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GCSE and A-level results days 2020 announced

(30 Posts)
Iris2212 Thu 16-Apr-20 15:58:52

"For older children, I am also able to confirm GCSE and A level exam results days - another milestone for families.

GCSE students will get their results on Thursday 20 August, while those who are awaiting A level results will get theirs the previous Thursday, the 13th. These dates are the same as those published at the start of this academic year, and I hope will provide further clarity for all those young people receiving results in the summer."

Source - inews.co.uk/opinion/comment/gavin-williamson-covid-19-lockdown-analysis-normality-schools-primary-offer-day-2539947

OP’s posts: |
Iris2212 Thu 16-Apr-20 16:01:26

Yet again, the government shows they are unable to make a decision and stick with it. The students were promised July, then before normal, then just given normal.

I really don't understand why it takes this long to give out results. How long are students meant to revise for? Students will have to revise for even longer even though they may not even need to sit the Autumn exams.

It will also be harder to sort out next steps due to a short gap between results and university.

OP’s posts: |
CaitlinEJ Thu 16-Apr-20 16:12:58

My sister is going crazy, she doesn’t know what to do, she’s struggling to revise without knowing if she’ll be sitting an exam, how is she meant to keep that up for 5 months? I think she’ll be fine but she’s now sitting panicking because she’s lost control.

Also, I saw that schools can continue setting work up until 2nd May or something like that to help predict grades, but my sister hasn’t heard anything from the school since she left. Is anybody receiving work?

NewIdeasToday Thu 16-Apr-20 16:15:00

Why is she going crazy? They have already announced that the exams are cancelled.

It will take time to get the results sorted fairly - as it does every year. This is the date that the A levels were due to come out and it makes a lot of sense to stick with it and run things as planned as far as possible.

Iris2212 Thu 16-Apr-20 16:16:00

Ofqual said that schools shouldn't be including work that was set after exams were cancelled in their predictions, however, they can't actually stop schools from doing this sadly. Don't worry if the school hasn't given work.

OP’s posts: |
CaitlinEJ Thu 16-Apr-20 16:19:46

NewIdeasToday She’s really stressed, she doesn’t like not feeling in control and is struggling to entertain herself because she’s a very organised person who doesn’t do well with change.

mrscampbellblackagain Thu 16-Apr-20 16:23:34

I thought ofqual didn't say that exactly Iris2212 more that you wouldn't be disadvantaged if you didn't do any further work/assessments.

Hence some schools implying it is still possible to work and improve on a grade in the coming few weeks.

I could be wrong but that is what I understood from reading the Ofqual letter to students.

GU24Mum Thu 16-Apr-20 16:34:41

It's really hard not knowing whether to keep some (and if so, which) subjects going for an Autumn session.

They won't have done proper revision and won't have taken exams so will have no real idea which are the grades which could come out worse than they think. If they don't have results til 20th August, which schools are going to give them help with Autumn exams? And will the Autumn sitting be "upward-only" or do they take the risk of getting a worse grade than the assigned one? I know that's the risk with a resit but at least then they'll have taken an exam and will know how it went at least broadly. Oh well!

Iris2212 Thu 16-Apr-20 16:43:42

@mrscampbellblackagain Ofqual said something similar to "schools should exercise caution if work set after exams were canceled suggests a change in performance" which does suggest that they shouldn't really be setting it, or if they do, there's very little point in doing so.

OP’s posts: |
Punxsutawney Thu 16-Apr-20 16:49:52

Ds was a bit disappointed when I told him, he was hoping for an earlier date as that was what was said when it was first announced. I can understand why it will take a while though.

Caitlin ds hasn't been set any work at all since his school closed.

Shimy Thu 16-Apr-20 16:51:10

I don’t the government have been “unable to make a decision and stuck with it” this time. After exams were cancelled they said results will be release end of July but more info was to follow. They then said results will come out no later than the date they were initially supposed to (for GCSEs that was 20/8). They’ve now ‘confirmed’ an exact date as being the 20th. I was pissed of when they moved it from end of July, but all they’ve done now is given an exact date which is in line with their previous announcement.

Darbs76 Thu 16-Apr-20 16:53:39

My DS seems happy to have the original date reset. I guess if kids are going to re-sit then they will still have 3 months. It’s worth those worried about certain subjects continuing to do some work whilst they have this time over the next few months.

Iris2212 Thu 16-Apr-20 16:59:59

We haven't actually been told when the Autumn exams will be. I remember them saying as early as possible in the next academic year but might be making it up.

Even if it is in November, they will still have other work to do, whether that is for employers, apprenticeships, A-Levels, or university (although this doesn't seem likely as very few unis seem open to a delayed start for students).

OP’s posts: |
Ellmau Thu 16-Apr-20 17:52:55

Students will have to revise for even longer even though they may not even need to sit the Autumn exams.

I don't think that's altogether a bad thing, actually, as it keeps them in study mode, and transitioning to the next stage (A levels/uni) won't be as bad as if they just stopped any academic work now (or three weeks ago). The jump can be difficult at the best of times for some.

