With GCSEs and A-levels cancelled due to Covid-19 and exam results replaced with Centre Assessment Grades, you may be wondering what is happening instead of exam Results Day this year.
Hopefully your school or college has made it clear what arrangements they are making, but if you’re confused, this guide should help you get a better picture of what is happening this year.
'Confused by Results Day 2020? This guide will help'
How will my grades be assessed?
As you know, students did not sit GCSEs or A-levels this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of calculating a grade based on your exam results, exam boards are developing Centre Assessment Grades.
Your Centre Assessment Grade for each subject will be based on the judgement of your subject teacher. They must base their decisions on evidence, including mocks, coursework, homework and any other record of your attainment.
For each subject, two subject teachers will sign off on your grade, usually your classroom teacher and the head of department. The exam boards will then standardise the grades to make sure they are fair. This means the grades you are awarded may in some cases differ from what your teachers submit.
Please don’t think your grades don’t count because you haven’t sat exams. You have worked hard during a really difficult and unusual time! The process for deciding your grades is thorough and these grades carry just as much weight as they would had you sat exams.
This video from the qualifications regulator, Ofqual, explains in a bit more detail how grades will be decided:
Your Centre Assessment Grades will be published on the usual exam Results Days:
- A-level: Thursday 13th August
- GCSE: Thursday 20th August
How will I access my grades?
This will depend on your school or college, but these are the most common options:
- Collect them from school/college.
- Collect them from an alternative location.
- Receive them by email.
At Success at School, we surveyed teachers and careers advisors to ask whether their schools will be opening:
- 62% said their school/college will open on GCSE Results Day while 26.1% said theirs will remain closed.
- 63.5% said their institution will open for A-level results, while 23.8% said theirs will remain closed (of respondents this was applicable to).
Your school or college should have informed you how to collect your grades. If you’re not sure, look on their website or get in touch with them. According to teachers and careers advisors who completed our survey, many schools/colleges have contacted students and parents by email, so check your student-mail before getting in touch with your school/college.
What support will I be offered?
Results Day is scary enough at the best of times – and we know that the added uncertainty may make it even worse for some of you. You are not on your own – schools and colleges always provide support for students. If you don’t get the grades you were hoping for, there are lots of different ways your school will support you.
According to the survey of teachers and careers advisors which we ran at Success at School, many are going the extra mile this year. The support available to you could include:
- A one-to-one appointment with the senior leadership team, or SLT – that means the headteacher, deputy head, assistant head etc.
- An appointment with a careers advisor.
- Entry to sixth form or college on condition that you resit your GCSEs in the Autumn, or on the recommendation of heads of department.
- Advocacy if you are applying to study at other colleges or university (this means your school will contact the institutions you are applying to and speak on your behalf).
Many schools and colleges will be offering support on the day as well. Of the teachers and careers advisors who filled in our survey:
- 85.1% said careers advisors would be on hand in their school/college.
- 69.1% said there will be access to the pastoral team (form tutors, head of year, pastoral support worker).
- 50% said they will provide guided access to resources and information.
- 43.6% said they will provide opportunities to talk to subject teachers.
- 16% said they will give students the chance to talk to friends and peers.
Can I appeal my grades?
You will be able to appeal your grades as normal through the exam board. This is something you should discuss with your school if you are unhappy with the grades you are awarded.
Make sure you know about apprenticeships which can provide a route to higher-education qualifications without going to university and with lower entry requirements:
We have guidance on what to do if things don't go as expected:
Look after your mental health before, during and after Results Day:
- How to cope on exam results day
- 8 tools to give your mental health a boost
- How to deal with stress at work and school
Images: Two students either side of a desk, teacher with student (cropped) via Thomas Tallis School Flickr account