COVID Message 2021

Summer 2022

Frequently Asked Questions

On this page

This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section focuses on summer 2022 awarding.

FAQs will be continually monitored and updated as further information becomes available.

Summer 2022 Arrangements

Will examinations take place in Summer 2022?

On 17 May 2021, the previous Education Minister announced a return to public examinations for all CCEA qualifications during the next academic year.

What will happen if there is further disruption to the 2021/2022 academic year?

At present, the full series of examinations for 2021/2022 is going ahead as planned, as announced by the previous Education Minister on 17 May 2021. We are constantly monitoring the external environment and following government guidelines and advice from the Public Health Agency (PHA). Contingency planning is however also underway to ensure we find the best alternative solution, if we need it, for students. The previous Education Minister said, "Contingency plans for alternative awarding in 2022 will build on the outworking of and learning from this year’s approach based on the use of Centre Determined Grades."

Summer 2022 Examinations

Are there alternative assessment arrangements in place for GCSE, AS and A level students in 2021/22?

Due to the disruption faced by students in 2020/21 because of the COVID 19 pandemic, students will be provided with the option of omitting one unit of assessment, chosen by CCEA, from the vast majority of CCEA qualifications.

More information on how grades will be awarded in 2021/22 can be viewed here.

If I choose to do all assessment and examinations units, will I be at a disadvantage in comparison to other students in my class who choose to omit?

If you choose to sit all units, CCEA will ensure that you are treated fairly and won’t be disadvantaged. We will do this by automatically calculating the grade you get in all units and compare this with the grade you would have received if you had chosen to omit a unit.

We will award the highest grade from either route.

This short video explains how the process will work this year.

Will my AS grade count towards my A2 qualification outcome?

AS grades issued on 10 August 2021 will not contribute to your overall A level grades.

Watch our animation which explains why it is not possible for the AS to contribute to the A2 in 2022.

Your AS grade is a stand-alone qualification for future progression in higher education or employment. It will help you make your final subject choices for your A levels. It can also be used on UCAS forms and to show your educational achievement.

As these grades will be based on reduced assessment will they be as good or valuable as previous years?

The grades you receive in Summer 2022 are just as valuable as grades from previous years and/or future years.

What is meant by the term ‘generous grading’?

When we talk about ‘generous grading’ we mean the assessment and awarding process in place for Summer 2022, to account for the disruption faced by students as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In November 2021, CCEA Regulation issued a statement which confirmed the following:

  • CCEA will be mindful of the effects of the pandemic on students and will seek to ensure that students are treated fairly.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Student interests will be protected and comparability across qualifications will be maintained as much as possible.

Optional Units

What does ‘omit a unit of assessment’ mean?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on teaching in the 2020/2021 academic year, CCEA will allow students to take one less assessment in the majority of GCSE and GCE subjects in the 2021/2022 academic year. This means, overall, you will be sitting less assessments or examinations than your peers have in previous years.

Do I have to omit a unit of assessment?

The assessment omission is optional. Students who wish to take all examinations can do so if they choose.

Will all grades be available this year if I choose to sit an exam with an omitted unit?

All grades, to include the A* grade, will be available at each level this year, no matter which route a student chooses.

If a unit is omitted for assessment, do I still have to be taught it?

On 17 May 2021, the Education Minister announced schools will aim to teach this omitted content in order to support and underpin progression but the pressure of assessment will be reduced.

As a student, is it my choice whether to omit a unit for assessment, or is this a decision which is made by my school?

Omission of any unit will be an informed decision and agreed together with your school and parent/guardian.

Where can I find information on what units have been omitted?

You can find which assessments and units have been removed on our Specification Addenda page.

If I choose to sit all units, what does it mean that my highest grade from either route will be awarded?

If you choose to sit all units, we will assess which grade is higher from your performance in all units, or in the units you must sit. An example can be found here.

I’m in Year 11, will the omissions affect me?

We plan to run all exams as scheduled in Summer 2022, including the modules you have chosen for Year 11. We also plan to run the full series of exams in Summer 2023, when you are likely to be completing your GCSEs. You will be taught the full course of GCSE content and skills as normal, and you should plan for this.

Contingency Arrangements for Summer 2022

I missed my exam due to family bereavement; will I still get a grade?

There is a process in place every year to support students who miss an exam through no fault of their own. It might be because of a sudden illness on the day of the exam, bereavement of an immediate family member or having to isolate due to COVID-19. If you do miss an examination there are two options which may be open to you:

Option 1: Missed Component Calculation

This process enables students to receive a grade if they have completed a minimum amount of assessment. It is available every year in cases of acceptable absence but normally you have to complete at least 40% of the entire qualification.

