No more January exams

What does this mean for me?

If you have come to this page you are probably aware that England's exams watchdog Ofqual have scrapped January AS/A2 exams in England as of 2014. Retakes or resits can now only be taken in the summer. If you are wondering how this will affect you, have a look through the questions and answers below. If you are still worried contact us to help answer any further worries or concerns that are still playing on your mind.

How does this affect me?
Do I have twice as many exams in the summer than I would have?
Do I now only get one chance to get the grade I need?
Am I at a disadvantage by only having exams in the summer?
How will I know how well I am doing in each subject?
Should I still prepare before the summer?
Should I still prepare at Christmas?
I can still re-take the following summer, so why does it matter if I do not get the grade I want first time round?
What is the point in revising before the summer?
Is it possible to cram in revision for all my subjects just before the summer?
Will this hinder my UCAS application?
How can I prepare for this and what should I do now?

Q. How does this affect me?

A. Rather than splitting exams between January and the summer, all exams will now be sat in the summer, with no exams in January. If you decide to re-take an exam, you will only be able to do this the following summer.

Q. Do I have twice as many exams in the summer than I would have?

A. The exams you would have had in January are now being taken in the summer, so yes, you will have more than there would have been.

Q. Do I now only get one chance to get the grade I need?

A. No, you can still re-sit an exam, but not until the following summer. This would mean the following year you would not only have the exams for that year, but re-sits. However, try your best to avoid this as otherwise you will have even more exams to revise for.

Q. Am I at a disadvantage by only having exams in the summer?

A. No. It may feel like that but as long as you plan, and organise yourself, you will be fine. Prepare throughout the year, and do not leave until the last minute to make sure you understand everything.

Q. How will I know how well I am doing in each subject?

A. Your school may still set you mock exams to check your progress and this will be a good indication of how you are doing, so why not treat it like a real exam? If not, test yourself.

Q. Should I still prepare before the summer?

A. Yes, to get the grade you deserve you need to keep on top of your work. Don’t just leave it until the summer. Make sure you understand your work as you are learning it otherwise you will become bogged down with unknown answers with not enough time.

Q, Should I still prepare at Christmas?

A. Yes. You may not have exams in January, but why not keep ahead and ensure you are confident in the first term of work. Prepare as though you do have the exams in January, you then have time to brush up on areas you are unsure on. You can then focus on the second term after Christmas, with less pressure of having to revise for 2 terms of work. However, this does not mean you should stop looking at your first term of work, keep familiarising yourself with it as often as possible.

Q. I can still re-take the following summer, so why does it matter if I do not get the grade I want first time round?

A. Yes, you can still retake the following summer. However, it does mean you will have one more exam to prepare the following summer than you would have if you have started preparing earlier. Therefore, taking time away from revising the new exams you will have.

Q. What is the point in revising before the summer?

A. By spreading your revision over the course of the year will stop you worrying as much when you get closer to the exams. By the summer you can tell yourself you have done as much as you can and feel confident when going into your exam.

Q. Is it possible to cram in revision for all my subjects just before the summer?

A. You can cram, but it does not mean you will remember everything for your exam and you will only panic and become more stressed. By revising throughout the year, you can continually fill in the gaps of missing information at a gradual pace, rather than trying to do it all at the end and panicking. Some information you learn for your first year exams, will still need to be known for your second year exams. By revising early and storing the information in your long term memory it is less you need to go over in the second year. Yes exams are stressful, but don’t make them more than they have to be. By keeping on top of your revision you will become more confident and feel more prepared for the exams . When you come to your final stretch of revision in the summer, you will only have to recap the work, and not re-learn.

Q. Will this hinder my UCAS application?

A. There is no reason that not having exams in January will affect your UCAS application. If you get good grades in your first year then you can include this on your UCAS, being more desirable to the University as you have proven you got the grades first time round. By preparing early, there is no reason you cannot do this.

Q. How can I prepare for this and what should I do now?

A. So, why not keep ahead of the game. Don’t just leave all your revision until the last minute. Spread it out over the course of the year. Move that knowledge into your long term memory. Treat your mock exams as real exams. Prepare throughout the year and take control of your own work. Don’t leave all your revision to the end and panic, keep ahead!

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