A Levels 2021: Latest Updates

We now have a clearer picture of how A Levels will be assessed this summer. As the government is still ironing out the final details, we’ve summarised the latest updates below all in one place.  

We will continue to update this post as and when more information is released.

How are A Level grades being assessed?

  • A Level grades will be awarded by teachers, using a broad range of evidence taken from throughout the course
  • Teachers have until 18th June to submit their grades

What kind of evidence will be used to determine grades?

  • According to Ofqual and the Joint Council for Qualifications, teachers can decide what type of evidence they use, so long as it relates to the specification content. This could include:
    • Mocks exams
    • Coursework
    • Substantial classwork
    • Internal tests 
    • Homework
    • Any other records of your performance on the content you have been taught
  • Exam boards will also provide teachers with support materials to help make their judgement. This includes questions + mark schemes that they can use to assess students, as well as advice on topic selection, marking and grading 
  • Teachers will be able to these materials up until the deadline for submission of grades, but it is their choice whether they use them
  • Exam centres will work with private candidates to provide evidence that is in line with that of other students

Appeals and Results

  • Students will be able to appeal your grades for free if they are unhappy with them
  • At first, they should appeal to their school to check whether an error has been made. If they identify an error, they can submit a new grade to the exam board
  • If the school does not believe an error was made, students can request that they make an appeal to the exam board on their behalf. The exam board will consider whether their grade reflected “an appropriate exercise of academic judgement”
  • Results day will be on 10 August to allow more time for appeals

Quality Assurance

  • Exam boards will work together as far as possible to ensure quality assurance requirements are consistent 
  • Exam boards will make arrangements to check each centre’s internal quality assurance process. They will also review the evidence used for one or more subjects in a random sample of centres
  • Exam boards will only process the grades submitted by a centre after completing and being satisfied with any external quality checks

Autumn Exams

  • The government is proposing that an autumn exam series will be held in October for students who are unhappy with the grades they receive 
  • They propose that students will be able to choose the better of their summer or autumn grade
  • They have just held a consultation to gauge the views of students and teachers before finalising their plans

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