With the recent controversy over A Level results, people are beginning to worry about this week’s GCSE results day. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, results day and appeals have a different process to normal for 2020.
The education secretary Gavin Williamson has announced a "triple lock” process whereby students can either:
Accept their calculated grade
Appeal to receive a valid mock result
Sit exams in the autumn
Usually schools open at 8am for students to collect their results. However because of the pandemic, some schools may stagger opening times or email results instead - so be sure to keep an eye on any communications from your school.
2020 GCSE grades have been calculated differently because coronavirus prevented any exams being sat. This year’s GCSEs have been calculated using two pieces of data provided by schools. The data to be used is the centre assessment grade (the grade your school thinks you would have achieved had you sat the exam) and the student’s rank order position (the order of students by performance for each grade within a subject).
Centre assessment grades are calculated by schools using mock exam results as well as classwork and assignments undertaken throughout the GCSE period. Schools do not need to provide exam boards with supporting evidence for these grades, but exam boards may require this if they have any queries regarding grades.
Obviously with A Level results having been in the news since they were announced last week, many GCSE students and parents will be apprehensive about this week’s GCSE results day. The important thing is not to worry. Where a student has been awarded a grade lower than they were expecting, there is a chance to resit in November.
Usually, if a student had a place at sixth form or college pending, it is possible to request that the exam board complete a priority re-mark. Because no exams were sat this year, this option is not available.
As a general rule, if you have a query regarding GCSE grades, the first port of call should be the school - they can tell you honestly whether they think the grade is correct based on their assessment. They will also be able to provide you with details of the examining board, so that you can get in touch with them if required.
If a student has received grades which mean they cannot get onto their chosen course, it is always worth speaking to the college or sixth form. Many students may be in a similar position this year, and education providers may still honour the offered place.
The government have yet to confirm details for how to request that mock exam results be used instead, but this is expected soon.