GCSE & A Levels 2023: What You Need to Know

Plans for next year's GCSE and A Level exams have been confirmed by the UK's Department for Education and Ofqual. Here are the key dates and facts that all students need to know...
GCSE & A Levels 2023: What You Need to Know
By Carli Allan
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GCSE and A Level exams will see a return to normal for 2023 as the UK continues to move on from Covid-19. The UK's Department for Education and exam regulator Ofqual have announced a return to pre-pandemic grading next year, but with “some protection against any impact of Covid disruption”.

The 2023 cohort of GCSE and A Level students in the UK will not have experienced national school and college closures during their two-year courses of study. However, they have still experienced some disruption to their studies due to Covid-19 restrictions.

So, while schools and colleges will now be teaching the full content of qualifications to students taking exams in 2023, there will still be some support available for students taking exams next year.

Students will not be provided with advance information on the focus of exams next summer (in 2022 students were given advance information topics and exam aids such as formulae). However, they will be given extra support in GCSE maths, physics and combined science in the form of formulae and equation sheets.

There will also be a return to all the usual non-exam assessment activities such as practical science activities, geography fieldwork, spoken language assessments, and formal speaking tests.

How will GCSEs and A Levels be graded?

Ofqual has confirmed a return to pre-pandemic grading as the next step in getting back to normal. 

Senior examiners will set grade boundaries based on the grades achieved by previous cohorts of students in the pre-pandemic years, along with prior attainment data.

Dr Jo Saxton, Chief Regulator of Ofqual, says:

"We expect that overall results in 2023 will be much closer to pre-pandemic years than results since 2020. This decision means that results in 2023 will be lower than in 2022. At this point in the academic year, we can’t be precise about results in specific subjects and specifications. Entries have not yet been made and students have not taken any exams. But there is no pre-determined ‘quota’ of grades."

When are GCSE and A Level Results Days?

A Level results will be published on Thursday, August 17 and GCSE results on Thursday, August 24. 

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