Why weâ€™re starting to move to digital exams
The world around us is changing. The way we test students needs to change with it.
Students use technology every day. Theyâ€™re more familiar with digital formats than a pen and paper.
Digital exams have amazing potential. They can:
- be more inclusive and accessible
- allow for new ways to design questions
- transform how we see and report on performance
- help us build a more sustainable exam system.
Using technology to take exams is the future. That's why weâ€™re taking small, considered steps forward with digital exams.
Watch the video below to find out more about our vision.
The first step to digital exams
Working with teachers, schools and experts, we found that these subjects work well in a digital format.
Rest assured â€“ the taught skills and knowledge students need remain the same and there won't be any changes to subject content.
How digital exams will work
In 2026, our digital exams will be traditional exam papers just on a screen. All the familiar features of an exam will be there.
Students will be able to:
- bookmark pages
- return to questions with ease
- enter special characters or accented letters via specially developed toolbars.
Weâ€™ve spent the past two years conducting research, pilots and trials in schools to make sure that theyâ€™re safe, secure and fair.
Students will access the exam questions and nothing else.
They wonâ€™t be able to use:
- the internet
- spell check
- auto correct.
Other than the introduction of a screen, not much else is changing. Teachers, examiners and invigilators will play the same important roles, marking remains the same and security is still key.
Our digital exam platform
Weâ€™re committed to finding more engaging ways of assessing what a learner knows and can do. Thatâ€™s why weâ€™re working with the market leader in digital assessment to make sure that we get digital exams right.
Our demo includes example question types for a range of subjects. This isnâ€™t the finished platform, or an indication of which subjects might go digital next. This is your chance to have a look at the technology and see how weâ€™re preparing for all types of assessment.
See how our digital exams are coming to life. Itâ€™s best viewed on a laptop or desktop device rather than a mobile or tablet.
Research and reports on digital exams
We've done a lot of research on the topic of digital exams. To find out more, you can read the reports that weâ€™ve published.
Youâ€™ll have questions about digital exams and how theyâ€™ll work in your school. Weâ€™ll answer them, so that youâ€™re exam ready in 2026.
Over the next two and a half years, weâ€™ll be working with you to make sure youâ€™re prepared. Taking small steps together, weâ€™ll be on hand with detailed guidance, technical support and advice as you come with us on this exciting journey.
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