The shutting of schools and cancellation of exams has left thousands of students across the UK confused and worried about their future. With information constantly changing it’s understandable that a lot of you will be concerned about your grades, but the Department for Education and your teachers are working together to make sure you get the grades that you deserve. This article is updated daily to ensure you have the most up to date information.
What will happen to your grades?
Your teachers will work with examinations regulator Ofqual to provide you with a calculated grade for your A-Levels. Your teachers know you and your work the best so grades will be awarded fairly and will take into account a range of previous work such as:
- previous achievement, including GCSEs and mocks
- non-exam assessments (e.g. course work)
- the grade your teachers believe you would have achieved should exams have gone ahead
The grades will be awarded at the end of July.
What if you don’t agree with the grade?
If you don’t agree with the grades you’ve been awarded, don’t panic, you can appeal the grade. The Department for Education has recognised that some students perform better in their final exams after studying as opposed to with coursework and your schoolwork throughout the year, so you also have the opportunity to sit your exams early in the next academic year and use the grade awarded from those exams. If you prefer, you have the option to sit your exams in summer 2021.
How does this impact university admissions?
All universities and colleges are aware of how difficult the current situation is for your students and are working with UCAS to be flexible in offer-making decisions. It’s important not to forget that university places aren’t awarded based on your grades alone, your personal statement and references play a role in the decision making process. If you have attended an interview or submitted a portfolio, the university will take this into account.
Any university offers you've previously received will remain valid and you will still have to choose your firm and insurance choice universities like you would noramlly. UCAS have extended the decision making deadline by two weeks to give you the chance to review your offers and make the right decision for you. When choosing your firm and insurance choices make the decision how you normally would, regardless of the current situation, consider the university, course, location, and other factors.
If you’re still waiting on university offers, UCAS has suspended making decisions on applications for two weeks to give students and universities enough time to digest the current changes, offers will resume after this.
If you have received an unconditional offer you shouldn’t feel pressured to accept it as you will be awarded a formal grade, consider whether it’s the right university for you before making your decision.
The usual admissions cycle shouldn’t be disrupted and will run as usual. The university teaching terms will remain the same with a September start, but keep an eye out for updates.
What does this mean for Clearing and Adjustment?
Clearing is a process that allows students to apply to new university courses if they do not meet the required grades for their firm / insurance choices. Clearing is still going ahead, if you have gone into Clearing after receiving your grades, UCAS Track will be updated.
If your final grades are better than anticipated, you can reconsider your university options and search for an alternative course. You can search for a new course through Adjustment on UCAS Track, find out all you need to know about adjustment here.
If you have accepted an unconditional offer from a university but have changed your mind you can release yourself into Clearing through the UCAS Track when Clearing opens to find a new university / course, find out more about Clearing here.
Keep on Track
If you’re waiting for university offers keep checking UCAS track for any updates to offers. You will still need to choose your firm and insurance choice on UCAS Track and apply for Student Finance. Be sure to apply for Student Finance before the deadline to avoid any delays in payment.
What Can You Do Now?
The situation is constantly developing so make sure you’re staying up to date. UCAS will publish updates here and the government here. Your school will also be in touch with any updates. The University Finder blog and this article will be updated daily so check back here for any new developments.
If you were not satisfied with your predicted grades or think you’ve improved since your last examinations don’t let your hard work go to waste. Over the next few months continue to revise and study so you’re prepared if you choose to sit your exams later on this year.
Who can you talk to?
At times like this it’s important to make sure you have a support network. If you’re worried about your grades and work your teachers will be available to speak to. They’re there to support you and want to see you succeed.
If you’re concerned about your university place you can contact UCAS to talk about your existing offers and the options available to you.
During these difficult times it’s more important than ever to look after your mental and physical health when socially distancing, find out more here.