Back to News

Posted 05.03.24

Revolutionising Assessment: Could Students Be Taking Digital Exams by 2025?

In a groundbreaking move at the beginning of 2024, Pearson Edexcel announced their intention to revolutionise the assessment process by introducing the option for students to take their GCSE exams on digital devices. Pending approval from Ofqual, English Literature and Language exams could take a digital form as soon as 2025, with the remaining subjects following suit by 2030.

Far from eliminating traditional pen and paper exams, the intention of this shift is to open up new avenues for students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Students will be offered the choice between taking the current standard written format of examination or the digital examination format, allowing pupils to cater their assessments to their preferences so they can better focus on the content.

Realising the Benefits of Digital Assessment

Potential benefits of digital exams include easier accessibility adjustments – customisable font sizes and colour filters, providing a more inclusive testing environment – the convenience of copying and pasting text, highlighting and annotating exam papers and more.

General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, Geoff Barton, said of the change, “as well as being more accessible for some students, digital exam papers should prove simpler to mark, easier to transport and hopefully less expensive to administer,” highlighting the benefits not only for students, but for examiners as well.

Reinforcing Equity

The move towards digital assessment is part of a broader trend in the education sector. Pearson Edexcel is not the only examination board that has expressed interest in adopting digital channels as a means of modernising assessment processes. As well as updating the format of examinations, the shift has provided an opportunity to delve deeper into the conversation regarding equity in education.

Steve Rollett, Deputy Chief Executive of the Confederation of School Trusts, welcomed the initiative, emphasising its potential to enhance accessibility and equity in exams, stating that his organisation hopes this development “will support children, while retaining the overall integrity of the exam system.”

Equity is the idea of providing everyone with a level playing field – no matter their race, gender or economic background – and should not be confused for equality. Equality would see the newer digital format replacing the written exam altogether. Giving students the choice of how they take their exams means that those who struggle with the more traditional format will now have a chance to better showcase their knowledge on a subject without needing to worry about how the exam is carried out in the same way that those more comfortable with the pen and paper format have been able to thrive under test conditions in the past.

The Impact of EdTech

Sync supports schools around the UK with the implementation of Apple technology in the classroom. From enhanced teaching and learning practices to improved accessibility options, and even streamlined assessment, ed tech provides educators with the tools to transform their classrooms.

Find out more about the impact of tech in education by speaking to one of our Apple experts today.

Want to stay in Sync?

Sign up for all the latest news, events and updates from Sync.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.