The Speaker
Friday, 14 June 2024 – 07:17

Frustration for many students as nearly 40% of A-Level grades downgraded

Students across the country have been opening their A-Level Results today and many have been finding out whether they have been accepted to places of study at university. 

With exams cancelled this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, results were estimated based upon teachers grades, however, many were then changed through moderation, with moderators looking at previous results of each student and their school as a whole.

Overall, there has been an increase in the number of top grades awarded this year, however, many students and teachers have been left angry, upset and frustrated at the controversial moderation system. 

36% of this year’s entries in England were lowered by one grade compared to predicted grades submitted by teachers. 3% were lowered by two grades and some are reported to have been lowered even further.

For A-Levels, the number of people awarded A* grades, A* or A or A*- C grades were all up from 2019, with 78.4% of entries being awarded an A*-C grade.


How has results day worked this year?

Due to the challenges presented by the Coronavirus pandemic, many students have been receiving their results online, such as through email. Some students have picked up their results in person at schools, though social distancing has meant that many of the usual results day events have been put on hold.

For students hoping to receive a place to university, applicants can log in to UCAS Track like normal to find out whether they have been successful. Some universities also email students that they have offered a place to.

With thousands trying to login to the website at the same time, the UCAS Track website has crashed at points during the morning, but UCAS have said the system should now be working. 


What happens next if I want to go to university but I didn’t get the grades I was expecting?

UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, has said that universities will be particularly flexible this year, even for those who missed the originally required grades.

If you got better grades than you were expecting, you can consider your options. If you have been offered your Firm choice, you can choose to go there or you can go through Adjustment to try and gain a better offer.

If you only just missed out on the required grades, it’s possible that either your Firm and/or Insurance choice may still have accepted you. Universities recognise the difficulties this year due to estimated results and universities are also essentially businesses that require students in order to operate.

If you haven’t been offered a place, you can talk to different universities through Clearing. Universities may reconsider whether to make you an offer or you can ask other universities if they have a place for you.

You may also consider going through the Appeals process.


How can I appeal my results?

If you are not happy with your results, your school may be able to appeal them on your behalf – you cannot appeal results by yourself.

If you are considering having your results appealed, you should contact your school. Universities have been told to keep places open for students who have their results appealed, however, the details on how schools can appeal results are yet to be published. 

Schools will be able to appeal results if they believe the historical data used to create the results does not represent the current year group. Schools may also be able to launch appeals if the grade you have been awarded is lower than that achieved in a mock exam.

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