There are two main incentives for students working towards their final exam grades.
So, although grades must be submitted by a deadline of 18th June, given the amount of teaching and learning time lost this year, it makes sense for students to continue to study those subjects needed for their next level, right through to the end of the school year in July.
Teachers have been asked to determine grades as late in the year as is practicable and must have evidence to support this grade.
So, although grade evidence can be from throughout the course - for most subjects from the last two academic years, Year 10 and Year 11 - for many students, there will be a raft of mini-tests and assessments from now until the middle of June.
Schools are being provided with a package of support materials by the Exam Boards.
This package will include exam questions, both past and new; mark schemes and guidance; grading guidance, advice on content coverage and topic selection. These materials do not have to be used, but teachers will likely use them as part of the range of evidence used to determine student's final grades.
Centres must have internal Quality Assurance arrangements in place, including consideration of the results profile of previous years. (This is where the infamous algorithm came unstuck in 2020). Exam Boards will check Centres internal Quality Assurance arrangements and collaborate to provide consistency.
Students will be able to appeal grades.
The first check would be to ensure there is no administrative error – if this is the case, the school or centre can enter a revised grade along with an explanation. If the centre does not think a mistake has been made, the appeal will be taken up by the Exam Board, who will make a grade decision based on the evidence the centre used to determine the grade. Students will also be given an opportunity to sit an exam in Autumn 2021, should they wish to improve their teacher assessed grade.
Private candidates will need to work with an Exam Centre (which may be a school, college or an independently run exam centre) to provide evidence of attainment that mirrors that provided by schools. This could be pre-existing evidence, such as work marked by a tutor or an educational organisation – these would need to be authenticated and also assessments carried out by the Exam Centre. These assessments might include using the Exam Board's assessment materials based on topics covered by the student and centres will have extra guidance to help determine the grades awarded.
The private candidate should be aware of the assessment methods that have been used to determine their grade.
The deadline for Exam centres to make entries on behalf of Private candidates has been extended to 26th April. The government recently announced that Schools and colleges are to receive £200 for every entry from private GCSE and A-level candidates they deal with this summer "to meet costs associated with the additional demands of assessment for private candidates this year."
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