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The components that are eligible for a Covid-19 exemption meet either or both of the following criteria:
For some literature syllabuses, the following criteria will apply:
You must have fully explored the ways in which you could prepare candidates for the full assessment and have found that it is not possible to do so, before you apply for a Covid-19 exemption.
Our assessments are designed to give candidates the best chance of showing what they know and can do in the subject area. When candidates complete the full assessment for a syllabus, it includes the greatest range of question types and tasks, which cover the different topic areas and assessment objectives. When a candidate is exempt from part of the assessment, it puts more pressure on the smaller range of questions that the candidate will answer. It removes an opportunity for candidates to show what they know and can do, and their grade will be entirely based on their performance in a more limited range of components. The risk of the candidate underperforming may be greater if they complete a smaller percentage of the assessment.
Being exempt from a component also means there is a greater risk that candidates who are absent for an acceptable reason from one of the other components (including, for example, illness, the need to self-isolate, or a ‘lockdown’ on the date of the exam) would not have sufficient evidence for us to calculate and award an assessed mark for the component they were absent for.
Applying for a Covid-19 exemption therefore means there is a greater risk that we might not be able to release a result for the candidates affected. The application form will ask you to confirm that you accept this risk and that you have made the candidates and/or their parents/guardians aware. You should therefore only apply for a Covid-19 exemption when:
If it is still possible to complete the course you should not apply for a Covid-19 exemption. Centres and candidates should prepare for and take as much of the assessment as they are able to. The full assessment for each syllabus will cover all the knowledge and skills that candidates should acquire in studying the subject. Therefore, taking all the components will give candidates a greater opportunity to show what they know and can do.
An exemption from a component also increases the risk that, if a candidate is absent from another component for example due to illness, we will not be able to calculate an assessed mark and we will not be able to release a result for the candidate. A Covid-19 exemption should be a ‘last resort’ if you cannot complete the teaching of the course in any other way.
No. You can select individuals or groups of students for exemption from a component. This allows flexibility in circumstances that may not affect all students – for example, if some students are learning remotely and others learning in your centre.
No. These exemptions can only be used for entire components your centre is unable to prepare candidates for. However, you may be able to apply for a component adjustment if one is available.
When applying for exemptions, you must tell us why your students cannot take the full assessment. We are not asking for further evidence. However, you must have explored how you could prepare candidates for the full assessment before you apply for a Covid-19 exemption.
No. We will make sure all students receive a grade that reflects their attainment.
You must mark exempted candidates as 'absent' on the attendance register. You must not put a '0' or any other information except 'absent' or 'A'.
You must give each candidate a written record of the exams from which they are exempt. Give this to them at the same time you give them their statement of entry. You need to give a list of candidates with exemptions to your invigilators for any exams where you have one or more candidates with exemptions. You need to keep a record of your communication with your candidates about their exemptions and the lists you give to your invigilators.
Section 7 of the Exemptions regulations supplement has information about exemptions requested in error and/or candidates taking exams for which they are exempt.
For internally assessed components, you must mark exempted candidates as absent (with an 'A', not '0') when submitting marks through Direct. When you fill in the Coursework Assessment, Oral Examination or Speaking Test Summary Forms, you must list the candidate's number and name and tick the 'absent' box against that candidate's row on the form. If all of your candidates are exempted from the internally assessed component, you should not submit the Coursework Assessment, Oral Examination or Speaking Test Summary Forms to us, but you should still mark your candidates as absent in Direct.
If your candidates complete other components in the syllabus, we will calculate an assessed mark for the exempted component. An assessed mark is an estimated mark based on the candidate’s performance in other components in the same syllabus in the current series. We combine this with the marks they gained in the components they were able to sit and produce a syllabus grade. The weighting of each component remains unchanged.
Private candidates will be able to apply for component exemptions through their test centre.
If you no longer require component exemptions for your candidates, please email us as soon as possible with the subject line ‘June 2022 Covid-19 exemptions’.