GCSE and A level exams What do you need to know?
This page was updated on 19th August 2021.
Autumn exam session
The autumn exam series is an opportunity for students who were either unable to receive a Teacher Assessed Grade (TAG) this summer, or who want to try to improve their grade, to sit their exams.
AS and A level exams will run from 4th - 22nd October, 1st - 9th November for GCSE Maths and English and all other GCSEs will run from 15th November - 3rd December.
FAQs: Autumn 2021 Examinations A level and GCSE - updated 19th August 2021
The following FAQs are correct as of 19th August 2021 and have been developed in good faith using the information that we have to date. Please be aware that NEC has to follow the guidance provided by Ofqual and the awarding bodies.
If you were entered for exams this summer and decided to defer your exams, or if you were unable to receive a TAG you will be eligible to enter for exams this autumn. In addition, students who receive their grade this summer and want to try and improve on this will also be able to enter.
Whilst most exam subjects will be available in this session, there are a handful of subjects that will not. AS exams are limited to Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Further Maths. Additionally, IGCSE French and Spanish will not be available. All students entered through NEC have been contacted and advised that the next opportunity to sit their exam/s will be in summer 2022.
If you were entered through one of our partner exam centres, or if we took on your entry and then were unable to proceed with your TAG request, you should have now heard from us. You won’t need to complete a new application form, but we may ask you to confirm some details. No additional fee will be required unless we have already informed you otherwise. We will be in touch with all deferred candidates towards the end of August to confirm your entry.
Yes. As long as you can provide us with your Statement of Entry or confirmation from the private centre to show that you had an entry in place for summer 2021 this will not be a problem. You will need to complete our Autumn 2020 Exam Application and submit it by 19th August for AS and A levels, 27th August for Pearson IGCSEs, 31st August for CAIE IGCSEs and 13th September for all other GCSEs. Applications received after this date may incur late fees. Once we have received your completed form we will contact you to take payment.
Please complete our Autumn 2020 Exam Application before the deadlines above. Once we have received your completed form we will contact you to take payment.
Most centres will be able to accommodate you, but for some smaller centres it may be on a first come, first served basis. With this in mind we would urge you to get your application form submitted ASAP (and definitely before the published deadline) and to select a second choice centre.
If you take exams in the autumn and achieve a different grade from the grade you received this summer, you will be able to use the higher grades to show to universities, colleges and employers in future.
If you were entered at one of the NEC partner centres then this shouldn't be an issue. If you were previously entered at a private centre and are now wanting to be entered through one of the partner centres then this may be more problematic due to time. In addition, if you didn’t apply in time for access arrangements at one of our centres and now wish to add this, this may also pose a problem. However, we will do all we can, so please do ask and we are happy to confirm what would be possible before you officially apply.
No, exams will be in their normal format. However, there will not be any non-examination assessment (NEA).
No. The autumn results will be based on your exam performance alone, there will be no NEA and results from previous NEA will not carry over.
If you have previously completed the endorsement, please let us know when you apply for exams to ensure it is awarded on results day.
Students who had entered for the summer 2021 exams, or those that intended to enter are eligible. Ordinarily November entries for GCSE Maths and English require students to be at least 16 on 31st August 2021. However for this autumn, as long as you had a summer 2021 entry in place, or intended to enter, this requirement does not have to be met.
You should speak to your college or university directly as they make their own admission decisions.
A level results day is Thursday 16th December 2021
GCSE English Language and Maths results day is Thursday 13th January 2022
GCSE results day for all other subjects (including IGCSEs) is Thursday 24th February
All centres will be adhering to government guidelines surrounding COVID-19. Centres should pass on any safety rules and check-in information to you as soon as they can after your entry has been confirmed.
This may be possible but additional fees may apply. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further.
- Ofqual - A message from Simon Lebus, Chief Regulator, on exams 2021 (published 06/01/21) - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/a-message-from-simon-lebus-chief-regulator-on-exams-in-2021
- Ofqual - Simon Lebus responds to the Secretary of State's letter of 13 January 2021 (published 13/01/21) - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/simon-lebus-responds-to-the-secretary-of-states-letter-of-13-january-2021
- Ofqual - How qualifications will be awarded in 2021 (published 25/02/2021) - https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/how-qualifications-will-be-awarded-in-2021
- Ofqual - Decisions on how GCSE, AS and A level grades will be determined in summer 2021 (published 25/02/2021) - https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/964597/6747-1_decisions_-_GQ_consultation_on_awarding_grades_in_2021.pdf