2020 Exams Cancelled. How Will You Receive a Grade?

by | Mar 21, 2020 | A-Level, GCSE | 0 comments

Since the government cancelled all GCSE, iGCSE and A-Level exams on 19th March due to COVID-19; they said the grade you receive will be determined by:

  1. Non-exam assessment (Homework and past paper marks)
  2. Mock exam results
  3. Prior attainment (SATS or GCSE results)
  4. Teacher assessment (Finger in the air)

Clearly, they will be using your past performance to calculate your final grades. So, if you planned to turn up the gears closer to exams after taking it easy over the past few months, this might sound like really bad news. However, based on comments made by several experts, you may have some control over your final grades.

How will they use your past grades to calculate the grades you receive?

Ofqual, the exam regulator, are developing a new algorithm to calculate your grades using the factors listed above. No one knows for sure what this algorithm looks like, but it may use predictive models like the one created by John F Bell

Bell claims that you can predict A-level grades with a reasonable degree of accuracy by taking the sum of the square root of your top 5 GCSE grades. Other models that predict GCSE grades may also exist.

Algorithms, mock exam results, square roots…is any of this really important? Not really. Firstly, because you can’t control any of it so there is no point worrying, but also because your teachers also have a say in your final grade.

Which begs the question, who has the most influence over your future? Algorithms or teachers?

Who wields the most power over your grades?

In the past, exam boards and regulators don’t really tamper much with the grades that are submitted to them. Even if someone dies in your family before an exam, the maximum amount an exam board will increase your mark by is 5%. Picked up the flu on the day of the exam? You’re looking at an extra 2%. Not much right?

These adjustments are called “moderated teacher assessments”, and the DofE in their recent statement said they will use this approach for 2020 GCSE & A-Level results.

It shows that they will be relying mostly on your teachers judgement, and not on their fancy algorithms.

This means you should focus on persuading your teachers to give you the best possible grades.

What if you don’t receive the grades you want?

You will be able to appeal an exam board’s decision if you feel the grades you receive aren’t fair. There will also be an opportunity to sit an exam after your school or 6th form reopens.

We anticipate that many students and parents will use this appeals process and will be conducting continuous research over the next few months in this area.

When will I receive my A-level or GCSE results this year (2020)?

By the end of July.

Will your A-level predicted grades be your final grades?

No, the Department of Education realise this would be unfair and will consider other factors to calculate your final marks.

What if I'm unhappy with my grades?

You can appeal the decision, and if necessary, sit an exam after your school or 6th form reopens. You also have the option to sit your exams in summer 2021.

If I take the exam option, will I still be able to go to university this year?

This can't be guaranteed, but Universities UK have assured that most universities will be flexible.

Want to nail your exams?

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