What to expect on A-level results day?

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 Paula Antalffy
A-level results tutoring

For many students hoping to get into the university, college courses or employment of their choice, tomorrow will be an exciting but nerve wrecking day. With the Coronavirus pandemic, school closures and exam cancellations, this day is even more stressful for many.

The constant changes made to the process of predicting grades has left many students uncertain. Further anxieties have also been caused by how exam resists and clearing will be handled following August 13th.

What are the latest changes to A-level grades?

The latest change to A-level results will now allow students to choose their predicted grades based on mock exams as their final results. This change comes amid Scotland’s u-turn on using moderating results due to many grades being much lower than expected.

The new system which allows students to use moderated grades provided by their school or mock exam grades. They are also being given the option to resit their A-level exams in the autumn. The government hopes this new system will ‘Triple Lock’ the success of English students.

Four students looking at a laptop
Four students looking at a laptop

How are grades being decided around the UK?

Across the UK A-level result predictions vary to some extent.

  • England and Northern Ireland: Key information is being used about pupil’s to rank them within their year. Furthermore past exam results are being taken into consideration. The new ‘Triple Lock’ system also allows students to use their predicted grades based on mock exams or resit their exams in the autumn.
  • Scotland: Have decided to switch to using predicted grades based on mock exams instead of moderated grades.
  • Wales: Are using AS-level results as part of the factors contributing to moderated grades.
Lecture hall full of students
Lecture hall full of students

How will this affect university applications?

With so many last minute changes to A-level grades it can be difficult to understand how exactly the university acceptance process will work.

The government has announced that for student’s who have missed out of their expected grade, but their school is appealing, places must be kept open at the university of their choice.

However, many universities have voiced concerns. Among other things it has been suggested that holding mock exams results with the same weight as moderated grades provided by their school may be an issue. Furthermore, having to leave spaces open for students could lead to problems with accommodation and opening spaces for clearing.

Nevertheless, it is expected to be a good year for English students, as there are far fewer overseas students looking to enter UK universities.

Good luck to everyone receiving their A-level results tomorrow!

Want to learn more about how exam resits will work? Click here to read our blog about this.

Are you looking to get a bit of extra help with autumn GCSE and A-level exams? Find a tutor now!


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