Mock Exams to be 'Plan B' for A Levels, GCSEs

It is going to be a rollercoaster year for parents, teachers and students facing exams next Summer. An announcement on changes for A levels and GCSEs appears imminent, with mock exams set to become fare more rigorous in all schools.
Mock Exams to be 'Plan B' for A Levels, GCSEs
By James Mullan
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‘Rigorous’ mock A level and GCSE exams are to be held this winter as part of a ‘plan B’ to avoid the disruption of this years’ exams, according to The Guardian, a UK newspaper. 

Tests are to be held in exam style conditions with similar invigilation, marking and grading as the real world exams.  The mock grades could then be used to assess results for pupils who cannot sit them in the summer due to coronavirus outbreaks.

The newspaper also reported that the UK’s education secretary Gavin Williamson is expected to announce a three week delay to the start of next summer’s A-level exams and possibly a similar delay for GCSEs. 

According to the proposal, seen by The Guardian, exam regulator Ofqual is said to have presented the UK’s Department for Education with a “bewildering” array of options for 2021 exams, some contradictory.  Relations between the two bodies are strained after the debacle of awarding A level and GCSEs this summer.

One of the criticisms of using mock exam results is that schools approach them with differing degrees of rigour, making it difficult to compare mock grades between centres.

A key concern for students, teachers and parents in the use of mocks as a fall-back position is that it could substantially raise the pressure on pupils to revise for mock exams rather than studying new material.

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