A level grades from U to an A* 2020 URGENT

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laptop100
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Hi, so im a private candidate who is holding offers to start university this September. I am a retake candidate who needs AAA to go to university. In year 13 at sixth-form, I had a close family bereavement which impacted me so in my first attempt of A-Levels I ended up getting U chemistry (aqa) U Biology ( AQA) and D in economics (aqa). This year i have been working hard and have received conditional offers subject to me achieving AAA. As a private candidate I was made to sit an exam paper to gather evidence along with lessons, in the papers I achieved 3A* s. I was also predicted 3 As on my UCAS. So my question is what do you think I will get? will my extenuating circumstances be taken into consideration? AQA were unaware of this... what should I do I am really stressed? Even if my head of centre have submitted for me 3A*s as my grade to AQA will that do anything or will my grades be pushed down to like a D? I think its useful to mention my centre was very strict with gathering evidence and has recordings of us doing the unseen paper with evidence. also the centre is known for producing good grades in the region..... Please any help/advice would be appreciated
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Muttley79
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(Original post by laptop100)
Hi, so im a private candidate who is holding offers to start university this September. I am a retake candidate who needs AAA to go to university. In year 13 at sixth-form, I had a close family bereavement which impacted me so in my first attempt of A-Levels I ended up getting U chemistry (aqa) U Biology ( AQA) and D in economics (aqa). This year i have been working hard and have received conditional offers subject to me achieving AAA. As a private candidate I was made to sit an exam paper to gather evidence along with lessons, in the papers I achieved 3A* s. I was also predicted 3 As on my UCAS. So my question is what do you think I will get? will my extenuating circumstances be taken into consideration? AQA were unaware of this... what should I do I am really stressed? Even if my head of centre have submitted for me 3A*s as my grade to AQA will that do anything or will my grades be pushed down to like a D? I think its useful to mention my centre was very strict with gathering evidence and has recordings of us doing the unseen paper with evidence. also the centre is known for producing good grades in the region..... Please any help/advice would be appreciated
How do you know your submitted grade? Your centre should not have told you this ....
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laptop100
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(Original post by Muttley79)
How do you know your submitted grade? Your centre should not have told you this ....
I said "Even if" I dont know whether they have given me 3a*s or not, based on my mock results
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Muttley79
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(Original post by laptop100)
I said "Even if" I dont know whether they have given me 3a*s or not, based on my mock results
It depends where you are on the order of merit - I doubt you'd get downgraded that low as all the school results would be.

Just wait like everyone else.
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mathstutor24
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First, well done for taking the decision to retake, especially after what you went through in Y13. It's very brave and commendable, and shows great resilience and determination

It is my understanding that the way the grades will be awarded this year is (a) the school makes a judgement about the grade you would have likely achieved this summer, and (b) the school ranks each student relative to others for who they also judge would have got the same grade.

For part (a), the school would have taken into account all available evidence, including school records, mock exams and non-exam assessments that you have done this year. Were you attending school this year or studying at home? If you were at school, then the school should have enough evidence to make a fair judgement. If you were studying at home, you were still made to sit exam papers to gather evidence. The teachers know you, know all about your extenuating circumstances and will know what you are capable of achieving. But all this aside, they have hard evidence in terms of the papers you sat and for which you achieved A*s, so I would say they used this to help make their judgement.

In reference to the ranking system, if your teachers felt that you would most likely have achieved a grade A in say Economics, and there are 4 other students in the current Economics class at your school that they also felt were likely to achieve a grade A, they will rank you and the other 4 students from 1 (being the most secure and likely to achieve the grade) to 5 (the least likely).

It is my understanding that Ofqual will look at the centre as a whole rather than individual students' past grades. So if a centre tends to have around 6 students who take say geography each year, and the results are usually around the C-E grade mark every year, and then the centre suddenly awards all their geography students only A*s and As this year, this will likely raise a flag. Of course, it is possible that they have had a year where they have very able students, but then I assume they would have to submit hard evidence to support their grade judgement. (There is also grade standardisation which I don't think I need to waffle on about here!) As you have said that your centre is known for producing good grades in the region, and it sounds very robust in its gathering of evidence, I would say that it wouldn't be out of character for them to award high grades each year?

