United Kingdom

GCSE and A-level pupils will be told what is on their exam papers in advance

GCSE and A-level pupils will be told what is on their exam papers in advance and will be 'marked more generously' next summer, it has been revealed.

According to plans expected to be unveiled by the Department for Education and the exams regulator, students whose teaching time was disrupted will be treated differently.

Some could be given grades with asterisks next to them to indicate to higher education colleges that they should look kindly on certain applicants.

Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of GCSE students are also expected be told their exam topics in advance. 

Universities have also starting reducing their entry grade requirements for certain courses in response to the lost learning caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

GCSE and A-level pupils will be told what is on their exam papers in advance and will be 'marked more generously' next summer, it has been revealed

There had been speculation that GCSE exams in England would be cancelled all together, following the examples set in Wales and Scotland. 

Next year exam boards will have to tell schools which subject areas will be covered in GCSE and A-level papers so teachers can prepare pupils to answer particular questions.

It comes after Education minister Nick Gibb said earlier this month that the Government was working to ensure exams were 'fair' and that more details would soon be given. 

A Whitehall source told The Telegraph: 'This has been looked at intensively over the past few months. 

'Ministers, Ofqual, exam boards - everyone working together trying to work together to come up with a package to offset and compensate for kids who have been self-isolating.'

According to plans expected to be unveiled by the Department for Education and the exams regulator, students whose teaching time was disrupted will be treated differently. Pictured: Education Secretary Gavin Williamson

Wales was the latest UK country to halt its exams programme for next year, after the summer 2020 grading system in England and Scotland descended into farce over computer-calculated grades.

Scotland has said its National 5 exams - equivalent to GCSEs - will be replaced by assessments next year.   

So far exams in England have been delayed by three weeks to allow students to catch up, despite union demands for them to be completely abandoned. 

A survey by GCSEPod of 2,649 16 year olds found that 66 per cent of teenagers would consider knowing topics in advance as a very fair measure to be brought in. 

In addition 67 per cent  said that they would like to see grades being more generous, whilst 26 per cent said that they would like more options on which questions to answer in the exam.  

The University of Surrey has said that it will reduce its entry requirements by one grade for most undergraduate courses starting next year.   

However courses such as Veterinary Medicine and foundation year courses will be exempt from that policy.

Earlier this month, the University of Birmingham also revealed it planned to reduce entry requirements for 2021 by one grade.

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