The minimum assessment requirement has reduced this year, meaning to be eligible for a missed component you must have completed:

  • At AS level: 25% of the total assessment for the AS qualification
  • At A level: 25% of the total assessment for all the A2 units
  • At GCSE: 25% of the total assessment for the mandated units

Option 2: Reserve/ Additional Examination Series (not available for AS units)

Additional exams will be available for all A2 subjects (mandatory units only) and the mandated units in GCSE History, Religious Studies, Government and Politics, Economics, and Statistics.

For more information on the above options, check out our Student Guide.

Can I opt in to apply for both a missed component calculation and the reserve/additional examination series?

You cannot choose both options for the same assessment. You must choose only one. So, you cannot sit an assessment in the Reserve series and request a missed component calculation for that assessment.

Whose responsibility is it to submit an application for a missed component calculation?

Applications for a missed component calculation are made by your Examinations Officer on your behalf. You will also have to provide evidence to your school or college to support your application. Your Examinations Officer can explain this to you.

Before requesting a missed component calculation, we advise that you speak to your teacher and parents/ carers to make sure this is the right decision for you.

What is a missed component calculation?

CCEA uses missed component calculations every year to ensure students can be awarded a subject grade if they miss an assessment through no fault of their own.

If you miss an exam (or unit), we use your results from the other units you have taken to estimate a mark for the missed exam (or unit).

A missed component calculation works out approximately how you would likely have performed in the assessment you missed:

  • based on your marks in the unit(s) you have completed; and
  • relative to other students.

So, your performance in the unit(s) you have completed is compared to the performance of all other students who have taken those units in the current and previous exam series.

For more information on missed component calculations and to look at examples of how it works, check out our Student Guide.

Do other awarding organisations use missed component calculations?

Yes, other JCQ (Joint Council for Qualifications) awarding organisations (of which CCEA is part of) use similar methods. Also known as ‘enhanced grading’, these form part of the special consideration process set out by JCQ.

Can I choose to sit one of the additional exams instead of requesting a missed component calculation?

Yes. If you would prefer not to use the missed component calculation, you can sit the exam in the additional series.

More information on the reserve/additional examination series can be viewed in our Student Guide.

I am a GCSE student, is the Reserve/additional examination series applicable to me?

Additional exams will be available for GCSE History, Religious Studies, Government and Politics, Economics, and Statistics. This is because these subjects only have one mandatory unit and if a student misses this assessment in the main series they would not be able to achieve a qualification grade.

I am an AS student, can I apply for the Reserve/Additional Examination Series?

The Reserve/ Additional Examination Series is not available for AS units. Students who are unable to complete 25% of AS assessments will have the opportunity to take these again in Summer 2023 alongside their A2 units.

What happens if I’ve missed all my exams?

If you have not completed any exams in a subject in the main series, you can enter in the additional series, if the option is available. If you do so, you only have to take enough exams that allows you to complete 25% of the total A2 assessments or 25% of the reduced GCSE qualification. The choice is yours!

Am I eligible for a missed component calculation if I miss an exam but have completed more than 25% of my GCSE qualification?

Yes, you are eligible for a missed component calculation.

The minimum assessment requirement has reduced this year, meaning to be eligible for a missed component you must have completed:

  • At AS level: 25% of the total assessment for the AS qualification
  • At A level: 25% of the total assessment for all the A2 units
  • At GCSE: 25% of the total assessment for the mandated units

If you miss an exam (or unit), we use your results from the other units you have taken to estimate a mark for the missed exam (or unit).

A missed component calculation works out approximately how you would likely have performed in the assessment you missed:

  • based on your marks in the unit(s) you have completed;
  • and relative to other students.

Let’s take an example of a GCSE qualification with more than 2 units.

James was entered for a GCSE which has 3 units. Unfortunately, he was ill and unable to complete Unit 2, which is worth 40% of the qualification. However, because he did complete Unit 1 and Unit 3, more than 25% of the qualification, he was eligible for a missed component calculation.

The average mark for Unit 1 was 75/100 and James scored 74/100, just below average.

The average mark for Unit 3 was 45/50 and James scored 46/50, just above average. Unit 2, the missed unit, is marked out of 100 and the average score was 76/100.

Considering James’s performance compared to the average scores in Units 1 and 3, alongside the weighting of the units, a score of 77/100 was calculated for Unit 2, slightly above average.