Iris2212 Thu 16-Apr-20 17:56:06

It is a bad thing if it means students are spending time revision things that don't matter. They could use to time to learn new skills like a language but may be forced to keep revision stuff that they won't ever need again.

OP’s posts: |
WombatChocolate Thu 16-Apr-20 19:18:39

Perhaps they want to stick to the normal timeline to both ensure people can go on holidays they have already booked before the virus, based on the normal results dates, and also to give the exam boards enough time to sort this out.

I suspect the whole process is much more time consuming than people think. Schools need very clear advice about putting forward the grades (and enough time to do it and for the exam officers within a school to check it all. Don't imagine that will be quick). There are then various calculations to be done based on looking at student prior attainment and the schools previous attainment. There will have to be lots of adjusting and moderating between centres.

I expect when they've looked at it, it all takes longer than people might imagine. As long as it wasn't delayed further, it is okay as universities are used to working on the timescale of that date.

In reality, I expect few students will sit the autumn (or whenever they are possible) exams. It really will be the only way to challenge or appeal the grade given and will probably mean delaying uni for a year. It is worth bearing in mind too that 75% of UCAS predictions by schools are overly generous in relation to what students actually get - so every year most students perform worse than they hoped.....but they still go to uni and find courses they are happy with. As always, many many (including very good) Unis will take students who don't meet their offer.

Most students will get their grades and go off to uni - either the one they hoped for,mor another via Clearing like usual. They will want to move on. Those who get a grade or two below what they hoped for, need to know that was quite likely if they had sat the exams too. It won't be the system this year that changes outcomes for most of them.

WombatChocolate Thu 16-Apr-20 19:20:09

Aren't lots of schools offering 'bridging to uni' programmes of study for Yr13 students anyway? So moving beyond A Level, but giving them something purposeful to do.

Myfriendanxiety Thu 16-Apr-20 19:26:17

Some students who had planned a sudden last minute revision schedule are going to be graded lower than they want by their teachers because their mock results were low.

They will therefore be banking on doing the Autumn exams to get the grade they want and so need to be working between now and then on it. If they do no maths between March when school finished and September they will never get what they want in the Autumn exams. I have still been setting work for my year 11 for this reason, as I know many will be disappointed with the grades I enter for them.

WombatChocolate Thu 16-Apr-20 19:48:46

But the grades to be entered are those teachers expect students would have got if they had sat the exams in May - not the grade they got in a mock in Jan or whenever. Teachers know students make progress between now and the exams.

Schools will give grades which reflect the profile of grades over the last few years. So schools with lots of top grades will give lots of top grades this year - some will go to students who hadn't quite got to that level by the mock, but would have done. The ranking is very important and schools know both the performance level but also the ability of students. They know who is a hit lazy but pulls it out of the bag when needed.

The idea that loads and loads have underperformed all through the course and suddenly revise hard and transform their grades just isn't reality. Most have some level of upwards trajectory from now which comes from dedicated revision, but those who have done consistently poorly also tend to do poorly in the end too - that is just the reality. Those with weak GCSEs get weaker A Levels. Although a small number see a significant turnaround, it is fewer than people think.

Schools have a pretty good idea where students are and will get to. I think you just have to trust them on it. And of course what schools give as a grade won't be what every student gets - some schools will be overly generous and be downgraded because it can be seen that those schools don't usually perform like that. Student prior attainment at GCSE will be considered - it's a good indicator.

Again, people feeling cross that they don't get their UCAS prediction, and then blaming this system this year, should remember that every year over 75% of grades are below UCAS predictions when the exams are sat.

I say again, I think very few will sit the late exams. And I don't think it's healthy to spend the next 6 months preparing for exams you might sit. It is better to come to terms with the fact that it is done now. Understand that schools will do their best and know that most students see some uplift between now and the exams and will take that into account. And know that the system being used will deliver grades very similar to those that would be attained in exams by the vast majority. Students should be reassured that this year more than ever, Unis will be a bit generous in taking students who don't quite meet their grades and that there will be places for everyone. If a real disaster happens, it is not really different to a disaster in exams which means students decide to re-take.

I think it's best for student to move beyond their A Level study in terms of exam prep now. Yes, keep going with some kind of study, probably related to what they will do at uni. Yes, ensure they are happy with the content they have covered at A Level if it's relevant for their uni study, to keep the brain ticking over, but particularly focusing on preparing for exam Qs in subjects they won't be doing seems soul destroying now.

Myfriendanxiety Thu 16-Apr-20 19:55:38

@WombatChocolate Yes I completely agree with you- but there is still some students who would have got lucky on exam day and over achieved that will be given a lower result by teacher prediction and so should be working now ready for their autumn exam.

Same as every year really- I always tell my borderline students to keep up their maths between June and results day just in case they need to resit. Its usually only about 8 weeks though, not the almost 20 weeks it is this year.

