Applying to university in England in 2021?
Here you can find all the information you need around how qualifications will be awarded this year, and how this may impact your application.
How will grades be awarded in summer 2021?
This year, GCSE, AS, and A level results will be awarded as teacher assessed grades based on a range of evidence; for example, responses to assessment materials provided by the exam board, coursework, internal tests, and mock exams.
For all vocational and technical qualifications (e.g. BTECs, Cambridge Technicals): where exams have not taken place, there will also be teacher-assessed grades.
You are not able to find out your teacher-assessed grade for AS, A levels, and GCSEs. You may know some of the marks awarded for some of the evidence your school or college is using but your teachers are not able to tell you your teacher assessed grade. There may be some BTECs where teachers or lecturers ordinarily submit marks or grades to awarding organisations, and share this information with students. These marks or grades will not yet have been through the awarding organisation’s quality assurance and so should only be viewed as provisional.
JCQ have also provided this helpful infographic to explain further.
When is results day?
Tuesday 10 Aug – for A levels, AS levels and relevant Level 3 vocational and technical qualifications.
Thursday 12 Aug – for GCSEs, and relevant Level 2 vocational and technical qualifications.
Advice for private candidates – summer 2021
If you think your grade is wrong, there is an appeals process you can follow.
In the first instance, you should speak to your school or college to check whether a mistake was made in submitting your grade. Any errors will corrected by the exam board. If you are still unhappy, there is a formal appeals process you can take. There will be a priority service for students holding a university or college place. You must check your school or college’s deadline for beginning the first stage of an appeal.
More information can be found in the Ofqual guidance linked above.
Remember, grades can move up, down, or stay the same pending the results of an appeal.
Autumn 2021 assessment
Ofqual has confirmed that students who receive a teacher assessed grade this summer will be eligible to take GCSE, AS, or A level exams in the same subject in autumn 2021.
This also applies to students who exam boards believe would have sat exams in summer 2021 had they not been cancelled.
Ofqual has also decided that:
- exam boards will have to offer exams in all GCSE and A level subjects and AS exams in biology, chemistry, further maths, maths and physics; exam boards will be able to offer AS exams in other subjects if they wish
- exams will be in their normal format, with no adaptations made
- grades will be determined by a student’s performance in an exam for all subjects, except for art and design qualifications
AS and A level exams will be held in October, while GCSE exams will take place in November and December.
For VTQs and other general qualifications, Ofqual has published a framework outlining requirements to provide assessment opportunities during the autumn for students wishing to improve on a result received through a teacher assessed grade. It will also require awarding organisations who do not normally provide assessment opportunities in the autumn to do so if there is sufficient demand and if the process is manageable.
Looking after your mental health and wellbeing
Awaiting results can be a time of stress and anxiety. If your results are not what you hoped for, it can be an especially difficult time, but you are not alone, and there is a lot of support available to help you.
- If you’re feeling overwhelmed or don’t know what your options are, talk to someone at your school or college if possible.
- If you need help with understanding the Clearing process, call UCAS on 0371 468 0468 or drop us a line on social media. We’ll talk you through it and answer any questions you have.
There’s also lots of information available online to help:
- Student Minds is the UK’s student mental health charity and has lots of information and resources to help. They’ve also developed a new online hub called Student Space to help you manage the challenges of student life during COVID-19.
- The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust has advice and tips to for managing anxiety and stress during results and Clearing.
Young Minds has good advice for young people awaiting their results.
Attending a UCAS event?
You can attend a virtual event to find out more about unis, or chat to current students with Unibuddy.