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Exams and Grades - COVID-19

If you need further information and legal advice on how COVID-19 might affect any aspect of your education you can speak to one of our legal advisors confidentially about your concerns.

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I am in 4th year (year 11), what will COVID -19 mean for my GCSEs?

If you were due to sit exams that will lead to a final GCSE grade next summer, you will not receive a grade this summer. Instead you can choose to either:

  1. Sit only the exams you planned to take in 2021. This means that the exams you entered for in Summer 2020 will have a mark calculated using statistical predictions based on your performance in the 2021 exams; or
  2. Sit all the units in Summer 2021.

Whichever option you choose, you will be awarded the highest grade.

How will my CCEA GCSEs be graded if I am in 5th year (year 12)?

You will be issued a grade using a combination of average centre performance, centre assessed grades and rank ordering.

How will CCEA AS Levels be graded? Will my grade contribute towards my final A Level result?

You will be awarded a grade based on a range of evidence. No AS exams will be scheduled until Summer 2021. CCEA are still working towards the model on which AS grades will be awarded and in which centre assessed grades and centre rank orders will be used.

Unfortunately, the nature of the AS Grade that you will be awarded in 2020 will not allow it to contribute to your A Level results in 2021.

If I am an AS student what are my options for A Level?

You will have two options for A Level in Summer 2021, either:

  1. You can choose to only sit the required A2 (A Level) units, which means that your AS outcomes will be calculated using statistical predictions based on your performance in the A2 units; or
  2. You can choose to sit AS exams alongside the A2 exams.
What are centre assessed grades and rank ordering?

For every GCSE, AS and A level subject, CCEA will require each school, college or other exam centre to submit the following information:

  1. a centre assessment grade for each student – this is derived from evidence held within the centre (school or college) and which has been reviewed by subject teachers and relevant heads of department; and
  2. the rank order of students within each grade – for example, for all those students with a grade C in GCSE Mathematics, or a grade B in A level Biology, a rank order where 1 is the most secure/highest attaining student, and so on.
How will CCEA A Levels be graded?

CCEA A Levels will be determined using a calculated grade which takes into consideration predictions based on your previous performance and centre assessed grades and centre rank orders.

Can I appeal my grade if I am not happy with it?

At the moment normal arrangements for reviews of marking and appeals will not apply. The exam boards are considering what arrangements can be put in place to allow an effective appeal. We will provide further guidance when more information becomes available.

Will I be able to sit an exam if I am not happy with my awarded grade?

Yes. If you feel that your grades from this summer do not reflect your performance, you will be able to sit exams at the next available opportunity.

Will new work have to be submitted before a final grade can be determined?

There is no requirement for students to complete additional mock exams or homework tasks for determining a centre assessment grade, and no student should be disadvantaged if they are unable to complete any work set after schools/colleges and other exam centres were closed.

How will exam boards make their decision about my final grade?

Your school or college will be asked to send the exam board two pieces of information for each of your subjects:

  1. The grade they believe you were most likely to get if teaching, learning and exams had happened as planned
  2. Within each subject, the rank order of students at your school or college, by performance, for each grade.

Your school or college will also consider a range of things like your classwork and homework; your results in assignments and any mock exams; any non-examination assessment or coursework you might have done; and your general progress during your course.

How will the exam board use the information provided by Schools and Colleges?

Exam boards will use the information provided to standardise grades across schools and colleges, to make sure that, as far as possible, results are fair and that students are not advantaged or disadvantaged. That means the final grade you get could be different from the one your school or college sends to the exam board.

Will I be able to progress to the next stage of education or employment with these grades?

Yes, you will be able to move onto the next stage of your education or employment as planned, provided you meet the entry requirements/criteria.

Contact Info

Children's Law Centre
‘Rights House’
127-131 Ormeau Road,
Belfast,
BT7 1SH

Tel: 028 90245704
Fax: 028 90245679


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