Womenwotlunch Thu 16-Apr-20 20:12:25

The safer thing for borderline students is to continue to revise
My dd should have taken A levels. She is not sure what her predicted grades will be and therefore is revising for the Autumn exams ( whenever they are)
She is taking a gap year anyway, so she’s fine about taking exams in Autumn. However, what about those students who are planning to go to university in October, but may need/ want to take Autumn exams.?
This may jeopardise their plans.

Oratory1 Thu 16-Apr-20 20:59:43

It is an important point that every year some students don’t get what they expected or hoped for and either find a place in clearing or take a gap yea and resit or just apply again. This won’t be the only year students are disappointed. And as Wombat says most who miss out this year will be those who would most likely have missed out without Coronovirus and unfortunately might not get the grades they expect in an Autumn resit

WombatChocolate Thu 16-Apr-20 21:17:50

And because it's almost 20 weeks I think it is unrealistic to ask them to continue to revise. It really is just too lomg.

For those wanting to go to uni this year, if they miss the grades and don't get taken with the lower grade, then like any year when students miss the grades, they will have to sit them the following summer. It isn't actually different to usual.

The fact is, most students achieve less than their predicted grades every year. They are disappointed and then either find a uni which will take them with what they have (often where they wanted anyway) or they have to resist the following summer. A similar number if students will 'underperform' in relation to their rather generous UCAS predictions this year - but the problem is that this year, they will feel cheated of their rightful grade, even though in the majority if cases, they still wouldn't have achieved their UCAS prediction if they sat the exam. The vast majority won't have been cheated...and given they won't sit a May exam, we will never be able to tell anyway. The vast majority,neven those with grades lower than their uni predictions will go to a uni of choice and move on, as they always do.

I suspect that some of those who decide to go for the late exam will be under pressure from parents to do it, rather than themselves. Many, many who think they might need do the late exam won't actually do it. They will get a uni place they are happy with, want to go to uni this year and want to move on. That will be very understandable. Choosing to sit the late exam will probably force a year out, although I suppose if numbers allow, Unis nights allow late entry to the course and something special for this year.....but it's hardlybthebideal start for anyone is it.

I think this has to be a best for vast majority, given the circumstances thing. In the circumstances, which obviously aren't ideal, there just isn't a way for everyone to take the normal exams in the normal way and get to uni in Autumn based on these results. There will be a few injustices, but I think they will be far fewer in reality than people feel exist, for the reasons mentioned above. Remember, exams are often incorrectly marked and injustices exist there, often to a huge degree. No system is perfect and this won't be either, but really seems the best I the circumstances.

I think the following features of it make it a decent way to approach the giving of grades;
- the fact that teachers won't base the grade they give on any individual piece of work but on the collective work.
- that the grade is the expected grade that would be achieved if the exam was sat - this allows for a boost caused by revision which experienced teachers know happens.
- that prior attainment of students will be taken into account (not by school but by the exam boards/system) - prior attainment is a very good indicator of success at A Level
- that school prior attainment over several years will be taken into consideration - again, over several years, schools do tend to perform at a similar rate
- that schools will rank their students - helping the board/system to decide where to cut off. Remember that exam boundaries are set after exams are set to ensure the right % of students get the right grades in each subject and across years.

The fact that all of these things are there mean people can have confidence in the system. I believe it really will produce accurate results. Where the trouble lies is in student and parents believing that had an exam been sat the grades would have been higher. Remember that in the vast vast majority of cases, this just wouldn't have been the case. Even with lots if hard work innthenlast stages, most students don't get their UCAS predictions. They won't this year either, and that won't be because they have been cheated out of their grades.

WombatChocolate Thu 16-Apr-20 21:24:45

Yes, I think that uplift from an autumn exam will be low.
Numbers going for the exam will probably be low anyway, in the same way they are low I terms of students who decide to go for resits in a usual year. And those who do the exam, in most cases won't see a different result.

Of course students will be able to ask their schools if they think they should go for the exam to try to boost their result if they are disappointed. In most cases, the school won't be surprised with the result which is awarded and tell the students it's not worth bothering....but again, I guess some people will struggle to accept the grades they get and insist on an exam,mor their parents will. And most won't see their grade rise.

Given all this, continuing to revise for 20 weeks just doesn't seem worth it to me. Better to decide that the grades that will be awarded will be pretty accurate and that if for some reason they really aren't, an exam next summer will be possible. I think some kind of closure on preparing for exams this year is hugely beneficial for most students and 20 weeks (or more - we don't know when the exams will be - further re-enforcing the case for stopping exam prep now).

nicky2512 Thu 16-Apr-20 21:45:41

I’m in Northern Ireland. Dd is year 14. We only found out today that CCEA will follow a similar way of giving grades as England but also taking into consideration AS results which we still do here in year 13. However we were told that anyone wanting to sit an exam won’t do so until next year.
AS students are worse off. They are being given a grade but it won’t count towards A level (normally 40%).

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