Missed Component Calculations Example

This resulted in James being awarded a Grade B in this subject.

Further examples of missed component calculations can be viewed in our Student Guide to Assessment Arrangements, Optional Omissions and Contingencies for Summer 2022 Exams .

I am an AS student and I haven’t completed 25% of the assessment for my qualification, so I cannot request a missed component calculation. What does this mean for me?

The answer depends on whether you plan to continue your studies to A2 for a full A level qualification:

  • If you do wish to continue to A2, you will be able to complete any outstanding mandatory AS assessments in Summer 2023 alongside your A2 units.
  • If you do not wish to continue to A2, you will receive an overall subject grade similar to the approach used in Summer 2021. We expect that results based on this approach will be issued in early autumn 2022 and further information on what is involved will be shared with schools in the coming weeks.

More information on Summer 2022 assessment arrangements can be viewed in our Summer 2022 area.

Summer 2022 Subjects

If I choose to omit the assessment CCEA has identified in one qualification, do I have to omit an assessment in all my other qualifications?

No, you can choose to omit assessments based on your individual subjects. If you choose to omit the assessment identified by CCEA from one or two subjects, you can sit all of the assessments in your other subjects. The choice is up to you and your teachers.

I’m much better at oral Modern Languages than written Modern Languages – can I take both assessments?

Yes, you have the option to sit just the compulsory units or to sit all units.

Summer 2022 Timetables & Results

When are the GCSE Science module exams taking place?

You can find our March 2022 timetable for GCSE Science module exams on our website.

When are exams taking place in Summer 2022?

You can find our GCSE and GCE final timetables on our website.

When will Results Day be for Summer 2022?

  • GCE Results day will be on 18 August 2022.
  • GCSE Results day will be on 25 August 2022.

When will the results from the November examination series be released?

  • Thursday 10th February 2022 - Issue of Results for GCSE
  • Thursday 24th February 2022 - Issue of Results for Occupational Studies, Preparation for Adult Life, Performance Skills and Certificate of Personal Effectiveness

If I miss an exam, through no fault of my own, how do I enter for the Reserve Series?

You must be entered for the paper you wish to sit in the Reserve Series by your school within three days of the date of the missed exam. Your teachers will be able to assist you with your application.

When does the Reserve Series take place?

The Reserve Series will run from 20 June until 5 July 2022.

When will I get my results if I sit an exam in the Reserve Series?

You are not likely to get your results on GCE or GCSE Results Day - 18 August and 25 August, respectively. This is because the Reserve Series is a special exam series for Summer 2022 offering an additional 68 exams at the end of the normal exam timetable to help as many students as possible receive a grade this year and progress. We will issue your results as quickly as we can and endeavour to have them with you in early September.

Will my results be ready in time for University Admissions if I sit an exam in the Reserve Series?

The issue of results for exams sat in the Reserve Series will be later than those sat in the normal exam series. However, we will issue your results as quickly as possible and will endeavor to have them with you by early September ahead of the final UCAS application deadline by which university offers must be accepted.

Come Results Day, UCAS will be on hand to help you with questions about existing university places and your application via its Track Service available on www.ucas.com.

For full information on UCAS contact options visit: www.ucas.com/contact-us.

Entry Level, Vocational and Occupational Studies

How are Entry Level and Vocational Qualification students being assessed in 2021/22?

In Entry Level and Vocational Qualifications, students can omit assessments up to a maximum of 50% of the qualification.

How are Occupational Studies students being assessed in 2021/22?

For Occupational Studies, students can omit one unit of their choice from final assessment.

As with GCSE, AS and A level qualifications, any student who chooses to sit all units will be awarded the higher grade from either all units or the compulsory units only.

In Entry Level and Vocational Qualifications, students can omit assessments up to a maximum of 50% of the qualification.

Understanding what examination malpractice is and how to avoid it

What is examination/assessment malpractice?

Malpractice is any action that breaks the rules of an exam or an assessment. Rules exist for each examination and assessment, to ensure a level playing field exists for all learners. Examples of malpractice could be:

  • Copying someone else's work;
  • Plagiarising coursework or controlled assessment material;
  • Bringing your mobile phone or watch into the exam room;
  • Talking to someone during an exam;
  • Sharing information about an assessment on social media such as Instagram, WhatsApp or Facebook;
  • Bringing your own paper/study aides into the exam room; and/or
  • Sharing your coursework / controlled assessment with your friends.

If you become aware of someone else committing malpractice and do not report this to the appropriate school authority, this also can be considered malpractice. Always confidentially report incidents of malpractice to your teacher or Exams Officer.

