2022 Exam Arrangements | Rainhill High School

2022 Exam Arrangements

Please find a summary of the 2022 exam arrangements outlined below. As you will see, this is the information that we hold at this stage of the year.

Dear parent,

Please find a summary of the 2022 exam arrangements outlined below. As you will see, this is the information that we hold at this stage of the year. Should it change we will be in touch at the earliest opportunity. As LP1 for both Y11 and Y13 approach, it is very important that all students spend time on exam preparation through revision, intervention sessions and homework.

The following information is from the DfE's proposed changes to the assessment of GCSEs, AS and A-levels in 2022, unless otherwise stated.

Subjects will include advanced information or optional content The following GCSE subjects will have optional topics or content:

  • English literature
  • History
  • Geography

The optional content will not be assessed by exam boards. For all other GCSE, AS and A-level subjects, exam boards will provide advance information about the focus of the content covered in the exams. This will be provided by 7 February 2022 at the latest. Information may be provided earlier at the DfE’s discretion.

Formulae and equation sheets will be provided
Pupils taking the following GCSE subjects will be given sheets with all the necessary formulae and equations as part of the exam:

  • Mathematics (formulae)
  • Physics (equations)
  • Combined science (equations)

There’s a reduced need for practical work in science subjects
Hands-on practical activities are still allowed and encouraged, but this requirement can be covered by demonstration if necessary for the following subjects:




  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Combined science
  • Geology
  • Astronomy


  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Geology
  • Environmental science


• Environmental science

The Common Practical Assessment Criteria (CPAC) across the minimum number of practical activities required for A-level biology, chemistry, physics and geology (rather than students being required to complete at least 12 practical activities as required by the DfE subject content). Exam boards can monitor the CPAC remotely.

The student’s portfolio alone will determine their grade for GCSE, AS and A-level.

Grade boundaries will take the pandemic into account

For summer 2022 exams, grade boundaries will be “based on a profile that reflects a midpoint between 2021 and pre-pandemic grading”.

Teachers will continue to use the 2019 standards when predicting grades for UCAS. This is explained in Ofqual’s approach to grading exam and assessments.

Contingency arrangements

Contingency arrangements for summer 2022 are currently under consultation – we will update parents as this information becomes available.

Teacher assessed grades (TAGs) shouldn’t be needed this year

During the pandemic, some VTQs were assessed based on teacher assessed grades (TAGs). Exams and assessments are expected to take place for all qualifications in 2021/22, and TAGs won’t be accepted as an alternate means of assessment. This is explained in guidance on the arrangements for the assessment and awarding of VTQs: 2021 to 2022.

Advanced notice of exam content

Examination bodies for some VTQs (e.g. linear qualifications with exams at the end of the year) will publish advance information about the focus of the exam content. This means teachers can focus the rest of their teaching time to ensure the exam content is covered.

Advance information will be published no later than 28 February 2022, but may be earlier (see contingencies link). This is explained on page 6 of the DfE’s guidance on contingencies for 2021/22.

Changes to examination or assessment format

Depending on the qualification, the exam board may make changes to the usual means of assessment. This is in response to the missed learning caused by the pandemic.

These changes will depend on individual qualifications and exam boards, but may include:

  • Fewer internal assessments, while ensuring all content is taught
  • Fewer hours of work experience or work placements
  • Longer and more assessment windows
  • Social distancing adaptations (e.g. professional discussion instead of practical activities)
  • Greater flexibility in invigilation rules (e.g. letting subject teachers invigilate their own subject).

This is explained on page 4 of the DfE’s guidance on contingencies for 2021/22, linked above.

Contingency arrangements

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may affect the ability to hold exams in summer 2022.

Depending on how the pandemic affects education during the 2021/22 academic year, the DfE may decide to do any of the following:

  • Bring forward the date by which exam boards provide advance information (see above)
  • Cancel exams and use TAGs instead for:

o Qualifications that are most similar to GCSEs, AS and A-levels o Y11 Pearson BTEC Enterprise
o Y11 Pearson BTEC Dance
o Y11 Pearson BTEC Media Studies
o Y11 WJEC Level 2 Construction
o Y11 OCR Cambridge National PE
o Y11 OCR Cambridge National ICT
o Y13 Pearson BTEC Applied Science
o Y13 Pearson BTEC Business
o Y13 Pearson BTEC Dance
o Y13 Pearson BTEC Fashion
o Y13 Pearson BTEC Health and Social Care o Y13 Pearson BTEC Media
o Y13 WJEC Level 3 Criminology
o Y13 OCR Cambridge Technical ICT
o Y13 OCR Cambridge Technical PE

• Delay exams and assessments (where TAGs wouldn’t be appropriate)