Our letter to students
Dear students and learners
I know this past year has been a very challenging and uncertain time for everyone, but particularly for those of you who were due to sit exams this summer. I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know what’s happening now and give you a little more information on how your grades will be determined this summer.
How grades will be decided
As all the exams for our general qualifications - including GCSEs, AS and A levels - have been cancelled this summer, the Department for Education has confirmed that your teachers will decide your grades.
Your teachers will only assess you on what you have been taught and, to do this, they'll use a range of evidence to make a judgement about the grade at which you are performing.
This evidence may include:
- mock exams
- past papers
- or, where applicable, other work such as coursework, essays or in-class tests.
Your teachers will submit your grades to us by 18 June. This will allow you to continue learning for as long as possible.
The same principles will also be applied to our international qualifications.
How exam boards will support teachers with grading
We’ll be providing your teachers with detailed guidance before Easter to help them in their grading decisions.
This will include information about grade descriptors - which describe the skills, knowledge and understanding we would typically expect students to be able to show at each grade, as well as examples of students’ work at certain grades from previous years.
How will I know that the grades will be fair?
I can confirm that this summer there will be no algorithm used to determine your final grades after your teachers have submitted their grades to us.
But there will be processes in place to check the grades that have been given within schools and colleges, and exam boards will also do sample checks to ensure that the grades you receive are as fair as possible.
This will include all schools and colleges providing exam boards with details on:
- the approach they'll be taking to ensure comprehensive standardisation and training of their teachers
- how they'll ensure there's no form of unintended bias or discrimination in the awarding of grades.
When will I get my results?
Results days will be earlier this year:
- 10 August for AS and A levels and International AS and A levels
- 12 August for GCSEs and International GCSEs.
Should you feel your grades don’t represent your achievements, you’ll be able to follow an appeals process. Details of the appeals process will be finalised shortly, and we’ll share that information with you as soon as we can.
Supporting all students and learners
We know this year hasn’t been easy, and we know that the next few months will also be challenging for many of you. But, as your exam board, we're totally committed to helping you, your teachers and your parents or carers navigate, as smoothly as possible, through the process the government has set out for us all.
We’ll continue to add further information to our Support page for students, parents and carers over the coming weeks to ensure the process is as transparent as possible and that you have the most up-to-date information.
Providing us with feedback
We'll make sure you have the information you need as quickly and easily as possible, and we’ll always be ready to listen if you feel there’s more we can do, or more you need at this time. You can share your thoughts and feedback with us through our feedback channel - and do follow us on Twitter:
Feeling a certain amount of concern or worry is natural when we encounter difficult or unsettling times, so we've put together a range of resources on our Mental health and wellbeing hub Do take a look at the resources available to you.
I’d like to wish you all the best with your continued studies, results and progression after your results.