Whether you are a school or college in Wales, work-based learning or any other type of learning provider, we’re here to support you and your learners as they endeavour to achieve the qualifications they need to progress in work, life or study.
Exams and assessments 2023-24
This academic year, we are taking the last step on our journey back to pre-pandemic arrangements for qualifications in Wales.
In this dedicated exams and assessments 2023-24 section, you will find everything you need to know about the arrangements for exams and assessments this academic year.
Guidance: contingency plans to enable you to run your exam series smoothly
It is important to have contingency plans in place to enable you to run the exams smoothly, whatever the challenges.
You will need to make sure you are aware of your specific responsibilities for local and national school preparations and contingencies and advice from relevant public bodies.
Given the events of the past few years, we know there is a small chance that alternative arrangements could once again be needed in the future.
Centres with learners studying for GCSEs, AS and A levels should therefore prepare for the possible implementation contingency arrangements, by planning what assessments they will be used to inform centre determined grades, should they be needed.
We have published updated guidance on planning for contingencies.
Four GCSEs are examined in November 2023; English Language, Mathematics – Numeracy, Mathematics and Welsh Language. There are no restrictions on who can be entered for these exams.
Provisional entry data collected by WJEC gives us an early indication of entry patterns for each exam series. We use this data to help plan our approach to overseeing the awards and to interpret the results. You can read our report on provisional entries data here.
Qualifications Wales works with Welsh Government and other partners on Power Up a nationwide campaign that has hints, tips and information to help get your learners through the 2022-23 exam and assessment season and onto the next level in their lives.
Exams are an important piece of the qualifications jigsaw and all centres must provide the right training for invigilators.
Our invigilation guide videos have been created to support exam officers, as part of their training sessions to invigilators.
Schools and colleges play a key role in maintaining the security of exam papers and it is important that your staff follow the rules set out by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) for the security of papers and conducting exams. This information is available on the Instructions for conducting examinations area of the JCQ website. WJEC’s website also has useful guidance on what to do if any security breach is suspected.
WJEC has guidance on contingency planning providing information on what to do if exams are disrupted in any way. We advise you to familiarise yourself with WJEC and JCQ’s guidance and to ensure that contingency plans are up to date and fit for purpose.
We’re often asked questions - and we're sure that you are - about the exam system and how it works. Things like, who writes an exam paper and how are exam grades set?
Exams 360 is where you’ll find the answers to those and other common exam related queries that may be asked by your learners or practitioners.
Qualifications in Wales database
Our Qualifications in Wales database (QiW) contains details of all qualifications that are approved or designated for teaching in Wales for learners aged under 19 - excluding higher education.
Information held on QiW includes qualification titles, numbers, start and end dates, awarding body details and further information - such as performance measures and whether the qualification counts as a choice for 14-19 learning pathways.
Strategic Engagement Team
Our Strategic Engagement Team maintains close relationships with examination officers, teachers, lecturers and senior leaders. The team develops centres’ understanding and knowledge of qualifications and the examination system.
They have a key role supporting exams officers to ensure accurate, efficient and secure administration of externally marked examinations and assessments.
The team carry out regular centre visits - in-person and virtually - and are responsible for providing clear and concise information and practical face-to-face guidance and advice.
You can contact the team on SETeam@qualifications.wales
All recent letters sent to Responsible Officers, Heads of Centres and other stakeholders.
We have been working closely with teachers, subject experts and many others to co-create proposals for the high-level design, content and assessment of a brand-new set of GCSEs.
We want to make sure that these new qualifications will help your centre make a success of the Curriculum for Wales and prepare learners for life, learning and work.
On 28 June we published our decisions after analysing your responses to this consultation. To read the decisions, please visit Made-for-Wales GCSEs.
Qualifications Wales wants practitioners from across Welsh education to help ensure that we are creating a qualifications system that is truly fit for the 21st century.
From time to time, we recruit individuals to help us with that work - please keep an eye on our jobs and opportunities section if you're interested and make sure that your staff and governors sign up to our monthly newsletters.
We also run regular consultations, surveys, and involvement sessions. Please see our Have Your Say site for more details on how your centre can get involved.