Making The Grade: Determining GCSE and A Level results in 2021

Season 2, Episode 27,   Mar 05, 2021, 12:01 AM

In many subjects, it all hinges on the final exam. It’s seen by many as the culmination of 2 or 3 years worth of study. It’s a source of great anxiety in the run-up and often huge relief when they’re finished. However, just like last year, the class of 2021 will not be sitting these terminal exams. Which leaves a rather significant question: just how will these students get a grade to move on to their next step?

This week we’re looking at exactly how students will be awarded their grades in GCSE, AS and A Level courses, following the decision to cancel exams. 

Nathan McGurl, founder of The Study Buddy, is joined by Simon Lebus. Simon became the interim Chief Regulator – and Chief Exec -  of Ofqual on 1 January 2021. He has a wealth of experience in education technology and curriculum delivery, most notably as a former Chief Executive of Cambridge Assessment – who deliver, amongst other things, GCSEs, AS and A levels and iGCSE qualifications around the world.

In January, Gavin Williamson – the Education Secretary – announced that exams wouldn’t take place for GCSE and A Level students in England this year. Shortly after, Ofqual launched a consultation paper, jointly with the Department for Education, inviting opinions as to what the alternative arrangements might be. This is quite a divisive topic and so we can only imagine the variety that might have come from the more than 100,000 responses. However, at the end of February, the arrangements for this year’s exam cohorts were confirmed.

In this episode we take a look at the alternative arrangements that have been put in place to award students their grades. Simon explains the reasoning behind the decision and exactly why Teachers are best placed to make the assessment. We also touch on the appeals process and how it might apply.

For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to organising revision, time management and study skills visit