Can malpractice only happen in an exam?

No, malpractice can happen before, during or after any exam or assessment. Malpractice can happen when you are:

  • Preparing for, completing, and authenticating controlled assessments as your own work;
  • Carrying out practical assessment work and other non- examination assessments when completing your exams; and/or
  • Sharing information on an assessment on social media directly following an assessment when you have had to take the examination earlier than others due to a timetable clash.

How can I avoid committing malpractice?

Make sure you know the rules when completing any part of an exam or assessment. If you have any queries about a subject assessment or exam you should ask your subject teacher. You should also read the JCQ documents, Information for Candidates, which covers all expected exam behaviour.

What may I bring into the exam hall?

You may bring the following items into an examination:

  • Pens;
  • Pencil;
  • Clear pencil cases;
  • Clear water bottles;
  • Clear glasses cases; and/or
  • Calculator, if permitted for the exam, with no lid and all stored data cleared from the memory.

What am I not allowed to bring into the exam hall?

You must not bring any of the following into the exam hall:

  • iPod;
  • Mobile phones;
  • MP3/4 players or similar device;
  • Wireless earphones;
  • Electronic dictionaries;
  • Watches (unless previously approved as part of an access arrangement);
  • Your own paper;
  • Calculators (unless permitted for the exam); and/or
  • Memory sticks.

If in doubt, ask your teacher in advance or click here for more information.

Are there any electronic devices that I may bring into an exam?

The only electronic device you may bring into the exam, if permitted to do so, is a calculator. You must have cleared any internal memory or stored data on the calculator and remove the lid if there is one.

Ensure that all other electronic devices are stored in your locker or a safe area outside the examination room. If an electronic device belonging to you is discovered inside the exam room, even if it is not on your person, you could still be disqualified from the exam.

How can I avoid committing malpractice in my exam?

Your invigilator will remind you of the dos and don’ts immediately before taking an exam but it is important you know what to expect in advance of exam day.

During an exam or assessment, you MUST:

  • Sit in your allocated seat;
  • Follow all the instructions provided by the invigilator; and
  • Start and stop writing when told to do so.

During an exam or assessment, you MUST NOT

  • Leave your seat without permission;
  • Attempt to talk to other students during the exam;
  • Borrow anything from another candidate;
  • Pass or accept notes in the exam hall;
  • Engage in disruptive behaviour during the exam;
  • Use inappropriate, offensive, or obscene language in your script; and/or
  • Remove your exam script or question paper from the exam room.

You can find out more information by reading JCQ’s official exam guidelines.

Is it considered malpractice if I’m late to my exam?

If you are late for your exam, this is not considered malpractice. If you are late, you must not go to the exam room; you must report immediately to the School’s Examination Officer, and they will advise you of the next steps.

If you have a morning exam, always make sure you set your alarm early so that you arrive in plenty of time. Arriving late could make you anxious and you want to avoid that!

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is when someone copies another person’s words, thoughts or ideas and presents them as their own. For example, quoting from books or blogs on the internet, another student’s essay, or artwork.

Plagiarism is taken very seriously and, if found in a student’s work, they could be disqualified from the unit or qualification.

How can I avoid committing malpractice using social media?

Students are often advised to stay away from social media during exams because you may accidently share sensitive exam-related information without meaning to. This includes speaking about it or sharing it as a picture or photograph.

If using social media NEVER:

  • Post your assessment work which may allow it to be copied by someone else;
  • Share confidential exam/assessment-related information in advance of an exam/assessment;
  • Accept information on an exam from someone else which you have yet to sit; and/or
  • Share details about exam questions before an exam - whether you think these are real or fake.

If you are aware of rumours of exam content or have seen exam-related posts being circulated on social media, make your teacher aware.

More details are available here.

What happens if I’m suspected of malpractice in an exam or assessment?

Your centre must report all incidents of alleged malpractice to CCEA. Your school / college will give you the opportunity to respond to the allegations and seek further information from you about the alleged incident(s). They will also interview any witnesses such as invigilators, other students and relevant school staff. All relevant information will be gathered such as example unauthorised materials taken into an exam, mobile phone records, copies of social media blogs / records and any other exam / assessment work submitted by you.

Where exceptional circumstances may exist, you should tell your school/college of these during the interview.

A report of the incident, along with all the required information, will be sent to CCEA for consideration and a decision. CCEA will inform your Head of Centre of the outcome of your case including any penalties to be applied to you.

What happens if I’m found to have committed malpractice?

