Due to the current pandemic, exams, results day and appeals have a different process this year. For more details, check out our article on What You Need to Know about GCSEs and A-levels 2020.'
On the 17 August the education secretary announced that GCSE and A-level students in England will be given either their calculated grade awarded by the exam board, or their Centre Assessed Grade (CAG) whichever is the higher of the two.
Despite no A-level exams taking place this year, students will still be issued grades (more on how those are calculated below) and results day will still be an important day for schools and colleges.
In fact, due to the way grades are calculated, this could be one of the most important and potentially contentious results days ever.
Watch: Ofqual explain 2020 grades
When is A-level results day 2020?
A-level results day is 13 August 2020 for schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the for small number of Scottish schools offering A-levels.
The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) results day is 4 August 2020.
Schools will be able to see A-level exam results on most examining boards’ systems by 12 August, but these are for headteachers and the exams officer only.
For more details about post-result analysis for your centre, please refer to the exam board website using the links below.
How are the 2020 A-level results calculated?
The 2020 A-level grades will be calculated using two pieces of data provided to exam boards by schools and colleges. The centre assessment grade and the students rank order position will be combined to give an overall grade.
Centre assessment grade: this is the grade schools think students would have likely achieved if teaching, learning and exams had happened.
To arrive at a student’s centre assessment grade schools and colleges will consider things like classwork, homework, assignments, mock exams, coursework and general progress.
Schools do not need to submit any work or supporting evidence, but this might be required if exam boards have any queries.
Rank order position: this is the order of students by performance for each grade within each subject.
The rank order position will be used to standardise the judgements made when awarding the centre assessment grade across schools and colleges.
Find more tips and information about providing assessed grades.
Do schools share CAG and rank order with students?
You cannot share CAG and/or rank order with students before exam results have been released.
However, once exam results have been published, students may request subject access requests (SAR) for CAG and/or rank order information, after results day.
Collecting A-level results
Students will be able to collect their results from their school or college in the morning, usually from 10am. It is advisable for students to bring with them their Ucas letter and the relevant contact details for any university that has made them a firm or insurance offer, as well as copies of personal statements and references.
Those who are unable to collect their results in person can request in advance to receive them via email. These will be available from 8am. To receive your results via email, speak to your school or college.
This year it is advisable for students to check with their school or college on the collection procedure. There may be one-way systems, staggered collections or the requirement to wear a face covering.
What if the results aren’t what I expected?
Normally, you can request that the exam board completes a remark, however this year results are based on school rankings. Ofqual has stipulated that students can only appeal if they do not believe the correct process has been followed in generating their grade. They cannot appeal against a teachers’ judgement. There are more details on how to appeal here.
Support phone lines
The department for education have provided an exam results helpline.
Telephone 0800 100 900
The Exam Results Helpline can provide information on appeals, complaints, or what a student might be able to do next after they have received their results.
Students can also contact Ofqual by telephone on 0300 303 3344.
Students can call this number if they want to find out more about how you were graded, the autumn exams series, how to make an appeal or raise a concern about bias or discrimination.
Due to the coronavirus, exams in the summer were cancelled and centre assessed grades were part of a process used to award students their grades. For students unhappy with their grades, there is an opportunity to sit written A-level exams in November.
To get in touch with the relevant exam board, use the links below:
A-level students in England and Wales can call an exam results helpline, run by Ucas, 0800 100 900. It is open from 16-30 August.
A-level students in Scotland can call a separate helpline, also run by Ucas, 0808 100 8000. It is open from 7-15 August.
If your students didn’t make the grades they needed for their university course, then they will need to go through Clearing.
For all your questions on how Clearing works, see our guide to Clearing. And for how to support your students on results day, one head of sixth form shares their wisdom on how to support your students through the A-level results process.
Recent news and debate
Autumn A-level exam timetable: find all the information you need on the autumn round of examinations.
Unconditional offers raising drop-out rates: those students who accept unconditional offers are more likely to drop out according to an HE watchdog
Security crackdown on exam papers: Ofqual introduces ‘just in time’ exam delivery to try and prevent the risk that papers are shared on social media using smartphones.
For all the latest news and views on A-level results day, please visit our specialist A-level results hub.