Coronavirus: How will students still get A-level and GCSE qualifications and be admitted to university?

Coronavirus: How will students still get A-level and GCSE qualifications and be admitted to university?


Coronavirus: How will students still get A-level and GCSE qualifications and be admitted to university? 1

Schools across the country are closed to most pupils and A-level and GCSE exams have been cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The news has left parents, students and teachers with many questions about what it will mean for teenagers hoping to start university in the autumn term.

Here is what we know so far:

Will any exams take place this summer?

Education secretary Gavin Williamson has said that all statutory exams in England – Sats, GCSEs and A-levels – will no longer take place this academic year.


But Mr Williamson has said the government will do all it can to ensure students receive their GCSE and A-level results in summer.

How will they work out the grades?

GCSE and A-level students will be given grades based on teacher assessments and their work so far. But students will also be given the opportunity to sit an exam in the autumn if they wish.

Exam boards will work with teachers to come up with a “calculated grade” to give to those affected.The government is aiming to provide these grades to students by the end of July.

Teachers will be asked to submit judgments about the grades they think their pupils would have received if exams had taken place.

Staff are expected to take into account a range of evidence and data – including mock exam results and other school work – in these judgements.

This will be combined with the pupils’ previous attainment to calculate their grades.

Will they be able to appeal results?

Mr Williamson has said that there will be a “full and detailed appeals process” so parents and pupils will be able to question results issued. 

Students can also choose to sit exams once schools reopen in the autumn or in summer 2021.

What about university places?

It is still unclear how degree places will be allocated now that exams have been cancelled.

Institutions are being urged to act “responsibly” and in the best interests of students by refraining from changing their offers from conditional to unconditional.

Normally most students would have until early May to make decisions on their offers, but Ucas has announced that the deadline will be extended by two weeks.

Universities have said they will support students by being “flexible” in their admissions processes.


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