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The 2021 School Exams: What Changes Will We Face?

Let’s overview main international school exam changes post covid, and figure out how to prepare for them and when it is the b

Following the pandemic situation, education establishments continue to move the exam dates. Students face hurdles applying and sitting the exams, and do not know what deadlines to stick to at all. The same concerns their parents who are afraid of consequences.

Let’s overview main international school exam changes, and figure out how to prepare for them and when it is the best.

Changes to 2021 School Exams: What Is Already Known?

Disruptions to the school curriculum hardly occurred in every country. Commonly, everything depends on the COVID-19 test. If a student falls ill (tests positive) just right prior to sitting the exam, they may try their luck one more time. For instance, such an algorithm of chances is visible following the next examples:

  • Japan. Those who tested positive may re-sit the exam again the same month;
  • South Korea. Students are given a chance to re-sit within two weeks;
  • China and Vietnam also postpone the dates 2 weeks – 1 month later.

If speaking of such countries as Indonesia or India, they went even further. To avoid the spread of the COVID-19, they canceled exams. Students receive grades only based on their performance. Yet, it does not concern the exams for entering the university.

Moving to Europe, several countries including the UK, Norway, France canceled the school-leaving examination as well. While Italy accepts only oral exams with no need to pass any written examinations.

Meanwhile, educational organizations worldwide such as Cambridge International developed online tests.

All in all, most countries took the step of canceling most of the exams in 2021 or at least postpone them.

You might wonder what to expect? Depending on your country of residence, and the country where you plan to apply for education further on, you should solely contact the educational establishment for a follow-up. For instance, the UK is already known to cancel their A-level exams. Still, most schools focus on the health situation in the area. It means where the pandemic is not at its extreme levels, the school reserves the right to organize exams.

How Will Your Grade Be Finalized?

Since in most schools, teachers are given a right to mark students’ performance following the disruption of school exams, students fear outcomes. Especially, it concerns those who planned to boost their final grades with the exam but now have to worry about their past performance. How will the evaluation be ongoing?

  1. Teachers will take into consideration students’ previous exams, coursework, papers, essays, and other evidence that may hint them best at the possible grade;
  2. Teachers will collaborate closely with the exam boards to decide on the optimal grade for an award;
  3. Students are most likely to receive their final grades approximately in August (varies among countries and educational establishments). GCSE – In the mid of August, A-level – earlier in August;
  4. Every student reserves the right to challenge the final grade. It will be free of charge.

It is worth adding some information to the 4th point. Students who are left unsatisfied even after challenging their final grade may try again but with the exam boards who will assess them. Such a process may take place approximately in the autumn.

All the above-mentioned information is based on most European countries, in particular, the UK. What about US standardized tests? Should students worry about sitting the exams or they are postponed as well?

US School Exams

Since last year, President Donald Trump canceled all standardized tests in all 50 states. Yet, with the election of a new president Joe Biden, changes may apply. As per his administration, exams are likely to take place. At the same time, there won’t be any grades for schools. It means that schools, where students managed to earn poor results, won’t suffer from reduced budgets, etc.

As of now, some states have already requested to postpone the standardized tests. It concerns Michigan, New York, South Caroline among others. The administration and local authorities have to review those requests and finalize them. After that, the national solution will come in force. Therefore, the US school exams may still take place, however, again based on the pandemic and risks involved in sitting those tests.

Alongside those requests, there are also hurdles with students’ parents. Since every school (which potentially may organize exams) will accommodate at least 90% of students, the risks involved are high. It means that students may fall ill even when everyone comes with a negative test. Thus, parents do not show their willingness to send their children to school for any kind of examination.

How to Know More About School Exams?

As was hinted above, the rules and deadline dates for school exams radically vary depending on the country. You have to follow up with an education establishment and your teacher. If the exams are canceled, the grade is most likely to be set based on one’s performance including past examinations, papers, coursework, etc. If the exams are set, the positive test for COVID-19 must be obligatory.

You may learn more at Cambridge Assessment and International Baccalaureate.

Beyond that, your school may have an official website where the exam board informs all the students about upcoming exam days.

If you are not able to sit the exam for health reasons including the COVID-19, you should provide confirmation of that illness. It may be a test or your doctor’s referral. After that, it will give you an opportunity to re-sit the test or exam. Commonly, the re-sitting of all the school exams is ongoing within 2 weeks or the next month based on the school’s curriculum.

If you want to challenge your grade, please ensure to learn more with your professor or a specialized company, like, that offers academic writing assistance to students. If you plan to enter the university abroad, do also ensure what tests or application examinations will be required for your particular case. Some countries that continue with exams may occasionally make advances with situations when international students could not have sat the exam in their countries due to rules.