all UK school examinations have been cancelled; what does this mean for students?

why have the exams been cancelled?

Closed message on a blackboard

The current coronavirus outbreak is having a huge impact on people's daily lives and is expected to continue to do so for quite some time to come. As the situation has developed within the UK, the government has implemented additional restrictions on UK schools.

Since 20th March, all UK schools, both state and boarding, have been closed and this has led to the cancellation of all GCSE, A level and IB examinations.

if there are no exams, how will I be assessed?

Assessment compass

This year, students will be awarded with a calculated grade. This will be based on a range of different evidence, including mock examinations and non-exam assessment, coupled with attainment in previous exams and will carry the same value as a GCSE or A level grade. There are provisions in place for students taking the IB also.

The exact process for calculating marks is being finalised by The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) and we expect to receive further updates from them in due course. The aim is to ensure that all students receive a grade which accurately reflects the work that they have put in and for these to be available before the end of July.

when will the results be available?

Students celebrating exam results

Calculated grade results days have now been announced. Results will be available on their original release dates, which means that you will receive A Level results on 13th August and GCSE results on 20th August.

I am taking the IB, how will this affect me?


As with GCSE & A level courses, all examinations for the IB have been cancelled. IBO, the examination board for IB assessments will be basing student marks on a thorough evaluation of coursework and previously completed assessments. All work that would normally be marked by a teacher, will now be marked by IBO. All coursework will also need to be submitted and this is something that your school will handle.

Using the information above, students will receive official documentation of their diploma or certification. Results will be made available no later than 5th July. Students unhappy with their results will be able to retake in a future study session.

what to do if you are unhappy with the grade you are given

unhappy face

If you are not happy with the grade you are awarded, you will have the opportunity to sit an examination as soon as this is reasonably possible. This will of course depend on when schools and colleges re-open. Exams can also be deferred to the summer of 2021.

If you choose to sit the examination this year, in hopes of getting a better grade, universities will do their best to accommodate for the extra time that this will take. If you find yourself in this situation, you should contact your university in the first instance.

worried about applying to a college or university?

university students

There is no cause for concern. Calculated grades will be accepted by both colleges and universities and will be just as valid as GCSE, A level and IB grades normally would.

The UK government has asked that colleges and universities offer flexibility and support to applicants and to ensure that they are assessed fairly.

is an unconditional offer at university still valid?

If you have already received an unconditional offer from a university, then you have already reached the entrance criteria and this will remain unchanged.

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