RESULTS day is a nerve-wracking day for students and families alike.
Things have not been easy this year, with exams cancelled and grades determined by teachers due to coronavirus.
Is an E or D a pass at A-level?
An E or D is still a pass at A-Level, but it will result in lower UCAS points.
A pass is indicated by one of five grades, A, B, C, D or E, where A (and A*) is the highest and E is the lowest.
In order to meet the pass criteria, you must get an E grade or above.
If a student does not pass, it will show on their results sheet as "Not Classified" or similar.
What is the Uniform Mark Scale and how does it work?
Grades are converted to marks on a scale called the Uniform Mark Scale.
It is the tool used by exam bodies to smooth out any variations in levels of difficulty of exams and coursework.
If you had a relatively low score on an extremely tough exam, the UMS counterbalances it so you end up with a score that's relative to how hard your exam was.
This ensures that results are comparable between exam series and subjects.
Your Provisional Statement of Results shows both the "raw" and the "uniform" marks.
As no exams took place in 2021 and grades were determined by teachers, things might look a little different, so check with your school if you think there has been a mistake.
What are UCAS points?
UCAS points, or Tariff value, translates your qualifications into a numerical value that can then be compared to other courses and totalled up alongside your other A-levels and qualifications.
Most UK qualifications have a UCAS Tariff value, which will vary dependent on the qualification size and your grade.
The higher the grade, the greater the number of UCAS points earned.
The points apply to loads of different types of qualifications and how many points you get per grade.
You can calculate your UCAS Tariff points here.
- A* – 56
- A – 48
- B – 40
- C – 32
- D – 24
- E – 16
- A – 20
- B – 16
- C – 12
- D – 10
- E – 6
What happens if I fail an exam?
This year has been very different due to Covid canceling summer A-Level exams.
There are several options if you fail a test or don't do as well as you had hoped.
And remember that if you were very close to achieving the required grades, you might still have been accepted by at least one of your university choices.
The first thing to do is check with your choices to see if you have a place anyway, or have been offered a different course based on your grades.
You can also look into Clearing options.
Free appeals can also be made by students who feel they were unfairly marked or there has been an error in their grade calculation.
This can be done via their school, which will then contact the relevant exam board.
Those applying to higher education who did not attain the offer they accepted as their first choice must appeal by August 16.
If you still need to get a higher grade then consider taking your exam in the autumn.
In June, exam regulator Ofqual decided that there would be final A-level exams available in the autumn, depending on coronavirus, which would give students the opportunity to improve their grades.
These will result in replacement certificates for summer results if students request it, and marking and appeals will be done as normal thereafter.
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