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What’s Happening With Next Year’s Exams? (2022 GCSE and A-Level Exam Update)

In this post, we’re going to look at the proposed changes the government has set out for the 2022 GCSE and A-Level maths exams.

With this year’s A-Level results out of the way and the last two years worth of examinations being cancelled in favour of teacher advised grades, students may be wondering what’s happening with next year’s exams.

In this post, we’re going to look at the proposed changes the government have set out. Note that these changes aren’t set in stone yet, so, at the time of writing, these proposals could change.

Let’s get started.


  • Examination or demonstration of the practical elements of science-based or art-related subjects will be reduced or removed
  • For the majority of subjects at GCSE, AS and A-Level, advance information about the focus of the content of exams will be provided
  • For GCSE mathematics, physics and combined science, additional support material will be provided (i.e. formula sheets)

Why are these changes being introduced?

To see why these changes are being introduced, we can take a look at what the Department for Education and Ofqual have said in their document proposing the upcoming changes:

“We are mindful that past and ongoing disruption to education may mean that schools and colleges are finding it challenging to cover the full curriculum and students may be feeling more anxious than usual about their exams.”

“These adaptations will provide students with a better opportunity to feel fully prepared for the material on which they will be examined and will help to make the exams less daunting.”

Clearly, these bodies know that the past two years have been difficult for students and things are unlikely to return to normal within the next year. Let’s now take a look at what these changes are in detail. The changes have been broken down into three categories:

  • Adaptations to exams and assessments
  • Advance information given to students
  • Support materials given to students

Adaptations to Exams and Assessments

For the majority of subjects, exams and assessments will not be changed from how they were pre-covid. There are a few subjects that will differ from previous years:

  • For GCSE English literature, history, ancient history and geography, a choice of topic or content should be provided
  • For GCSE, AS and A level geography, geology and environmental science, exam centres will not have to declare to exam boards that students have had the opportunity to undertake a mandated number of occasions or days of fieldwork activities outside of the school or college premises
  • For GCSE and AS geography, students will not have to answer questions in written examinations about fieldwork that they have undertaken themselves
  • For A level geography, the NEA will be retained but exam boards should consider how they can be flexible in their requirements for students to use primary data
  • For GCSE English language, the requirement for teachers to submit an audiovisual recording of a sample of students undertaking their spoken language assessments will be removed
  • For GCSE modern foreign languages (MFL): exam boards will not have to include vocabulary that is not on the vocabulary lists for assessments
  • For GCSE, AS and A level art and design, students should be assessed on their portfolio only and will no longer have to complete a task set by the exam board under timed, supervised conditions (usually between 10 and 15 hours)

Advance Information

For all subjects except the following, students will be given advance information about the focus of the content of exams:

  • GCSE English literature, ancient history, history and geography
  • GCSE, AS and A level art and design

Support Materials

Additional support materials will now be provided for GCSE maths, physics and combined sciences. For maths, a formula sheet will now be provided (this was initially removed in the updated 2017 specification). For physics and combined sciences, formula sheets will be provided with additional information showing all relevant equations students need to know for their exams.

How AITutor Can Help

As these changes have only just been proposed, we’re unlikely to see how exactly they’ll affect your studies before the start of the new school year. However, the fact that for GCSE and A level maths, the focus of the content of exams will be provided, means once this focus is provided you can plan your revision strategically.

We have an exciting new feature planned for the upcoming school year. If you’re unaware, we currently provide unlimited, unique exam past papers to our premium members that provide incredibly detailed solutions and exam technique analysis.

In the upcoming school year, we’ll be introducing custom exam papers, that let students select the topics they wish to revise and will generate an exam paper based on those topics.

Stay tuned for updates and we’ll see you soon.

Happy learning.

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