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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’.
You must have made final entries in the June 2022 series, and have approved component exemptions (also known as Covid-19 exemptions), to be able to submit candidates’ details in Direct. There are step-by-step instructions in the Guide to submitting candidates’ details for Covid-19 exemptions (PDF, 3MB).
There are step-by-step instructions in the Guide to submitting candidates’ details for Covid-19 exemptions (PDF, 3MB).
We must receive details of which candidates you would like to exempt from which components by 23:59 UTC+1 on 1 May 2022. After that date, you will not be able to submit your candidates’ details so please contact us with any queries.
If you are unable to see the ‘Covid-19 Exemptions’ area in Direct, check if you have made final entries for the June 2022 series. If you applied for component exemptions before the deadline of 17 April, check if we have approved them. If you submitted an application shortly before, or on, 17 April then you may need to wait 48 hours for us to process your application. You should then log in to Direct again and see if the Covid-19 exemptions area is visible.
Only components that are eligible for an exemption will be displayed i.e. not all components in a syllabus. If you applied for component exemptions before the deadline of 17 April, check if we have approved them by emailing us. If you submitted an application shortly before, or on, 17 April then you may need to wait 48 hours for us to process your application.
The components that can be exempted for each syllabus are listed on our website. If you select a combination of components that is not allowed, you will see a red error message when you click on the ‘Save Exemption for Review’ button.
When you have saved your exemptions in the Covid-19 exemptions area in Direct, you can check them by downloading a CSV file. These reports show all the exemptions you have saved for your candidates.
Yes – for details of which candidates you have exempted from which component(s), log in to Direct, select the 'Covid-19 Exemptions' tab and download the 'Exemption by Candidate Report' (as a CSV file) to see all of your candidates’ exemptions.
There are step-by-step instructions on how to review and approve or reject your Associate Centres’ exemptions in the Guide to submitting candidates’ details for Covid-19 exemptions (PDF, 3MB).
In the Covid-19 exemptions area of Direct, click on the ‘Manage Sub-Centre Exemptions’ tab. You can view and sort these using the ‘Awaiting Approval’, ‘Approved’ and ‘Rejected’ filter options. For more details, see our Guide to submitting candidates’ details for Covid-19 exemptions (PDF, 3MB).
If you have questions about submitting your candidates’ exemption details on Direct after checking our step-by-step guidance, please email us.
The last page of our ‘Guide to submitting candidates’ details for Covid-19 exemptions’ lists the different statuses and what they mean.
Yes – you must have an approved component exemption and submitted your candidates’ details in Direct before the timetabled exam. If a candidate takes the exam for a component from which they are exempt, we will use the assessed mark (not the exam mark) unless you tell us before the exam is taken that there has been a mistake and the exemption was unintentional. You must read our Exemptions regulations supplement for all our exemption regulations.
If you applied for an exemption before the 17 April deadline and we approved your exemption request, you should submit your candidates’ exemption details by 1 May. If you did not apply for an exemption before 17 April, please email us.