So all in all, try not to worry too much (I know that's easier said than done!). If necessary, you could sit the exams in October. Would this be an option for you? If so, continue to study/revise until the A level results are published, as then you have that option should you need it. But regardless of your grades, be very proud of yourself for having the determination to resit.
Last edited by mathstutor24; 9 months ago
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laptop100
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(Original post by mathstutor24)
First, well done for taking the decision to retake, especially after what you went through in Y13. It's very brave and commendable, and shows great resilience and determination

It is my understanding that the way the grades will be awarded this year is (a) the school makes a judgement about the grade you would have likely achieved this summer, and (b) the school ranks each student relative to others for who they also judge would have got the same grade.

For part (a), the school would have taken into account all available evidence, including school records, mock exams and non-exam assessments that you have done this year. Were you attending school this year or studying at home? If you were at school, then the school should have enough evidence to make a fair judgement. If you were studying at home, you were still made to sit exam papers to gather evidence. The teachers know you, know all about your extenuating circumstances and will know what you are capable of achieving. But all this aside, they have hard evidence in terms of the papers you sat and for which you achieved A*s, so I would say they used this to help make their judgement.

In reference to the ranking system, if your teachers felt that you would most likely have achieved a grade A in say Economics, and there are 4 other students in the current Economics class at your school that they also felt were likely to achieve a grade A, they will rank you and the other 4 students from 1 (being the most secure and likely to achieve the grade) to 5 (the least likely).

It is my understanding that Ofqual will look at the centre as a whole rather than individual students' past grades. So if a centre tends to have around 6 students who take say geography each year, and the results are usually around the C-E grade mark every year, and then the centre suddenly awards all their geography students only A*s and As this year, this will likely raise a flag. Of course, it is possible that they have had a year where they have very able students, but then I assume they would have to submit hard evidence to support their grade judgement. (There is also grade standardisation which I don't think I need to waffle on about here!) As you have said that your centre is known for producing good grades in the region, and it sounds very robust in its gathering of evidence, I would say that it wouldn't be out of character for them to award high grades each year?

So all in all, try not to worry too much (I know that's easier said than done!). If necessary, you could sit the exams in October. Would this be an option for you? If so, continue to study/revise until the A level results are published, as then you have that option should you need it. But regardless of your grades, be very proud of yourself for having the determination to resit.
Firstly, thank you so much for this response. I really appreciate your kind words. For my resit year (this year) I did my studying independently as my sixth-form fused to let me take another year as they believed I wasn't capable enough and didn't want it to affect their reputation
So I registered at this centre just simply to take my A-Level exams. Once the lock-down happened the centre began to give lessons online for me to get my grade and made us sit exams from which they got my final exam grade and rank. I achieved a high A* in Biology and a middle A* in chemistry and a low A* in Economics for the centre devised exams. The tutors has confidence in me that they would be able to give me a grade based upon the lessons I had attended (all recorded) with tutors asking you questions live, the homework packs they gave us to complete as well as doing the centre exam ( 3 papers each subject.all recorded with an unseen paper and a temporarily link ensuring no cheating )

So I guess my main question is to meet my offer of AAA, Do you think that even if my centre gave me a calculated grade of AAA and I was ranked towards the top of the centre, do you think my grades would be approved by aqa or seen as an anomaly as I performed terribly in my first attempt at a levels ( no formal information was given to aqa about the family bereavement) , I performed average in my gcse subjects about 6 Bs (English maths science) , A in RE and the rest 4Cs came out with 11 GCSES all A-C. So do you think AQA will allow me a grade of an A/a* or will i be moved down to a C/D.

My course is highly competitive (medicine) and they would not allow me to join university if i took the autumn exams unless I took another gap year and resat my A-levels again if i failed to meet my offer. Plus I haven't been keeping up with my revision as all this year i have been working so hard and I just dont have it in me mentally to carry on. I luckily received an offer despite being a retake candidate and passed my interview this year so its really competitive for an offer to be given out which i worked very hard for including my ucat exam.

What do you suggest I do? If my centre has put an A* down do you think it will be possible for AQA to give me that calculated grade or will my grades drop due to my past poor performance from U to an A*/ AAA to meet my offer - Any help/advice would be appreciated
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(Original post by laptop100)
my sixth-form fused to let me take another year as they believed I wasn't capable enough and didn't want it to affect their reputation
There's also the small matter of the fact they wouldn't get any money for you - schools can't afford to let students retake years.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by laptop100)
Firstly, thank you so much for this response.

