Ofqual has also ensured that students taking legacy GCSEs will have the chance to resit English, English language, mathematics and in GCSE science and additional science qualifications that exam boards currently offer. The exams regulator will allow exam boards to choose whether to provide resit opportunities in all other legacy GCSE subjects.
The decision, following a public consultation, means that those taking legacy exams during the period of reform will not be forced to study for reformed qualifications should their original results not go to plan.
At AS and A level, students will have the chance to resit in May or June the following year.
At GCSE, exam boards must provide two resit opportunities for legacy English, English language and mathematics; one in November 2016 and one in summer 2017. For those taking GCSE science in summer 2017, exam boards will offer a resit in or before summer 2018.
Julie Swan, acting Executive Director for General Qualifications at Ofqual, said: “I am pleased that we can ensure that no student taking AS or A levels will have to effectively study for a new qualification if things don’t go to plan the first time around.
“We are also requiring exam boards to offer resits in those GCSEs that are crucial in allowing students to progress. This is essential to maintain fairness between cohorts, particularly at such a pivotal point in students’ academic careers. We came to these decisions after our consultation showed overwhelming support for them.
“We are placing restrictions on who can take these resits. These are to ensure that only those students who need to access a resit take them and those that we expect to take a reformed GCSE, AS or A level qualification do that instead.”
The consultation opened in December 2015 and closed in February 2016. Ofqual received more than 400 responses. The full consultation outcome can be read here.
The dates for last teaching, last exams and resits in legacy GCSEs, AS and A levels has been updated to reflect the consultation outcome.
For more background about the consultation and how we reached our decisions, watch our latest edition of Inside View:
Ofqual’s Inside View, 24 March 2016