils clarity on what will be assessed in exams next summer. This follows a public consultation carried out by the exams’ regulator, Ofqual, earlier this year. Ofqual has also consulted on how assessments of vocational and technical qualifications will be adapted to free up teaching time and respond to any future public health measures.
Our £1 billion Covid catch up fund will help to tackle the impact of lost teaching time. The programme includes a £650 million catch up premium to help schools support all pupils and £350 million National Tutoring Programme for disadvantaged students.
It is expected that for the majority of vocational and technical qualifications that are taken alongside or instead of GCSEs, AS and A levels, awarding organisations will look to align timetables with 2021 exams.
A-level & GCSE Results 2019
Which degree should I do
How to choose the right degree?
Choosing the right degree can be a difficult decision.
With so many undergraduate courses to choose from, finding the right degree can be a long process – so make a start by narrowing down your options…
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the thousands of degrees on offer to students in the UK. Add to this the fact that applicants can pick up to five related courses to improve their chances of being accepted into university, and you’ll see that choosing the right degree is no simple task.
If you are still undecided which degree is best for you, these five questions will reveal which degree you could study.
Your choices could reveal a degree programme that you never considered before…
A-level & GCSE Results 2018
How to write a Personal Statement for university
What is a personal statement?
A Personal Statement is a supporting document in your application to study at a university or college. It’s your chance to say why you’d like to study a particular course or subject, and what skills and experience you have that show your passion for your chosen field. A chance to stand out in the crowd!
What to write about?
You’re telling admissions staff why you’re suitable to study at their university or college. It’s important to remember you can only write one personal statement – it’s the same for each course you apply for. So, avoid mentioning any universities or colleges by name. If you’ve chosen similar subjects, talk about the subject in general, and try not to mention courses titles. If you’ve chosen a variety of subjects, just write about common themes, like problem solving or creativity.
A few tips to stand out:
Make it relevant – remember: there’s a character limit (you have 4,000 characters and 47 lines). Don’t waste space on details that have no relevance to your chosen course and career path.
Show how you’re unique – through your own examples, independent research, and personality. Present a good balance of academic and extra-curricular credentials – but don’t feel like you have to include hobbies if you don’t have any.
Make it engaging (whilst avoiding clichés) – lines like ‘I was born to be a dancer’ are definitely not unique, and generic clichés like this might risk mildly irritating the admissions tutor.
Think outside the box – let’s face it, no one wants to read through thousands of English students talk about how Shakespeare opened their eyes to poetry. Avoid the obvious, and think laterally.
- Have a strong introduction, remember the aim of introduction is to keep the reader interested and keen to continue reading.
- Talk mainly in 1st person narrative.
- Show your interest and enthusiasm for the subject beyond curriculum.
- Be specific about what has motivated you to choose that subject. Have you attended any talks, read books or watch documentaries?
- Give details rather than just mentioning them, i.e "I am fascinated by Brian Cox documentaries on the origin of universe and the possibility of existence of life on other parts of Solar system."
- Explicitly link an activity with specific generic skills. Leave it to the reader to be judge of how that activity has enhanced your skills, through the way you have detailed the activity. “Having been part of cricket team throughout secondary school, has made me realise the importance of team work is generally”, no, you just have an idea why teamwork is important, not "generally"!!
- Emphasize on the significance of your subject by having a 3rd person observation/cliche in your introduction. “ The issue of plastic in oceans wouldn't have been taken seriously if it wasn't for Planet Blue and similar TV watch documentaries”
- Use conversational language, stay formal.
- Use overly emotional / overenthusiastic language.
- Give A-level subject marks as they will be included in the references that school provides.
- Talk about A-level courses in details (it's ok if you touch upon your preference e.g “you prefer theoretical over applied physics or other way around”).
- Talk about irrelevant part jobs you had during summer/weekends. “a part time job at a catering company helped with boosting my confidence, enhanced my skills in interacting with people and performing well under stressful situations”
Any question, please get in touch
Still unsure which degree is best for you? This might help