UAE: GCSE and A-levels students to be graded more generously this year

This is being done globally to lessen pandemic impact on students.

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Nandini Sircar

Published: Wed 16 Feb 2022, 4:52 PM

GCSE and A-level examiners will be asked to be more generous in 2022, as per head teachers in the UAE.

Principals of the English National Curriculum in the country explained that some advanced information will be released to help students with assessments.

Even examiners will be asked to be more lenient with their valuations while grade boundaries could be lowered across subjects.

Dubai British School, Emirates Hills, Principal, Simon Jodrell, says, “These changes apply to students in the UAE, and indeed all those globally, who are taking GCSEs and A levels this summer. So, for Summer 2022 to support the transition back to public examinations, each Exam Board has prepared for schools a package of changes for examinations. These packages vary for each subject or exam and include for example less content or fewer areas of study in certain subjects.”

He adds, “In other subjects' students will be given formulae or equation sheets to lessen the need to memorize as much information. The understanding is that examiners will be asked to be more generous in their marking providing a safety net for those students who may have missed much schooling due to Covid-19.”

Publishing some details of the topics that will appear is being taken in a bid to lessen the pandemic’s impact on students world over and the grades that they will get thereafter.

Principal / CEO – GEMS FirstPoint School, Matthew Tompkins, opines, “The last two years have created many challenges for us all, including the students who have been studying for their GCSEs. Exam boards and authorities have the difficult task of ensuring that children who have studied during this time are not disadvantaged or advantaged in any way.”

He further underlines, “this will allow employers, in years to come, to make accurate comparisons between students based on their results regardless of the year they graduated in. The boards have already written to us as schools to identify which areas of the syllabus the exams will focus most upon but have urged that we continue to deliver the whole syllabus as the broader knowledge will support the answering of questions fully. This will support students to focus their revision, but it will be important that they still reflect upon all of their learning whilst doing this.”

The GCSEs and A levels would take place this year after two years of disruption due to the pandemic.

These exams were all cancelled in 2021 for the second year in a row. Alongside, the results will also feature some teacher-assessed grades.


GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis, Secondary Principal, Andy Kai Fong said, “Our teachers and school leaders are well-practiced in providing accurate and rigorous assessment information that is based on everything we know about the students' performance, including rigorous mock examinations and portfolios of assessment evidence. As always, we would communicate all our plans directly with our students and their parents.”

“In the meantime, we are working hard with students to ensure they are continuously progressing and being given plenty of opportunities to showcase their learning and understanding. This year, we have added a further mock exam session to support students in their preparation, should that be required and provide a further piece of evidence should portfolios be requested again. This strategy will ensure our students are well-prepared for all eventualities.”

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