Updated: Dec 3, 2020
GCSE students receive their exam results next week. A-Level Students in England received them yesterday. Some will be absolutely delighted with their results. Some will be not so pleased. This happens every year, but what makes it remarkable this time is that exams have been cancelled and students have been awarded calculated grades. Today we’ll look at what this means and what to do if you are unhappy with your results.
Ofqual (the exams regulator) issued a statement last month with explaining the process in detail, but to summarise calculated grades are based on a number of factors including; a students past performance, their mock exam results, internal teacher assessments, predicted grades and the past performance of the institution. The government have also said that students who are dissatisfied with their predicted GCSE and A-level grades will be able to sit their exams in the Autumn or next summer in all subjects to try to improve their marks, and recently announced a ‘triple lock’ adding that they can take the result of a ‘valid mock’.
The process is supposed to be heavily safeguarded, with students being able to appeal at their schools and colleges, if they feel that their grades were not fairly predicted, however many are concerned that this will not be the case.
Following the rescheduled Autumn exams, replacement certificates will be awarded to students "if students request this”, meaning students can keep their predicted summer grades if these are higher.
‘Research has shown that disadvantaged students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, those who attend state schools and ethnic minorities will be disproportionately and unfairly affected are more likely to be predicted lower grades than their more affluent and privately educated counterparts.
Should my child sit a resit?
The only option for students who are dissatisfied with their results is to spin the roulette wheel with high-stakes exams. I will be encouraging many of my students to participate in the resits (either Autumn or next summer) and in addition to what I’ve said earlier I will outline a couple more reasons.
· Many of the parents I work engaged me because their children may have performed poorly in the mock exams. Their calculated grades will take this into consideration, and I am reliably informed the November/December mocks students sat in 2019 will have a large weighting in regards to their calculated grades.
· Whilst many private schools have had a full timetable of online classes since the schools closed in March, many of my students who attend state schools did not, meaning they have missed a significantly large chunk of the learning time (Almost 1.5 terms, close to half a years worth of learning.)
· Following the rescheduled, replacement certificates will be awarded to students at their request, meaning that they students can keep their calculated summer grades if those were higher.
· Exams aside, preparing for them will allow students the opportunity to catch up on the learning that they missed during the lockdown period, filling in any gaps and making transitioning to higher or further education much easier.
For any parents who may be worried or concerned about their child’s calculated grade, please get in touch now and I’ll be happy to give more information or advice on what would be best for you and your child in your situation.
For more information on what you can do at home to study, please check out my other articles on how to own studying at home, my top 5 home learning resources and how to create the ultimate home learning zone