This year’s GCSE results have already thrown up many questions.
Experts Eddie Playfair and Catherine Sezen, senior policy managers at the at the Association of Colleges, are answering them for you.
You can send them a question using the form at the bottom of the page.
Won’t this massive grade inflation cause horrendous problems for Year 12s and Year 10s (if not earlier year groups) who can’t possibly hope to compete with this hyper-inflation? Sid Fletcher, Midlands
In such an unusual year it was going to be difficult to decide upon the best course of action to support this year’s students. After all the twists and turns in the past week or so, at least most students now have grades which they can use to progress, which has to be key after all the uncertainty.
This year’s students will all be in line with their peers, as were last year’s students and, we anticipate, next year’s students.
Will the GCSE maths grade I was emailed by my college be my final exam result, or will it change again? I am confused by all the information going round at the moment. Rebecca Gower, Essex
The result you received this morning should have been the college centre assessed grade (CAG), or the exam board calculated grade – whichever is higher – and should be the final grade you will receive. If you have any questions about it the best thing is to speak to your college to double check. I am sure they will be able to help.
My daughter is still waiting for Level 3 BTec results originally due last Thursday. When she does get them will they have been re-graded with the Level 1 & 2 or will she have to appeal (if needs be)? Sarah Martin, Surrey
BTecs are going to be reviewed as a matter of course, so your daughter won’t need to appeal. This might mean that her results are delayed for a little longer. I would suggest contacting her school or college to see if they have an update.
My daughter failed her maths GCSE, but had no permanent teacher, so several teachers assessed her grades. Can GCSE results be based on mocks in this sort of case? Beth
The best thing to do is for your daughter to speak to the college and explain her concerns. Students are no longer able to use their mock grades to appeal, as this information would have been taken into account in the CAG [the predicted grade awarded by their teacher].
Can I re-sit one particular subject on my own, or do I have to go via my school? Roj
The advice for students who took exams at school is that you should sit the exam at that school, unless you have progressed to college and wish to take English and maths because you got a grade 3 or below.
Speak to your school or local college. If you have the grades you need to progress to your next step, you may not need to sit autumn exams.
If I get a lower grade while resitting, will I retain the previous (higher) grade? Anon
The guidance is that the higher grade of the two will be the official result.
My mock results show I could have got amazing GCSE results instead of the ones I’ve been given. Is it worth taking the exams even though I have my sixth-form place? Anon, Newbury
If you have got the place you were hoping for then I would speak to your school or college about whether they advise that you consider taking exams in the autumn. You will be busy focusing on your new courses in the autumn and it might be better to concentrate on those.
I learned I had not met the criteria to move forward into a BTec Level 2 engineering course a week before the results were due to come out. How can this happen? Anon, Lincoln College
I would suggest that you speak to your college and ask them about the next best steps for you. They will be best placed to advise you.
My son has learning difficulties and is on the ASD spectrum. He would have had a scribe if he had sat his GCSEs, but his grade assessment does not factor this in. What help is available for him? Anoop
Centre assessed grades should have taken into consideration your son’s learning difficulties and the fact that he would have had additional support. He will be able to take his GCSEs in the autumn if he wishes to do so at his school, but he may well have the grades he needs to progress to his next steps.
Why do we have to wait for our BTec results while others don’t? Anon, Blackpool
The decision was taken late on Wednesday to review BTec grades in much the same way as has been done for GCSEs and A-levels in order to ensure that no student is disadvantaged.
I appreciate this is disappointing, but hopefully you should receive your grades very shortly, and will know that they have been double-checked to make sure that you get the result you deserve.
What is the appeal process going to be like for GCSE students who are let down by their centre assessed grades? Janet Kalambo
The re-issued Ofqual student appeals guidance says it is felt that teachers know their students best. Therefore students can’t appeal simply because they disagree with the CAG unless they suspect malpractice, including bias, or an administrative error.
One thing to remember is that all schools and college have their own quality assurance processes, so it is not just an individual teacher making these important decisions. Teachers will have graded and ranked students and then this will have been moderated at department level and signed off by a senior leader. If a student has any concerns, the school or college will be able to advise on next steps.
IGCSE results appear to still be based on algorithms, creating a disparity in the evaluation of different students’ efforts. So how can there be an even playing field in the approach to their assessments? Ian, Rotherham
Cambridge International, which awards IGCSEs, has confirmed that the process for these qualifications will be in line with that for GCSEs and use the grades that schools submitted, unless the grade issued by the exam board was higher. You can find further information here.
If you have completed the practical part of a GCSE – like drama or food tech – will this be considered for your final grade? Nikki Bell, Barnet
Students will receive the CAG unless the calculated (algorithm) grade was higher. Schools and colleges will have used a variety of evidence to arrive at centre assessed grade, including practical components.
Why is it not possible for GCSE students to resit exams this autumn? Umar, Bolton
GCSE students will be able to sit exams in autumn 2020. Hopefully though, your results will be what you need to progress to your next course and you might decide that there is no need to take an autumn exam. Your school or college will be able to advise you.
If a student’s calculated grades were higher than the CAG, which will be used for their GCSE results? Alisa, Purley
Good question. The situation is the same as for A-levels. Students will receive a CAG unless the calculated result is higher, in which case they will receive the calculated result.
When applying to university in two years’ time, will my GCSEs have the same weight they may have had in other years? Adham, Warrington
Universities will be aware of the challenges faced by Year 11 students this year. I am sure that when the time comes they will be mindful of this.
Are there any safeguards for A-levels and GCSEs taking place in 2021, as students will be at a disadvantage from missing in-school teaching? Shamimur Rahman, Barking
The exam regulator, Ofqual, is already considering plans for next year for all qualifications, GCSEs, A-levels and vocational technical qualifications. You can find out more about A-levels and GCSEs next year here.
Is there any obligation on my son’s grammar school to let him do a retake if he misses the required grade in one subject? Anon, Tring
First of all I hope your son gets the grades he needs. Once he has received his results, the best thing to do is to speak to staff at the school who will be able to advise on next steps and the autumn exams if indeed he needs to take them.
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