GCSEs 2021: Ofqual looking at multiple choice and mocks

Students could take in formula sheets to maths exams or use multiple choice, says Ofqual chief
13th October 2020, 9:26am

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GCSEs 2021: Ofqual looking at multiple choice and mocks

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/gcses-2021-ofqual-looking-multiple-choice-and-mocks
Exam Hall

Greater "optionality" in next year's GCSE and A level exams is still on the table, according to the Ofqual boss.

The exam watchdog's interim chief regulator Dame Glenys Stacey said she would be providing the government with advice next month on contingency plans for exams, after the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, announced yesterday that most GCSEs and A levels would be delayed for three weeks.


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Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning, she said the regulator was looking at "optionality", adding that this should "not narrow the curriculum".

"More multiple-choice questions, for example, might be the answer for some subjects; exam boards providing formula sheets to take into exams in science subjects; exam boards providing other advanced materials beforehand," she added.

"So there is no one answer here and indeed the right approach is likely to differ between subjects, and we are onto that work now.

"We will be providing comprehensive advice to government on this next month, so there is not much longer to wait."

Addressing the delay of three weeks for most exams, Dame Glenys said it amounted to an increase of 8 per cent to the school year and that such an extension was "not to be sniffed at".

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, she said: "There is work in hand to look at contingency plans if you like - we're working with the department and others on that and we need to look at plans for if the individual can't take an exam or there is a local regional lockdown."

Asked whether the government would be organising invigilated mock exams as part of a plan B, she said: "Certainly contingency papers if you like, sitting an exam paper ahead of the ordinary exam season, is an option we're looking at."

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