Examinations in Summer 2021

How will grades be calculated?

The Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, announced on the 25th February that students will receive grades awarded and determined by teachers, with pupils only assessed on what they have been taught. Teachers will be able to draw on a range of evidence when determining grades, including:

  • the optional use of questions provided by exam boards;
  • mock exams;
  • coursework;
  • other work completed as part of a pupil’s course, such as essays or in-class tests. 

Students studying vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) that are often taught alongside GCSEs and A levels on one or two year courses, and used for university or college places, will also receive grades assessed by teachers rather than sitting exams.

Exams and assessments will continue in VTQs where they are needed for students to demonstrate the necessary professional standard in an occupation.

What is the role of examination boards?

To support teachers in making their judgements, exam boards will provide detailed guidance before the end of the spring term.

Schools, colleges and other educational settings will conduct multiple checks – such as checking consistency of judgements across teachers and that the correct processes were followed – to ensure as much fairness as possible.

At the same time, exam boards will conduct their own checks, through a combination of random sampling and more targeted scrutiny where they identify cause for concern.

When is results day?

Results days for GCSE, A level and some vocational qualifications will take place in the week of 9 August – moved forward from the week of the 23 August. These earlier dates provide additional time for appeals to be completed, so students reliant on those outcomes to achieve their university offer have the best chance of accessing a place.

Will I have a right of appeal? 

Every student will have the right to appeal their grade and further guidance will follow on this. 

Support phonelines

Exam Results Helpline

Telephone: 0800 100 900

The Exam Results Helpline can provide information on appeals, complaints, or what your next steps may be once you’ve received your results.