THERE will be no end of year exams in Wales again in 2021.

The news was announced by education minister Kirsty Williams on Tuesday, November 10.

Instead of the exams, GCSE, AS-level and A-level grades will be decided by coursework and assessments. This is due to the ongoing disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The teacher managed assessments will be delivered under teacher supervision in the classroom but are set and marked externally.

Ms Williams said: “The well-being of learners and ensuring fairness across the system is central in our decision-making process.

“In line with the recommendations of both Qualifications Wales and the independent review, there will be no exams for GSCE or AS-level learners next year. A-level students will also not be required to sit exams.

“We remain optimistic that the public health situation will improve, but the primary reason for my decision is down to fairness; the time learners will spend in schools and colleges will vary hugely and, in this situation, it is impossible to guarantee a level playing field for exams to take place.”


This will not impact university applications as the universities throughout the UK were consulted and have confirmed they accept many different types of qualifications. Ms Williams said: “They expect a transparent and robust approach which provides evidence of a learner’s knowledge and ability.

“Our intended approach does just that, as it is designed to maximise the time for teaching and learning.

“Cancelling exams provides time for teaching and learning to continue throughout the summer term, to build the knowledge, skills and confidence in our learners to progress in whatever they decide to do next.”