CCEA Regulation 2022 Grading Approach

CCEA Regulation News
Published: 22/11/2021, 3:00pm

On 17 May 2021, the Minister announced that examinations would resume in the 2021-22 academic year with adaptations to CCEA qualifications. Today, 22 November 2021, examinations have commenced for the November series. CCEA Regulation would like to reassure centres, students and parents that it has taken cognisance of the grading approaches adopted by regulators in other jurisdictions and of the ongoing effects of the pandemic. CCEA has worked closely with the Department of Education and other stakeholders to put in place measures to ensure the smooth conduct of examinations and give students the best opportunity, in what is a very challenging context for them. Our priority as we return to public examinations is to ensure fairness and equity for candidates in Northern Ireland, including safeguarding the continued portability of CCEA qualifications.

Adaptations to Qualifications

CCEA has worked with principals and other stakeholders in seeking ways in which the burden of the pandemic on students could be alleviated. After consultation and engagement, adaptations were put in place whereby in the vast majority of subjects, students have the opportunity to omit an assessment unit.  This has significantly reduced the number of examinations that candidates will be required to take in 2022. Should a student, however, wish to take all assessment units, they would be awarded the higher of the two outcomes as their grade. This approach not only mitigates the effects of the pandemic on teaching and learning but is easily understood by stakeholders and provides flexibility and choice for students.

Approach to Awarding 2021-22

In making awards for the 2021/2022 academic year, CCEA will be mindful of the effects of the pandemic on students and will seek to ensure that students are treated fairly. The judgement of examiners has always played a significant part in the awarding process and will continue to do so. This is even more important given the unique context of the pandemic and the need to recognise the impact of disruption on student performance under these circumstances.

Ofqual has announced that in 2022 exams boards will set grade boundaries using a midway point between pre pandemic (or 2019) outcomes and 2021 outcomes. Qualifications Wales has announced its intention to follow the same approach. CCEA will take the approaches adopted by the other regulators into account; and shares their wish to ensure that outcomes in 2022 are higher than those of pre pandemic years, given the significant challenges faced by students. In addition, as a measure of further assurance that students are not disadvantaged, CCEA will ensure that examiner judgement is at the centre of the awarding process and takes account of the significant disruption that young people have encountered. Through this approach, student interests will be protected and comparability across qualifications will be maintained.

Note to Editors

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