The use of exam aids such as formula sheets will be permitted in GCSE science and maths exams for one more year, Schools Week reports.
A two-week consultation from Ofqual, published today, proposes allowing the aids to be used this academic year, in recognition of the impact of the pandemic on education. It applies to GCSE maths, physics and combined science.
The plan comes despite schools minister Nick Gibb previously saying there was an “expectation” that formula and equation sheets would not be offered for 2024 tests.
Ofqual said there was “strong support” for the aids in 2022 and 2023 and that they “had a positive impact on student confidence when preparing for their exams”.
Ofqual’s own review of those assessment showed “no evidence” that the tests were compromised by students using exam aids.
However, students taking GCSEs in 2025 will sit entirely “normal” exams without supports.
ASCL leader Geoff Barton said he believed the exam aids should stay long-term, as exams “should not be memory tests but a way of seeing how well students apply exam knowledge.”
The plans have been welcomed by unions, although there were concerns raised that the move had been announced “too late”.
The consultation runs until November 30.