Changes to A levels and GCSEs in 2023: confirmed

The government and Ofqual have now set out how GCSEs and A levels will run next summer.

The Department for Education and Ofqual, the exams regulator, have confirmed that GCSE, AS, A level and VTQ exams and formal assessments in England will return to “near normal” in 2023 as the country continues to move on from the pandemic.

The Department for Education has confirmed that GCSE pupils sitting maths and science exams in 2023 will be given equation sheets so they do not need to memorise formulae, to help account for the disruption to learning caused during the COVID pandemic.

It has also been confirmed that GCSE modern foreign language exams are to be made easier by removing unfamiliar vocabulary from tests.

Main changes to exams in 2023:

1. Exam grades will be lower

It has been confirmed that fewer top GCSE and A-level grades will be awarded next year in an attempt to "bring down marks from COVID pandemic highs". Ofqual has said it expects results to be "much closer" to pre-pandemic years as a result.   


2. There will be some “protections” to factor in disruption to learning  

Dr Jo Saxton, the head of Ofqual, has advised that the 2023 cohort will be protected in grading terms if their exam performance is a little lower than before the pandemic. She said that “broadly speaking”, a “typical student who would have achieved an A grade in their A level geography before the pandemic will be just as likely to get an A in summer 2023, even if their performance is a little weaker than it would have been before the pandemic.”

3. No advance information but some formulae sheets at GCSE

The government has confirmed that students will not be provided with advance information on the focus of exams next summer. However, students will continue to be provided with support in GCSE mathematics, physics and combined science in the form of formulae and equation sheets.


Summer 2023 Exam Timetable 

The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) are consulting on the exam timetable for next summer, which seeks to maintain some of the space built into the exam timetable last year between the first and last exams in the same subject. This spacing was well received by schools and colleges in 2022 and reduces the chance of students missing all exams in a subject due to circumstances such as illness.

When is A levels results day 2023? 

Results day will be on 17 August 2023 for AS and A levels. 

When is GCSEs results day 2023? 

Results day will be on 24 August 2023 for GCSEs.