This week, students up and down the country will be getting results for their GCSEs. Here we answer some of your key questions.
How can students pick up their results?
Schools and colleges are able to tell students their GCSE results from 8am on the morning of Thursday 20 August. The exact arrangements for telling students their results are up to individual schools and colleges. Whilst results days may feel different this year, schools can still welcome students in to collect their results if they wish, as long as they observe guidance on protective measures.
What grades will GCSE students receive?
Students getting their GCSE grades on Thursday 20 August will receive their centre assessment grade, unless their calculated (moderated) grade is higher, in which case they will receive that. Centre assessment grades are the grades which schools and colleges considered students were most likely to have achieved had exams gone ahead.
Why are students now receiving centre assessment grades instead of calculated grades?
On 17 August the Government and Ofqual confirmed that students in England will receive centre assessment grades for this week’s GCSE results and last week’s A and AS level results, unless their calculated (moderated) grade is higher, in which case they will receive that.
Ofqual had consulted on and implemented a standardisation process for exam results this summer, but the system resulted in too many significant inconsistent and unfair outcomes.
Because of this, the Government and Ofqual jointly agreed to revert to centre assessment grades, which are the grades which schools and colleges considered students were most likely to have achieved, had exams gone ahead. This was deemed to be the fairest approach to avoid some students receiving grades that did not reflect their prior performance.
Students awaiting their GCSE grades will receive their final grades on Thursday. Students who received their A or AS level results on Thursday 13 August will be reissued their centre assessment grade by their schools and colleges. For both GCSE and A/AS level results, if students’ calculated grades were higher than the centre assessment grade, their calculated grade will stand.
Does this mean grades this year will not be comparable to other years?
The Government worked with Ofqual to construct the fairest possible model for standardisation to ensure that, as far as possible, standards would be maintained over time. When it became clear that the process of allocating grades resulted in more inconsistency and unfairness than could reasonably be resolved through an appeals process, the Government and Ofqual jointly agreed to award grades based on centre assessment grades instead. This does mean we will see increases in higher grades meaning results this year will not be directly comparable to other years, but it was deemed to be the fairest approach to avoid some students receiving grades that did not reflect their prior performance.
Will students will be able to take exams in the autumn?
Students will have the opportunity to take GCSEs in all subjects in November if they want the opportunity to improve on the grade they have received or were not able to receive a grade. Pupils will then be able to use the higher of the two grades they have been given, either from the autumn series or their previous grade. These autumn exams, barring art and design, will be based on exam performance alone, rather than coursework. Entry for the autumn series will be limited to students who had entered for the summer exams (or who made a compelling case to the exam board about their intention to have entered for the summer series).