Official TSR thread: A-level and GCSE exams not going ahead in May or June as planned

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Charlotte's Web
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For the latest update as of April 3rd
>>Click Here<<



Some replies to this thread may be incorrect or misleading based on new guidance and information release.
Please see the thread linked above for the very latest.

How will my grade be decided?

For this summer’s exams only, your grade will be decided by your teachers. Your teachers will be asked to submit two bits of evidence.

First, they will be asked to estimate the grade you would have received had you taken all the exams and completed any other assessed work.

Secondly, teachers are then being asked to rank each student within each grade. So if 6 students have been given an A in a class, the teacher will then need to rank the 6 students who have been given an A.

They will be issued guidance on the sorts of things to take into account when reaching these judgements. The decision will be holistic and cover many aspects of work including classwork and non-examined assessment (coursework) . Mock exam results can be part of this but they will need to be judged in the context of overall performance and will not be the decisive factor.

Teachers are being urged to be ‘cautious’ about taking to consideration any work completed since the lockdown.

Teachers judgments will also be subject to statistical checks.


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Latest: Update 20th March 2020: Ofqual update (Source) : Ofqual will develop and set out a process that will provide a calculated grade to each student which reflects their performances as fairly as possible, and will work with the exam boards to ensure this is consistently applied for all students. The exam boards will be asking teachers, who know their students well, to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead.

To produce this, teachers will take into account a range of evidence and data including performance on mock exams and non-exam assessment – clear guidance on how to do this fairly and robustly this will be provided to schools and colleges. The exam boards will then combine this information with other relevant data, including prior attainment, and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student, which will be a best assessment of the work they have put in. Ofqual will be discussing with teachers'representative before finalising an approach.

The aim is to provide these calculated grades to students before the end of July. In terms of a permanent record, the grades will be indistinguishable from those provided in other years. We will also aim to ensure that the distribution of grades follows a similar pattern to that in other years, so that this year’s students do not face a systematic disadvantage as a consequence of these extraordinary circumstances.

There will also be an option to sit an exam early in the next academic year for students who wish to and University representatives have confirmed that they expect universities to be flexible and do all they can to support students and ensure they can progress to higher education.

This thread has been started as the PM has announced no exams will take place in May/June. He has assured the population that they intend to make sure students are able to get the qualifications they deserve and have worked for, although it isn't yet clear what this will look like in practical terms.

We know this is really worrying, stressful and upsetting for all students expecting to sit exams in the next season and will update the OP with any new information as it arises. For lots of people their university places, job offers or sixth form offers will rely upon this result. Please be assured that there are lots of community staff, volunteers and forum helpers here to support you through this so please do reach out if you are struggling. It's also really important to take breaks from the news/internet and look after yourself.

At the moment, all we know is that Boris Johnson has specifically said he won't go into details regarding when and how the results will be organised, but assured that this would be done fairly. We don't know at the moment how results will be obtained, whether this will be through postponed exams (seems very unlikely), other methods of assessment or use of predicted grades or mock results. We expect a press release to be given by the exam boards detailing their plan of action in coming days/weeks.

This thread is a place discuss any queries/questions and support each other through this

We also have an FAQ which you can find here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6404372


Update 19th March 2020: As of Thursday morning Gavin Williamson appeared on Sky News confirming exams WON'T be happening for this academic year. CLIP. There may still be testing or assessments. Expect more news this Friday (20th) as to how methodology for grading/qualifications will occur. In addition, Gavin Williamson has stated there will be a process of appeal should students be unhappy with their grades
'...but also making sure that we have a proper and fair system if they dispute that, if they are not content with it, there is some mechanism for them to have redress.'

We also now know that Scottish exams have confirmed to be cancelled, with a model to be put in place to award grades, accoring to Education Secretary John Swinney, “I anticipate that this model will use coursework, teachers assessments of estimated grades, and prior attainment as the basis of certification.”.


Update 20th March 2020: UCAS CEO has appeared on Good Morning Britain (https://www.itv.com/hub/good-morning...in/2a3211a2747 watch from around 2:15). Key points are not to make any rushed decisions as there is plenty of support. Remember that uni admissions teams and universities do already know a lot about you from your PS, reference, previous grades and prior attainment. UCAS are currently looking at some sort of alternative assessment alongside OFQUAL and the government. They have planned for scenarios to 'flex the system' for students this may not work for. The have stressed to please ensure your email address is up to date on your UCAS account.

Also, an update from Pearson stating their international exams will take place subject to individual country restrictions on gatherings. Where exams can't be sat, grades will be awarded using UK criteria for GCSE and A levels. https://qualifications.pearson.com/e...us-update.html

Update 20th March 2020: Ofqual update (Source) : Ofqual will develop and set out a process that will provide a calculated grade to each student which reflects their performances as fairly as possible, and will work with the exam boards to ensure this is consistently applied for all students. The exam boards will be asking teachers, who know their students well, to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead.

