Well, I’m sure none of us thought we’d still be in this situation a year ago. As much as things seem to feel the same, or even worse after 12 months of a global pandemic, it’s important to acknowledge how far we’ve come.
Globally, the vaccines have given us a lot of hope to return to a ‘new normal’, but on a personal and social scale, we’ve almost made it through COVID-19! We’ve all faced our own challenges, whether that’s losing a loved one, coping with mental health issues or keeping up with schoolwork; I can’t stress enough how important it is to recognise the challenges these 12 months have brought. Give yourself some credit for what you’ve been through!
Although the sun is spreading more warmth and the end to this is looking near, Ofqual, exam boards, schools and the government have given us a whole load of new information regarding this year's exams. In this blog I’ll be breaking down that information and what it means for you (we love small, manageable chunks of information… revision‘s best friend)!
Ofqual has also said that coursework must be completed. Under normal circumstances, this would probably have been done by now. However, your teachers may have told you to drop your NEA/ IRP due to mocks, work load or other school assessments. This is no longer the case after exam board guidance, so it’ll be worth checking in with your teacher for some more clarity on this. The content of your coursework may even be reduced due to this short notice.
Hopefully this should give you much more certainty with how grades will be given. There are both positives and negatives to this, as there is to anything. There will probably be more emphasis on work, essays and mocks from throughout the year. Maybe this gives you less pressure in any ‘mini mocks’. Or maybe it gives you that little bit of pressure and motivation to perform even better.
Yes, there could be an element of bias from teachers, especially if you do more humanity or essay based subjects (which may be better as teachers will know your progress and potential). Nonetheless, there’s no doubt there will be a standardisation process internally within schools to make sure that the grades and marking of teachers is fair and consistent. Remember, you can always appeal if you think your final grade does not reflect your work.
Just three more months until schools submit grades. Three more months until that long post-‘exam’ summer. With everything that’s gone on over the past year, we deserve it! Don’t get too stressed about any mocks or ‘mini exams’, they won’t solely make up your grade. Just try your best and make these next few months count!
For extra information feel free to visit BBC’s exam article and The Student Room
ANISHA MINOCHA is a sixth form student from Manchester, hoping to study English Literature and Spanish at university. She is a passionate writer and poet whose work has been published in anthologies, magazines, blogs and won competitions. Contributing to Sink Magazine, she is keen to utilize the voice of young people and share work through her creative writing blog. As a climate activist, she has combined her love for words and the planet in a performance of spoken word at the Royal Exchange Theatre in 'Letters to the Earth'. She also co-runs Young Friends of the Earth: Manchester and has organised workshops, participated in panels and spoken at Manchester Cathedral.
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