7th May 2021
We now know more about how teacher-based assessments could work this summer, so our Head of Academia, Simon Pedley, has shared three tips for pursuing top grades.

1. Speak To Your Teacher

The first thing you need to do is talk to your teacher about how your grades are going to be assessed. They aren’t obliged to tell you what your grade would be under their assessment plans – but they should be able to tell you what those plans are.

It’s important that you understand how they’re planning to award grades, so you can make sure you’re preparing in the best way possible. This will vary between schools – and maybe even within subjects – so you need to get your information from the source.

For example, half of schools and colleges said they’re planning to give more weighting to exam-style papers than other forms of assessment. 53% of respondents to a recent survey by the Association of School and College Leaders reported that was their intention. A quarter said they’d give equal weighting to all of the assessment methods.

Schools and colleges can mix up their assessment methods. The majority (89.4%) are planning to use ‘chunked’ or partial exam-style questions done in shorter time periods. A similar amount (84.4%) will use non-examined assessments. While half said they’d use classwork, the least popular assessment methods were full exam-style papers done under exam conditions (39.5% plan to use this), and homework (35.3%).

The important thing to remember is that your school or college can choose how they assess you this summer – and they can use any combination of methods to gather evidence. Make sure you speak to your teacher to find out what their plans are – and don’t forget to ask about dates, too.

The deadline for your school or college to submit their assessed grades for every student is only six weeks away!


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2. Check Your School Or College’s Syllabus

You can only be assessed on material that’s been taught by your teacher – and the best way to check what’s been taught is to check the syllabus. You should do this to make sure that you haven’t missed anything because you were absent or had technical difficulties while home learning, for example.

This will also give you a clear outline of the information you’ll be assessed on, which will be a helpful study guide.

If you realise you’ve missed some teaching, or you find you’re struggling with some of the material, you might want to consider STEM tutoring. We’ll be able to help you fill the gaps in your learning with one-to-one, private tuition.

3. Look For Exam Board Materials

Exam boards have publicly shared materials that you can use to prepare for your grade assessment. Some of this will be in the form of question set packs, which you can work your way through. There could also be previous past papers or other additional material that will help you study for the summer.

How to find the materials:

Once you know how you’re being assessed, and what material you’ll be assessed on, you can be selective with the materials that you use.


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