Exams

Ofqual confirms plan for GCSE exam aids in 2024

Exams regulator green lights formulae and equation sheets for one final year

Exams regulator green lights formulae and equation sheets for one final year

GCSE maths, physics and combined science students will be given exam aids for one final year due to the pandemic disruption, Ofqual has confirmed.

The exams regulator said it is going ahead with proposals for students to be given formulae and equation sheets this academic year.

In January, exam boards must publish these so students can become familiar with them before the tests. Clean copies will be provided for the exams.

They will be the same as those used in 2023 exams, Ofqual said.

The regulator launched a consultation last month proposing continued support for a final year “in view of the disruption this cohort of students may have experienced”. 

Ofqual said there was “strong support” for the aids in 2022 and 2023 and that they “had a positive impact on student confidence when preparing for their exams”. 

Students preparing for GCSE maths, physics and combined science in 2025 and beyond will be expected to know and recall all the usual formulae and equations.

Broad support for exam aids

The consultation received 21,181 responses. More than 9,000 of these were students. GCSE students in 2024 would have been in year 7 when the first lockdown hit.

One student told Ofqual that they missed a “great deal of the foundation education that would help to support us in our GCSEs”.

But one teacher said the decision was “being taken too late,” adding: “Students have been learning these equations for over a year already and could have focused their time elsewhere.”

Overall, 95 per cent supported the formulae sheets, while 96 per cent agreed equation sheets should be provided.

Outgoing Ofqual chief regulator Dr Jo Saxton previously confirmed there would be no grading protection in 2024.

This summer’s exams marked the end of a two-year plan to remove pandemic inflation. 

Returning back to pre-pandemic standards means “people know what that benchmark is and what students need to know, understand and do to achieve a certain grade,” Saxton said

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