So I guess my main question is to meet my offer of AAA, Do you think that even if my centre gave me a calculated grade of AAA and I was ranked towards the top of the centre, do you think my grades would be approved by aqa or seen as an anomaly as I performed terribly in my first attempt a
What do you suggest I do? If my centre has put an A* down do you think it will be possible for AQA to give me that calculated grade or will my grades drop due to my past poor performance from U to an A*/ AAA to meet my offer - Any help/advice would be appreciated
The system isn't going to work like this. School submitted grades are compared to past results of the school and the strength of the cohort.

Just wait and see - to be honest, you are fortunate that your school was prepared to assess you and give you grades at all.
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mathstutor24
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(Original post by laptop100)
I performed average in my gcse subjects about 6 Bs (English maths science) , A in RE and the rest 4Cs came out with 11 GCSES all A-C. So do you think AQA will allow me a grade of an A/a* or will i be moved down to a C/D.

My course is highly competitive (medicine) and they would not allow me to join university if i took the autumn exams unless I took another gap year and resat my A-levels again if i failed to meet my offer. Plus I haven't been keeping up with my revision as all this year i have been working so hard and I just dont have it in me mentally to carry on. I luckily received an offer despite being a retake candidate and passed my interview this year so its really competitive for an offer to be given out which i worked very hard for including my ucat exam.
Yes, on paper your GCSEs do not indicate an A level student who would achieve AAA or A*A*A*. But you have achieved an offer for a very competitive course with your GCSE grades and your past DUU graded A levels (as you would have had to enter those on your UCAS form). So this in itself is a huge achievement that you should be very proud of.

As I said, as I understand it, the process is not based on individual student's past grades. Unfortunately it is a case of "wait and see" because there is little you can actually do to change the outcome next month. My advice to this year's cohort has been to plan as if they are going to take the exams in October and to study/work/revise accordingly. Then once they receive their grades next month, they can either stop studying or continue in preparation for sitting the exams in October. There are almost 3 months until the exams in October, so as a triple A* student, I would think that you should be able to adequately prepare for these if you started now. As I said, there is nothing you can do to change the grades you will be awarded next month, aside from sitting the exams in October, so if I was in your situation, this would be my practical approach.
Last edited by mathstutor24; 9 months ago
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laptop100
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(Original post by mathstutor24)
Yes, on paper your GCSEs do not indicate an A level student who would achieve AAA or A*A*A*. But you have achieved an offer for a very competitive course with your GCSE grades and your past DUU graded A levels (as you would have had to enter those on your UCAS form). So this in itself is a huge achievement that you should be very proud of.

As I said, as I understand it, the process is not based on individual student's past grades. Unfortunately it is a case of "wait and see" because there is little you can actually do to change the outcome next month. My advice to this year's cohort has been to plan as if they are going to take the exams in October and to study/work/revise accordingly. Then once they receive their grades next month, they can either stop studying or continue in preparation for sitting the exams in October. There are almost 3 months until the exams in October, so as a triple A* student, I would think that you should be able to adequately prepare for these if you started now. As I said, there is nothing you can do to change the grades you will be awarded next month, aside from sitting the exams in October, so if I was in your situation, this would be my practical approach.
I hope I get in to my firm
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hhhhhhhwusjs
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(Original post by mathstutor24)
My advice to this year's cohort has been to plan as if they are going to take the exams in October and to study/work/revise accordingly. Then once they receive their grades next month, they can either stop studying or continue in preparation for sitting the exams in October. There are almost 3 months until the exams in October, so as a triple A* student, I would think that you should be able to adequately prepare for these if you started now. As I said, there is nothing you can do to change the grades you will be awarded next month, aside from sitting the exams in October, so if I was in your situation, this would be my practical approach.
Can't be bothered
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mathstutor24
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(Original post by hhhhhhhwusjs)
Can't be bothered
Is that you who can't be bothered hhhhhhhwusjs, lol!?
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hhhhhhhwusjs
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(Original post by mathstutor24)
Is that you who can't be bothered hhhhhhhwusjs, lol!?
It would be ideal for me to revise maths (as that's the subject I don't think I'll get an A in - solely maths, not my other 2 subjects) but I cba.
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