Results Day 2020: GCSE & equivalent, all you need to know

Results Day 2020: GCSE & equivalent, all you need to know

Sadie White No Comment

Thursday 20th August is GCSE and equivalent results day. It’s always an anxious time but this year there are more questions than ever. Sarah Traynor from our careers team looks at some of the questions you may have and provides some of her top tips on getting prepared so you’re ready to act to achieve your further education or training goals. 

How will I get my results?

Check with your school / college as they are each making their own arrangements. For example, you may be able to download them online or you may be given a timed slot for collecting them from school.

How did they work out my results – I’ve lost track!

There was a change of plan. Your GCSE results are the grades that were assessed by your teachers. They are based on several factors, such as your performance throughout the course and any mock exam results.

The original plan was for exam boards to then standardise the teachers’ grades. However, it was decided that the process wasn’t fair to everyone, so this plan has been withdrawn, except in a small number of cases where the standardised grade was higher than the teachers’ assessment. If this has happened, you will receive the higher grade.

What about other qualifications?

For vocational qualifications (e.g. BTEC) your teachers submitted actual grades for completed units of study plus assessed grades for other units. They were also asked to provide a ranking of students. The awarding body then standardised the information.

Hang on – why is it different for vocational qualifications?

There weren’t the same problems with the standardisation, for example, there were actual grades for completed units. There are a very small number of exceptions, which the awarding bodies are to investigate. If you have any concerns, then raise them first with your school or college.

Will my grades look different?

No, they will look the same as in any other year.

What if I’m not happy with my grades?

Schools can ask for the marking to be reviewed; and, in certain cases, appeals are allowed. Start by speaking to your school as they must do this on your behalf.

You will also be able to re-sit any subjects you’re not happy with in the autumn and then use whichever grade is higher as your official result.

However, these options will take time, e.g. re-sit results might not be published until early 2021. So, if you haven’t got the grades you needed, you may still need a Plan B.

Ok, so if I haven’t got the grades I need, what do I do?

Start by speaking to the college or sixth form where you hoped to study. If the course you want to do is offered at different levels, then you might be able to switch to one that matches your grades.

Just remind me what these levels mean!

Level 1 courses normally need GCSE grades 1-2 or equivalent. Level 2 courses normally need GCSE grades 3 or equivalent, including English and sometimes maths. Level 3 courses normally need at least 4-5 GCSE grades 9-4 or equivalent, including English and sometimes maths.

What about A Levels?

Things might be more complicated if you want to take A Levels as these are only at Level 3. You might also need higher than grade 4 to take certain subjects. This is an example of when you might need to look at different options and get further advice.

You can ring our helpline: 0114 2016644. You can also check out all local courses on Sheffield Progress:

What if I’ve done better than I expected?

Good question! If you’ve got the grades to start a higher-level course (e.g. Level 3 instead of Level 2) then ask if you can switch. If you’d like to chat to an adviser about it then ring our helpline: 0114 2016644.

How do I contact the sixth forms and colleges?

There may be a member of staff in your school, or available to speak to, on results day. If not, check their websites for a phone number or email.

How will I enrol on my new course?

Schools and colleges have each made their own arrangements. In some cases it might all be done online, in other cases you might have a timed slot, or there might be a mix.

To give you one example: The Sheffield College are asking you to first complete an online enrolment and to then book a timed slot, through Eventbrite, to go into the college with your results. If you haven’t got the grades you needed (or done better) you can go to your timed slot and enrol for a course in the same subject area but at the right level. There is also Open Enrolment on 1st-4th September if you now want a different type of course, or if you achieved less than Grade 2 in all subjects and hadn’t applied for Entry Level. Again, book a timed slot for this.

Everyone’s handling enrolment slightly differently so check the website of the school or college concerned, and make sure they have your correct contact details so that they can let you know what to do. They will need to see your results slip so make sure you keep it safe and take it with you.

They will need to see your results slip so make sure you keep it safe and take it with you.

How are they going to teach us in the autumn?

They have made plans for teaching while still following safe distancing rules. For example, there might be staggered timetables and one-way systems to avoid crowding. Parts of the teaching might be online. The school or college will tell you more.

What if I don’t want a full-time course?

Your main options are: Apprenticeships Apprenticeships are paid jobs with part time study. The entry requirements are set by the employer but also depend on the level of training, e.g. for an intermediate apprenticeship you may need some grades 3 or equivalent while for an advanced apprenticeship you will probably need some grades 9-4 or equivalent. The employer will also want young people who are ready for work.

Traineeships and study programmes Traineeships and study programmes can give you skills and experience to help you get an apprenticeship. They’re classed as full time learning so they don’t pay a wage but your parents / carers can claim Child Benefit for you (up to age 20) and, if you’re facing hardship, you may also get a 16-19 Bursary.

What other help can you give me?

We have vacancies for apprenticeships, jobs, study programmes and traineeships on our website:

You can call our GCSE results helpline: 0114 2016644 Thursday 20th August, 1.00-4.00pm Friday 21st August, 10.00-4.00pm.

If you’d like to chat about job hunting, applying for a course, or need any similar advice, we’re also running a helpline all summer on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays: 1.00-4.00pm. It’s the same number: 0114 2016644.

The National Careers Service also has an Exam Results Helpline: 0800 100 900.

If the anxiety is getting to you, talk to one of our lovely wellbeing workers at Door 43. You can also follow them on Instagram or contact them by emailing: [email protected]

Good luck!

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