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GCSE and A-level examiners should be generous in 2022, say exam boards

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CSE and A-level examiners in 2022 will be asked to be more generous than in previous years to account for the disruptions to education caused by the pandemic.

Grade boundaries could be more generous in some cases, with a lower score across papers needed to secure a particular grade, but examiners’ generosity could be more wide-ranging, exam boards have said.

Exams regulator Ofqual has previously announced that grade boundaries will be set roughly between 2019 pre-pandemic levels and boundaries in 2021, when teacher assessment was used to set grades.

The news comes after exam boards published the details of topics that will appear in exams as part of changes to 2022’s GCSEs and A-levels to mitigate the pandemic’s impact on grades.

An Ofqual graphic showing the changes to the 2022 exams to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic on students’ learning.

The advance information is not intended to reduce the amount of content pupils need to be taught or tested on.

In all subjects – with the exception of English literature, history, ancient history, geography and art and design – pupils will be given notice about the topics to be covered in this summer’s exams.

The information is designed to aid their preparation and help focus their revision.

Materials will not give so much detail about the likely questions that the answers can be pre-prepared or learned by rote, exam boards have advised.

Question papers have been designed as they normally would be.

The advance information will not always list every topic covered because boards are concerned that could lead to excessive revision of one topic.

They simply want a fair shot at success in their exams this summer

However, boards have said that, in some subjects, all topics covered will be listed to help learners prepare.

They will then be able to prioritise those topics when they revise, particularly if they are using past paper questions.

For some text-based subjects, such as English language, the advance information may include the genre or period that unseen texts used during exams will be drawn from.

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