Tips & Tricks blog
SHOULD I KEEP REVISING, DESPITE EXAMS BEING CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS?
Whatever you call it – COVID-19, Coronavirus, The Corona, Miley Cyrus – the big question on everyone’s lips is: should I carry on revising for my exams, even though they’ve all been cancelled?
Government have said that you’ll have the option to take exams when schools re-open. This means, unless you are in year 13 with an unconditional offer, you should keep revising.
It’s absolutely true that GCSEs and A-levels during 2020 have definitely been cancelled for everyone (and the government are firmly sticking to that decision). But don’t rush to the Playstation, quite yet: it might be wise to keep your hand in.
Step away from the matches. Do not burn your books!
Sure, I can hear you groaning; but stick with me – these are bonkers times. And there’s a definite method to my madness.
At a time of considerable uncertainty, we need things to occupy our minds. None of us has ever experienced a pandemic like this before and it is new territory.
But, it’s not the end of days! Life will go back to normal soon enough. And we shouldn’t let our brains turn to rot in the meantime.
So, here are my tips for coping with this bizarre moment in history. And some answers to the questions that we’ve all been asking.
And – perhaps – we can help each other through this very unusual time.
But keep revising.
Cling on to normality
In moments like this, our regular routines have been interrupted. And, for some, that’s fine. But – even for the most bohemian among us – routine holds the day together.
Sure, some of us might feel that this extra time off gives us an opportunity to rise to the top ranks of our favourite online game.
But, revision is a step towards normality that we need right now.
This situation isn’t going to last forever. Chances are, we’ll be back to school in September. And the brain does get foggy if it’s left to stew.
So, treat this time as an extended revision period.
Consider your predicted grades
If you’re in Year 11 or 13, you’ll have predicted grades for your GCSEs or A-levels. But your final grade won’t be assessed on your predicted grades alone.
This national quarantine measure is exceptional – it’s never happened before. So, exam boards are taking extraordinary measures to ensure that we don’t suffer as a result.
Our grades will be calculated based on predicted grades, mock results, teacher’s judgement as to the grade you were heading towards, and your performance during teaching and learning sessions
Prior attainment (how you’ve done through the years in previous exams and tests) will also be looked at.
So, there’s a degree of discretion on your teacher’s part regarding your final grade.
How is this fair?
Ofqual is the government body that oversees the way our exams are graded, and they’re working to make sure that this unusual process is as fair as it can be.
This approach to grading an exam isn’t entirely new; although it’s never been used on a mass scale like this before.
In the past, exam boards have used what’s called “moderated teacher assessment” to find grades for students who can’t complete their exams – usually because of illness.
This is basically an extension of that protocol. So, this isn’t entirely new.
But, I think you should keep revising because you can appeal the final grade if you’re not happy; allowing you to sit the exam when school starts up again.
You could sit your exam next year
Perhaps you’re worried that you haven’t been performing at your best this last term.
Or maybe there have been reasons why you haven’t been getting the grades you usually manage.
You might be worried that you’ll be penalised with rubbish grades when you know you could have pulled it out of the bag in the exam room.
If this is the case, then you should definitely use this extra time to keep revising.
Just think – all this extra time you have to focus on your exams.
If you are going to sit the exam when schools come back in September, then you’ll be better prepared if you do regular revision right now.
What about places at university?
If you’ve been offered an unconditional place at university, perhaps you can relax a little. They’ve already decided that you’ve met their entry requirements.
Don’t sit on your backside all summer.
Maybe you don’t need to revise because you’re going to get your grades anyway (hopefully). But idle hands and all that – it’s never a good thing over a long period.
Use the time to conduct a bit of career research and build a professional network. Get yourself on LinkedIn. Perhaps even contact some prospective employers to give you a bit of advice about how to crack the industry.
Also, look to build up your soft skills by working on creative ventures or taking on some remote work experience.
The more occupied you feel, the more normal the world around you will seem.
Will the further/higher education providers accept this year’s grades?
In short – absolutely.
The calculated grades we get in 2020 will be considered formal grades, with precisely the same status as previous (and future) years.
Unis and colleges have confirmed that they will treat grades from this year as valid. So, don’t worry.
But keep revising, just in case you need to appeal your grade.
What about my conditional university offer?
If you’ve received a conditional university offer, it will still stand. And your given grade will be considered formal.
The long and the short of it all is: don’t panic.
We all feel like we’re stuck in a weird state of flux right now, but this situation will resolve, and we’ll be back to our normal way of life soon enough.
If you’re studying for your GCSEs, you should definitely keep revising – your studies are not over yet. You’ve got A-levels or college to come. Keep the brain ticking over while you have this extended break.
Sure – you’re going to have some extra time on your hands, but while we’re all in lockdown, you might as well study; it’s not like we’re allowed out!
Check out our blog for revising and studying tips, and – most importantly – keep active.
Tell us what you think
The most important thing to do right now is to keep talking. We need to keep communicating with each other to make sure that we’re all OK.
Why don’t you use the comments forum underneath this article to share how you’re feeling? Let us know how you’re using your extra time to approach your revision.
Remember, a problem shared is a problem halved.
Keep revising, people!
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.
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