Last Friday most UK schools shut down indefinitely, cancelling exams, and leaving thousands of students confused about their future. With information constantly changing it’s understandable that a lot of you will be worried about your grades, but the Department for Education and your teachers are working together to make sure you get the grades that you deserve. This article is updated daily to ensure you have the most up to date information.
What will happen to your grades?
The government have announced that examinations regulator Ofqual, and your teachers will provide you with a calculated grade for your A-Levels. Your teachers know you and your work the best so grades will be awarded fairly and will take into account:
- previous attainment, including GCSEs and mocks
- non-exam assessment (course work)
- the grade your teachers believe you would have been awarded should exams have gone ahead
The grades will be awarded at the end of July.
What if you don’t agree with the grade?
If you don’t agree with the grades you’ve been awarded, don’t panic, you can appeal the grade. You also have the opportunity to sit the exam early in the next academic year and use the grade awarded from that exam. If you prefer, you have the option to sit your exams in summer 2021.
What does this mean for university admissions?
UCAS are working closely with universities and colleges to be flexible in offer-making decisions, all institutions are aware the current situation and sympathetic to students. It’s important to remember that university places aren’t awarded based on grades alone, your personal statement and references play a part in the decision making process. If you have attended an interview or submitted a portfolio, the university will take this into account also.
Current university offers will remain valid and you will still have to decide on your firm and insurance choice universities. UCAS have extended the decision making deadline by two weeks to give you the chance to review your offers and make the right decision for you. When choosing your firm and insurance choices make the decision how you normally would, regardless of the current situation, consider the university, course, location, and other factors.
If you’re still waiting on university offers, UCAS has suspended making decisions on applications for two weeks to give students and universities enough time to digest the current changes, offers will resume after this.
The original deadline for applicants to reply to offers if they had received all decisions from their university choices by 31 March was May 5th. The new date is 19th May.
The original deadline for universities and colleges to make decisions and reply to applications received by 15th January was May 6th. The new date is 20th May.
If you have received an unconditional offer you shouldn’t feel pressured to accept it as you will be awarded a formal grade, consider whether it’s the right university for you before making your decision.
The usual admissions cycle shouldn’t be disrupted and will run as usual. The university teaching terms will remain the same with a September start, but keep an eye out for updates.
What does this mean for Clearing and Adjustment?
At present Clearing and Adjustment are still going ahead. If you don’t get the grades for your firm or insurance choice you can find a place at a different university through clearing.
If your grades are better than anticipated, you can reconsider your university options and search for an alternative course. You can search for a new course through Adjustment on UCAS Track, find out all you need to know about adjustment here.
If you have accepted an unconditional offer from a university but have changed your mind you can release yourself into clearing through the UCAS Track when clearing opens to find a new university, find out more about clearing here.
Keep on Track
If you’re waiting for university offers keep checking UCAS track for any updates to offers. You will still need to choose your firm and insurance choice on UCAS Track and apply for Student Finance.
What Can You Do Now?
The situation is constantly developing so make sure you’re staying up to date. UCAS will publish updates here and the government here. Your school will also be in touch with any updates. The University Finder blog and this article will be updated daily so check back here for any new developments.
If you were not satisfied with your predicted grades or think you’ve improved since your last examinations don’t let your hard work go to waste. Over the next few months continue to revise and study so you’re prepared if you choose to sit your exams later on this year.
Who can you talk to?
At times like this it’s important to make sure you have a support network. If you’re worried about your grades and work your teachers will be available to speak to. They’re there to support you and want to see you succeed.
If you’re concerned about your university place you can contact UCAS to talk about your existing offers and the options available to you.
During these difficult times it’s more important than ever to look after your mental and physical health when social distancing, find out more here.