How will the coronavirus pandemic affect my GCSE and A level exam results?

How will the coronavirus pandemic affect my GCSE and A level exam results?

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Since the government announced the closure of schools and that examinations will not go ahead as usual this summer, you may be feeling uncertain about what is next. 

Sarah from our Careers Education, Information and Guidance team has put together a Q&A with the information we currently have.

I was due to take my GCSEs this summer and my sister was taking  A Levels. What’s going to happen now?’

Don’t worry, GCSEs and A Levels will still be graded, and they will look just like the results you would have got any other year. Schools, colleges and exam boards are working together to make sure this happens.   

How will they do it?

Your school or college will work out an assessed grade for you in every subject. This is the grade they believe you would have achieved if teaching and exams had carried on as normal. 

How will they work out my assessed grades?

Your teachers will look at how you’ve performed in things like assignments, homework, classwork, course work and mock exams. They will also rank students; this means that for every subject and within every grade they will place students in order of performance.  

Will I have to hand in any extra work?

It’s up to your school or college to decide. However, you will not be disadvantaged if you’re unable to complete any work that was set after schools and colleges closed.  

Will my grades just be based on what my school says?

No, your school or college will send their assessed grades to the exam board, who will then look at all grades submitted and standardise them. This is to make sure everyone is treated fairly.  

Will my school tell me my assessed grades?’

No, they are not allowed to tell you.  

I’m home schooled. How will it work for me?’

If the school / college / centre where you had registered to take your exams has seen enough of your work to make an assessment then you will get a calculated grade. If they are unable to do so, you can ask to register at a centre which has more experience of this type of learning and assessment. However, there may be cases where unfortunately there won’t be enough information to award a calculated grade. If this happens you will have the opportunity to take the exams either this autumn or in summer 2021.

You need to: 

  • Contact your exam centre to ask whether they can assess your grades. 
  • If you wish to register at another centre, contact the exam board for details. 

When will I get my results?

A Level results will be issued on Thursday 13th August.
GCSE results will be issued on Thursday 20th August.   

Will the grades look different?’

No, they will look just like the grades you would have got in any other year and you will receive a certificate in the same way. 

Will the grades be accepted?

Yes, colleges, sixth forms, universities and employers have been told to treat the grades just as they would any other year. Remember that no-one is sitting exams this summer, so it will be the same for everyone. 

What if I don’t agree with my results?

Exam boards and the government are looking into this. Appeals will be allowed but possibly only on certain grounds, e.g. if there has been a mistake in calculating your grade. Your school or college will lodge the appeal.    

Can I retake?

Yes, there will be the opportunity to re-sit subjects either this autumn or in summer 2021. The plans for autumn resits, and the subjects that will be available, are still being drawn up but they should be published soon. 

What if I retake and get an even lower grade?

You will be able to use whichever grade is higher as your official grade. 

If you retake in the autumn will you get your new grade in time to start university?

This isn’t clear yet. The aim is to issue autumn resit grades by Christmas, but it will probably be after the new term has started. Universities (and also colleges and sixth forms) will try to be flexible but, if you’re thinking about autumn resits, you should seek advice nearer the time and consult with the university / institution concerned.  

I’m still in Year 10 but I was due to take some GCSEs this summer. What will happen?

You will get a calculated grade like Year 11 students.  

What’s happening with other qualifications?  

It will depend on the qualification. There are many different types, so this is complex and some of it is still being sorted out.  

Broadly speaking, for qualifications that are used for entry to university or further education you will, where possible, receive a calculated grade (as with GCSEs and A Levels). Many BTECs, for example, will fall into this group.

However, some vocational (work related) qualifications must also involve assessing your skills to make sure you are capable of doing the job. Where possible these assessments are being adapted so that they can still happen safely (e.g. online or through video). There may however be a small number of cases where the assessment will have to be postponed. This will only happen as a last resort and the assessment will take place at the first available opportunity.  

How can I find out more?

Keep in touch with your school or college who are working with exam boards to sort this out  

This information is being updated all the time, keep checking here for more.

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