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Volume 448: debated on Monday 3 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether the planned harder questions at A-level for advanced students will be (a) sat as separate exams and (b) included as additional questions on examination papers sat by all students. (81772)

We received advice from QCA on A-level stretch and challenge last year and in January. Ministers agreed to trial three options: a separate section at the end of A-level papers; a separate paper; incorporate harder questions into all A2 papers and add to grading scale. QCA will begin to trial/model these options from the autumn through to February 2007.

The changes to A-levels will build upon the strengths of the existing qualifications in order to increase stretch and challenge, to provide greater differentiation in order to help universities choose between candidates with similar results.