To produce this, teachers will take into account a range of evidence and data including performance on mock exams and non-exam assessment – clear guidance on how to do this fairly and robustly this will be provided to schools and colleges. The exam boards will then combine this information with other relevant data, including prior attainment, and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student, which will be a best assessment of the work they have put in. Ofqual will be discussing with teachers'representative before finalising an approach.

The aim is to provide these calculated grades to students before the end of July. In terms of a permanent record, the grades will be indistinguishable from those provided in other years. We will also aim to ensure that the distribution of grades follows a similar pattern to that in other years, so that this year’s students do not face a systematic disadvantage as a consequence of these extraordinary circumstances.

There will also be an option to sit an exam early in the next academic year for students who wish to and University representatives have confirmed that they expect universities to be flexible and do all they can to support students and ensure they can progress to higher education.

For advice, guidance and up-to-date information on Coronavirus/COVID-19, please check out the NHS, UK Government, and Mind (mental health) web-pages.
Last edited by 8472; 2 days ago
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Evil Homer
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Qualifications update from a school

Useful resources on TSR:

Study at home forum >>
A-level Study Groups >> (find other people studying your subjects here)
GCSE Study Groups >>
Study at home advice >>
University official rep updates on COVID-19 >>


Some useful posts from the thread:
Post by SarcAndSparkHi

As a teacher, I thought I'd share my speculation on how exam grades might be awarded going forwards. This is just my speculation, based on current JCQ guidelines, so things might totally change.

Firstly, for any qualification where you've already got at least 25% of the qualification achieved (e.g. via coursework, or BTEC module exams), this can be upgraded to a full grade. This is the current JCQ rule, and I don't see why this would change.

For qualifications where you've sat less than 25%, but more than 0%, it is possible for you to be given this as an overall grade, down to the discretion of JCQ. I think it's likely for people who've sat 10%+ of their qualification, at least, this will be the case- but this is just me guessing.

For exams where people haven't done any assessed work so far (so most of them), there's currently no way to give people a grade. I can see two possible ways things could go, going forwards.

1) Entrance to uni, college and other courses is done using teacher assessed grades, but these don't have official standing and people may need to sit actual exams at a later date.

2) People are given actual qualifications based on teacher assessment- this isn't the same as predicted grades, as teachers would have to evidence the grade they are giving students- e.g. using mock results, end of unit tests, in class assessments and so on. However, this is a lot of work for teachers and relies on them being able to get into school to collate evidence in some cases.

However, the government may have another plan they are working on, so I repeat this is just my speculation!

Post by Sir CumferenceIt's best to continue as normal for now until more information is released.

Post by PQInternational A levels are not controlled by the uk government.
Look for updates from your exam boards
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Treetop321
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Boris just said that.
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lighth_lawliet
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I wonder what his plans are for us to get our qualifications
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lighth_lawliet
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Thanks BoJo
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ambzzzz
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Very interested to see how this will affect medicine admissions 🤔
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Treetop321
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(Original post by lighth_lawliet)
I wonder what his plans are for us to get our qualifications
It would have been useful for him to actually tell us his plans.
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Aya_ceyr
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I wonder how this will affect STEP tests? will they be the same date or also postponed
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sqrt of 5
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are we going to repeat the year?
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Sophiewilkiinson
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Do you think postponement or based on predicted grades??
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tristanwalter1
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BBC seem to be reporting that they are cancelled, not postponed
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Sinnoh
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(Original post by Aya_ceyr)
I wonder how this will affect STEP tests? will they be the same date or also postponed
I think that one wouldn't be too hard to move online, since not many people take it
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ElliePearson567
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I hope they take into account all of our work, not solely just mocks
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Obolinda
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yayy
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MidgetFever
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Is this in terms of all exams?
University/GCSE/A-levels?

Haven't had a chance to catch up on it yet.
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8472
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Just to let everyone know i've merged some threads created at the same time for this.
Thanks all for sharing
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Scientist222
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They said they are not on this year!!! ( i think)
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PQ
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(Original post by MidgetFever)
Is this in terms of all exams?
University/GCSE/A-levels?

Haven't had a chance to catch up on it yet.
The exact words were that:
Exams will not take place AS PLANNED in May and June.

That was the entirety of the details that were provided.
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PQ
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(Original post by 8472)
Just to let everyone know i've merged some threads created at the same time for this.
Thanks all for sharing
Can you update the title to add in the “as planned” - without further details we don’t know if another form of assessment or a reformatted exams will be the new plan
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Treetop321
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(Original post by PQ)
The exact words were that:
Exams will not take place AS PLANNED in May and June.

That was the entirety of the details that were provided.
Do we have any idea when we will find out the alternative plan?
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