Students across the country have been opening their A-level results, and for many it’s been an exciting moment. The numbers achieving A and A* grades are at a record high, with independent schools in England witnessing the greatest improvement, at 4.7 percentage points.
However, late changes to the system and concerns over the moderation process are leaving many bewildered and disappointed. Some 36% of students have received lower grades than predicted – with headteachers describing some changes as ‘unfair and unfathomable’. So what are your options if things haven’t gone to plan?
The new ‘triple lock’
In the wake of growing concerns, the Department for Education announced a last-minute ‘triple lock’, just hours before grades were announced. This means students can choose the highest from their calculated grade, mock grade, or autumn re-sit. This will be managed through the appeals process, with schools submitting evidence of mock exams to the exam board.
Students who are unhappy with their results should first speak to their school or college, to discuss the available options. While it hasn’t been possible to see the grades submitted by schools to date, now results are out, students can request this information. Schools will still be able to challenge grades based on administrative errors, or if they believe grades have been miscalculated, misassigned or miscommunicated.
Students who didn’t achieve the grades they needed for their chosen university can still go through clearing – last year, 70,000 students secured their places in this way. With 25,000 university courses available, including 4,500 in top Russell Group universities, there are plenty of opportunities available.
The good news is that universities are being ‘super flexible’ with students that have missed their grades, and it’s very much a ‘buyer’s market’ this year. So don’t rush into anything; talk to your school or college and don’t be afraid to question university admissions teams. If you’ve achieved better grades than expected, you may want to look at the UCAS adjustment scheme to see if you can switch to a more suitable course or university for your career plans.
Whether you still need to find a course or are looking to switch, get in touch with us before you get started – we can help guide you through this process and secure the best possible place for your further studies.
Students have the opportunity to sit any GCSE, AS and A-level exam this November, and with the new triple lock, can use either this grade, their original calculated grade or mock grade. If you’re considering this route, our tutors are here to get you back up to speed after a long summer and ensure you’re fully prepared when exam time (finally) comes.
We understand there’s a lot to get your head around, on an already overwhelming day. Guidance continues to evolve, with Ofqual yet to confirm how appeals over mocks will be verified. Please be assured that we are staying up to date with all the latest news as it emerges, and are preparing our approach accordingly to ensure every student receives the support they need to progress in their academic career.
Please keep an eye on our blog and social channels, and get in touch if we can be of any help at all during this period.