Get the inside track on how results will work this year and how you can challenge them from our Undercover Teacher.
Things have changed since I wrote my A Level Results Prep List last year. The experience for both you and your child will be very different this year, and both of you would benefit from being ready for it.
While much of the advice from last year stands, the most important difference, of course, is that your child will not have taken any examinations this year, and their teachers will have predicted their results. These will have been internally moderated by their school and then externally moderated by the exam boards.
These grades, known as Centre Assessed Grades, or CAGs, had to reflect what the school believed students would have most likely attained if the exams had happened as planned.
Importantly, in addition to this, schools had to provide a ranked list of all students within each grade for each subject. For example: if a school had predicted an A grade for ten of their A-level history students, they would rank those pupils from 1 to 10, with 1 being the “most secure/highest attaining”, 2 being the next most secure, and so on. Schools considered a wide range of evidence, including classwork, any non-exam assessments, mock exams and their previous results. We were told to be “fair, objective and carefully considered” when submitting the grades.
The exam boards were then to “combine this information with other relevant data, including prior attainment, and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student.” Schools were told quite firmly that if grades appeared to be more severe, or more generous than others across the board, the exam boards will adjust grades accordingly.
Why am I telling you this? Well, it impacts what you might do to support your child on A-level results day should they be unhappy with their grades. There are no opportunities to get remarks for individual papers, which was often the way that students could previously get their grades changed should they feel they might have been unfairly marked.
Instead, if you and/or your child feels their grade does not reflect their ability, this year you have some different options: