Frequently Asked Questions

1. How my GCSE, AS or A level grade be standardised?

Your school or college has sent the exam boards a centre assessment grade for you in each of your subjects, and a rank order of you and your classmates in order of your expected performance. Exam boards will standardise this information using your centre’s previous results and your year group’s performance in GCSEs (for A levels) or Key Stage 2 assessments (for GCSEs). They will adjust grades where needed to bring consistency to different centre judgements across all schools and colleges and to make sure your results have equal currency with previous years.

2. Will standardisation mean that my final grade will be lower than my centre assessment grade?

Not necessarily. If grading judgements in a school or college appear too high or too low, exam boards will adjust some or all of the grades upwards or downwards accordingly, using the rank order. Grades will only be adjusted where needed to bring them closer to what the evidence shows students would have been most likely to achieve if exams had gone ahead. It is important to remember that the centre assessment grade submitted by your school or college is just one part of the process of calculating your final grade.

Grades are being standardised to make sure your grade is valued by universities and employers and to be fair to students in previous and future years. There’s more information about how grades are being standardised on our website.

3. I want to know my centre assessment grade - can my school or college tell me?

Remember that your final grade is the grade that counts. Your school or college is not allowed to tell you your centre assessment grade before results day. After results day, you can ask your school or college for more information if you want to.

4. I’m really anxious about my results, what can I do?

It’s normal to feel anxious, and the Government understands it might be particularly worrying with the exceptional arrangements this year. If you feel anxious, it’s important to talk to someone. You can find more information on where to find additional support in this guide.

5. Will our grades mean anything if we haven’t done exams?

The arrangements the Government has put in place this year will make sure that your results will have the same currency as in any other year so you can compete on a level playing field for opportunities with students from previous and future years.

6. If I’m unhappy with my grades what can I do?

You should speak to your school or college about your options - see ‘What to do if you’re unhappy with your results’ for more information. You can also choose to sit exams for one or more of your qualifications in the autumn series if you want the opportunity to improve your grade. You will be able to use the highest grade.

7. I’m doing a vocational qualification (for example, BTEC, Cambridge National) - what arrangements apply to my qualification?

Depending on the qualification you’re taking, many of the same points apply – but see ‘Awarding vocational & technical qualifications’, ‘How results are calculated for vocational & technical qualifications’ and ‘Appeals and complaints for vocational & technical Qualifications’ for further details. In particular, vocational & technical qualifications taken alongside or instead of GCSEs, AS and A levels are using very similar arrangements, although in many cases any units you had already taken will also be factored into your final result.

8. I didn’t try my best in my mocks, will this impact on my grade?

Your centre assessment grade is not just your mock result. Your teacher has been asked to use a range of evidence that they will have seen from across your time studying for your qualifications, not just your mocks, when producing your centre assessment grades.

9. I don’t think my teacher likes me - will this affect my grade?

All teachers want the best for their students. Your teachers are professionals who have been asked to use a range of evidence to produce your centre assessment grade. They have worked with other teachers to produce the centre assessment grade and the head of centre must confirm that all grades have been determined appropriately – so the judgement has been made by your school or college, not an individual teacher. The Government has also given guidance to schools and colleges on how to make objective judgements.

See Also

Guide to 2020 Exam Results

This year, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, exams have been cancelled. In their stead, a set of rigorous grade calculation methods will ensure that post-16 students can progress further with their education and employment.