If you are found to have committed malpractice, CCEA will apply penalties in line with the JCQ Suspected Malpractice in Examinations and Assessments policies and procedures Appendix 5.

Penalties that may be applied include:

  • A written warning;
  • The loss of marks for a section, component, or unit;
  • Disqualification from a unit or from all units for that subject;
  • Disqualification from all CCEA qualifications entered for that exam series; or
  • A ban from taking assessments or exams for a set period, for example one year.

A permanent record will be kept of any penalties applied to your results. All other information relating to the specific malpractice will be destroyed after seven years.

However, if you follow the rules, you don’t need to worry!

What should I do if I suspect someone else committing malpractice?

You should report your concerns to a member of staff in your school immediately. If you feel you cannot approach anyone in your school, you can email [email protected].

You can also read further information here.

Post-Results Service

Can I seek a review of my marks if I am not happy with my results?

Yes, you can request a review if you are not happy with your results. The first thing you should do is to talk to your school or college as they will help you decide the best course of action and if you then decide to seek a review of your results, they will make an application to CCEA’s Post-Results Service on your behalf.

As is the case every year, there are agreed steps that CCEA’s Post-Results Service takes in line with guidance from the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ).

Post-Results Services options

Service 1:
Clerical re-check A clerical re-check is undertaken of a script and a statement of marks for the component/unit.

Service 2: Review of Marking by Component/Unit (i.e., by script/paper)
A review of marking of an externally assessed component (i.e., a script or other assessed item) is undertaken for an individual student including a clerical re-check and a breakdown of marks for that component/unit. A copy of the reviewed script will be available on request.

Access to Scripts
When requesting Access to Scripts, students should note that CCEA’s quality assurance checks on scripts before dispatch may result in a change of mark. Marks may go up as well as down and students should be aware of this before signing the request form.

The corresponding Mark Scheme will accompany all Access to Scripts request types.

Is there a charge for making an appeal??

Following a return to the normal process of examinations, the usual script review fees will be in place for Summer 2022 and following. More information on CCEA’s Post-Results Services, including fees, can be viewed in our Post-Results Support section

A fee will not be charged for these services in the following circumstances:

  1. If the script review results in a change to an overall subject grade (up or down) when a student has cashed in. No charge will apply to any units requested for the subject.
  2. If the script review results in a change to the notional unit grade (up or down). No charge will apply to the individual unit only.

What if I am not happy with the outcome of the Post-Results Service?

If you are not happy with the outcome of a Post-Results Service, you can then apply for an appeal through your school or college. Your Head of Centre will be able to support and guide you through the process if the circumstances arise.

Can my grade go down at a review?

Yes! One thing we always want students to bear in mind, that when using the post-results / appeals services, the outcome could lead to your grade going up, but it also means your grade could go down.

If a school or college intends to apply for a script review / appeal, they should request a photocopy of the script at the initial Post-Results-Review stage. If an original hard copy script has been returned to the school or college under the Access to Scripts Service, it cannot then form part of a review of marking or a subsequent appeal.

Resits

Will unit entries in Summer 2020 and Summer 2021 count as an attempt for resit purposes?

No. January 2021, March 2021 and Summer 2021 unit entries will not count as an attempt for resit purposes.

If I wish to resit my A2 qualification in Summer 2023, will the option of a unit omission continue to apply?

Yes, students who cash in their GCE qualification in Summer 2022 will be able to avail of the omission in Summer 2023 if they decide to resit. If they also decide to sit the assessment unit available for omission, they will be awarded the better grade from their performance in the mandatory unit or across all units.

Summer 2023

What assessment arrangements are in place for CCEA qualifications for the Summer 2023 exam series?

The Education Minister’s announcement on 21 June 2022 highlights the intention to return to a full (pre-pandemic) exam timetable at both GCE and GCSE level in Summer 2023. To take account of the impact of disruption experienced by young people, the Education Minister has announced that CCEA students will receive advanced information on exam topics, for all subjects across GCSE, AS and A level, for Summer 2023.

Will my AS marks from 2022 count towards my A Level award in 2023?

Yes, if public examinations go ahead as planned, AS outcomes from 2022 will contribute to the overall A Level award in 2023.

If I wish to resit in Summer 2023, will the option of a unit omission continue to apply?

Yes, students who take examinations this year and decide to resit in Summer 2023 will be able to avail of the assessment arrangements in place in Summer 2022. If a student resitting decides to take all assessment units in a qualification in Summer 2023, they will also be awarded the better grade from their performance in the mandatory unit(s) or from across all units.