A Level results day 2021 is finally here, with students waiting nervously to see what grades they have received, and whether they will be able to attend the universities of their choosing.
But when is A Level results day in 2021 and how were grades marked this year?
Here’s what you need to know.
How will A Levels be graded this year?
Students did not sit A Level exams this year due to the disruption to education they’ve faced since the beginning of the pandemic.
Instead, A Level students are receiving grades based on their teachers’ assessments of them.
Cath Jadhav, Director of Standards and Comparability at the exams, assessments and qualifications regulator Ofqual, explained that in summer 2021, “teachers will judge the standard that a student is working at, based on a range of evidence produced by that student over their course of study, and covering only the content they have been taught”.
Teachers have made their initial judgements, and these were then subjected to internal quality assurance within the school/college.
Grades have been signed off by the head of department and head of centre, which is usually the headteacher or principal, before they were then submitted to exam boards.
Exam boards have also carried out quality assurance by reviewing the overall approach being taken by each school/college.
For a sample of centres, exam boards also reviewed a sample of the grading judgements made.
Schools/colleges will be more likely to have their grading judgements reviewed if their results in 2021 are considerably higher or lower than in previous years, when exams were held in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
What evidence will be included?
Teachers based their judgements on students’ performance on a range of evidence including mock exams, coursework and other assessments done in class. Students were only assessed on content that they have been taught.
Teachers were asked to take an evidence-based approach, so that students, their parents and carers, and all those who use the grades awarded this summer can see how their final grade has been arrived at - and know that they have been determined objectively.
Students will have been told by their school/college what evidence is going to be used in order to determine their grades.
When will A Level results day take place this year?
A Level students are receiving their results on 10 August 2021, with grades usually available to pick up from 8.30am.
Results day is earlier than usual this year in order to give A Level students more time to appeal their results ahead of university admissions.
Schools should have already told students if their grades are being delivered by email or in the post instead.
How do I appeal my grade?
If a student thinks an error has been made in their grade, an appeals system will be in place.
In the first instance, if a student thinks a grade is incorrect when they first receive their results, they should speak to their school or college and request a centre review. This is an internal review by a school or college so they can check for any errors.
If a student still thinks their grade is incorrect after their school or college has checked it, they can ask their school or college to appeal to the exam board.
However, students should be aware that on appeal, grades could go up, down, or stay the same and the exam board’s decision will be final.