Students waiting on GCSE and A level results have been told how their grades will be worked out after all schools in the UK were closed.
This year's exams have been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak leaving thousands of young people confused about their future.
Since then, pupils have been told that they will receive grades based on a range of factors, including a teachers' assessment of their work, which will be externally checked.
According to Mirror Online, Sally Collier, Chief Regulator, Ofqual, said that exam boards will do everything possible to make sure students receive fair grades.
She added: “We have published a message to students to reassure them that we, and exam boards, will do everything we can to make sure that, as far as possible, grades are fair and that they are not disadvantaged in their progress to sixth form, college, university, apprenticeships, training or work because of these unprecedented conditions.”
Here is everything you need to know if you or a student you know is waiting on GCSE and A level results.
How will grades be calculated?
Teachers will be asked to send exam boards two sets of data:
1. The grade they believe a student would most likely get if teaching, learning and exams had happened as planned
2. Within each subject, the order of students, by performance, for each grade.
This information will be used to standardise grades.
Schools are being asked to consider a range of things including classwork and homework, results in assignments and any mock exams, any non-exam assessment or coursework and the student's general progress during the course in order to decide the grade.
Schools will be asked to sign to say that the data they are sending is correct.
The exam board will then use the two forms of data submitted to decide the grade.
Will students be told of their grades in advance?
No. This is highly confidential.
Teachers are told not to share this "under any circumstances".
Ofqual say it will avoid school leaders and staff being “put under pressure by students and parents, to submit a grade that is not supported by the evidence”.
The grade that students eventually receive may not be the same as the grades the teachers put into the process.
When do schools and colleges have to submit this information?
The guidance is that it is not earlier than the May 29.
This will give the exam boards time to adapt to receiving lots of information they don't normally handle.
Exam boards will write to schools and colleges after Easter and they will have two weeks to submit that data.
Should teachers set more work ahead of that deadline?
Schools have also been told not to set extra work to inform the predictions, because young people may not be able to do themselves justice if they are incapacitated by illness or have a difficult home environment.
When will results be published?
No later than they were planned to be announced – but they could come earlier if possible.
What happens if schools over inflate grades?
Ofqual are confident that the moderation process will correct any over-inflation.
Video Loading Click to play Tap to play The video will start in8Cancel Play now
Can students take exams later if they prefer to do so?
Ofqual says they are working with exam boards to see if they can provide exams in the Autumn.
This might be particularly helpful for private candidates.
And if they do so they will effectively have two grades and be able to use whichever is higher as their professional grade.
If students take exams in the autumn, will they have to delay starting university?
In all likelihood yes.
There are some courses that start in January and some Higher Education institutions may be more flexible allowing students to catch up but mostly students will have to start later.
What about students who do well after "cramming"?
Ofqual say it comes down to teachers knowing their individual students.
They will know if an individual student would have done better with the added pressure of cramming and revising for an exam.
But for some of those students it may be more suitable to take the exam later.
What about appeals?
Appeals will be allowed but they will be different. Normally appeals are largely about a way an exam script has been marked.
This year schools and colleges are being warned that the scope for appeals will be relatively narrow and based on application of the process.
Students who think their grade does not reflect their ability should sit the exam in the autumn and use whichever grade is higher.