Everything you need to know about GCSE, A-levels, Highers and Vocational results 2021

by Anita Naik

It's been a tough year for students especially those in Year 11 and Year 13. With no formal exams taking place, students taking exams this year will be awarded grades based on teacher assessment. Here is everything you need to know about results 2021.

How will I be graded on my exams this year?

Students will only be assessed on what they have been taught, and the government has said that the grades given should reflect how a student is performing now, not their potential or what they might have received in normal circumstances.

What will teachers use to assess my work?

It's recommended that the following range of evidence is used when assessing students:

· Assessment tests being sat in schools now

· Mock exams taken in this academic year

· Records of each student's progress and performance throughout their study

How will the assessment tests be marked?

Teachers are being asked to mark per exam board mark standards. Exam boards have published guidance so teachers will be able to make fair and consistent judgements.

What if I don't get on with a teacher?

It isn't just one teacher that will assess your work. Marks from teachers will be looked at by heads of departments and senior leadership in schools and centres before being sent through to Ofqual. Exam boards will then carry out their own quality assurance checks. These are in place to make sure that schools and colleges have followed the guidance when awarding grades.

What happens if I haven't been able to finish my portfolio or sit assessment tests?

If you suffered a bereavement, illness, or there were other factors outside your control that might have impacted your performance or your coursework, you should discuss this with your school or college before the 18th of June which is the deadline for teacher assessments.

Will an algorithm be used to standardise the assessed results?

No algorithm will be used this year to standardise teachers' grades, due to the problem with the algorithm last year.

This year, teachers/schools/colleges will have to submit their grades to exam boards by June 18, who will then carry out quality assurance checks through a combination of random sampling and more targeted scrutiny.

When is Results Day?

Students in England and Wales will receive results for A/AS levels on August 10 and GCSEs on August 12.

Following the release of results, there will be a window for students who believe their grade is wrong to raise an appeal.

By bringing forward results, day A-level students this year have enough time to log any appeals so that they do not miss out on their preferred university place for the autumn.

What will happen in Scotland and Northern Ireland?

In Scotland, Higher and Advanced Higher grades will also be decided by teacher assessment and results will be August 10. In Northern Ireland, schools will determine pupils' GCSE and A-level grades and results will be on the same day as England and Wales - 10th and 12th August.

If I am not happy, how can I appeal my grade?

Every student will have the right to appeal their grade firstly through their school then as a formal appeal to the exam board. The exam board will review the evidence and decide whether the grade is valid or not.

If a student disagrees with the school and the exam board, the case can be referred to Ofqual's Exams Procedure Review Service (EPRS). Be aware that grades can go up or down as the result of an appeal.

The deadline for submitting an appeal of your GCSE, AS or A level grade is 17th September 2021.

What about vocational qualifications?

The results for many vocational qualifications will be released in the week of August 9. These qualifications include many BTECs and Cambridge Nationals.

Students studying vocational and technical qualifications, which are used for university or college places, will also receive grades assessed by teachers.

What happens if I don't get the grades I want?

Like any normal year, you will have the chance to re-sit to improve your grades by taking exams in the 2021/2022 academic year. You can do this at school, sixth form or college.

If your A-level grades have come in lower first contact your university of choice to see if they will take you; also, think about other courses or universities. Clearing at UCAS can help you find a new course.

If a university gives you a new informal offer, be sure to check how long they're willing to keep the spot open for you. Get as many offers as you want before making up your mind.