How grades will be awarded without exams

AQA is one of the organisation responsible for assessing exams in schools, including GCSEs, A levels, EPQs and technical and vocational qualifications.

Now that this summer’s exams have now been cancelled, AQA has confirmed how grades will be awarded. Ofqual has confirmed a new process for grading, which it’s also asked teachers to respond to.

 

GCSE, AS and A level and EPQs grades will be calculated by:

  • schools providing information to their exam board, including a centre assessment grade* for each student and then ranking the order of students within each grade
  • schools then sign off those grades internally. Two subject teachers, including the head of department, are needed to sign off each grade
  • the school’s principal also agrees the grade, sending it to AQA
  • exams boards will then standardise the centre assessment grades, to make the process fair for everyone, using the prior attainment or each school or college, alongside national level grade distributions. This makes sure that students aren’t disadvantaged if some schools are more generous than others when making their judgements.
  • individual grades may then be adjusted upwards or downwards, so final grades could be different from the one a student’s college sends to AQA.
  • results will be received in August, as planned:

          AS and A-level results day is Thursday 13 August

         GCSE results day is Thursday 20 August

  • students will be able to appeal their grades if they don’t feel it reflects their performance, and will also have the option to sit their exams in the autumn, or next summer. If students choose to sit exams, both grades (the calculated grade and exam result) will stand.

AQA is still confirming how grades will be awarded for qualifications other than GCSEs, AS and A-levels and the EPQ. It’s working closely with Ofqual and other exam boards on vocational and technical exams, and we’ll update you as soon as we know more.

 

Jill Davies, Life Sciences UTC principal, says: “We are working closely with the teaching teams and the exam boards to ensure our students get the grades they deserve. Keep an eye on our weekly email updates for more information as it follows. Thank you to everyone who has been in touch about this so far. We are doing our best to get back to you all as quickly as possible.”

*Centre assessment grades are the teacher’s professional judgement of the most likely grade a student would have achieved if exams had gone ahead, using mock exams, non-exam assessment, homework assignments and any other record of student performance as evidence.