How does the GCSE appeals process work? And other questions

Your questions answered illustration

This year’s GCSE results have already thrown up many questions.

Experts Eddie Playfair and Catherine Sezen, senior policy managers at the at the Association of Colleges, are answering them for you.

You can send them a question using the form at the bottom of the page.

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Association of Colleges

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Catherine Sezen and Eddie Playfair offer personalised advice on what to do next

What is the appeal process going to be like for GCSE students who are let down by their centre assessed grades? Janet Kalambo

The reissued Ofqual student appeals guidance says it is felt that teachers know their students best. Therefore students can’t appeal simply because they disagree with the centre assessed grade (CAG) – the predicted grade awarded by their teacher – unless they suspect malpractice, including bias, or an administrative error.

One thing to remember is that all schools and college have their own quality assurance processes, so it is not just an individual teacher making these important decisions. Teachers will have graded and ranked students and then this will have been moderated at department level and signed off by a senior leader. If a student has any concerns, the school or college will be able to advise on next steps.

IGCSE results appear to still be based on algorithms, creating a disparity in the evaluation of different students’ efforts. So how can there be an even playing field in the approach to their assessments? Ian, Rotherham

Cambridge International, which awards IGCSEs, has confirmed that the process for these qualifications will be in line with that for GCSEs and use the grades that schools submitted, unless the grade issued by the exam board was higher. You can find further information here.

If you have completed the practical part of a GCSE – like drama or food tech – will this be considered for your final grade? Nikki Bell, Barnet

Students will receive the CAG unless the calculated (algorithm) grade was higher. Schools and colleges will have used a variety of evidence to arrive at centre assessed grade, including practical components.

Why is it not possible for GCSE students to resit exams this autumn? Umar, Bolton

GCSE students will be able to sit exams in autumn 2020. Hopefully though, your results will be what you need to progress to your next course and you might decide that there is no need to take an autumn exam. Your school or college will be able to advise you.

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Press Eye

If a student’s calculated grades were higher than the CAG, which will be used for their GCSE results? Alisa, Purley

Good question. The situation is the same as for A-levels. Students will receive a CAG unless the calculated result is higher, in which case they will receive the calculated result.

When applying to university in two years’ time, will my GCSEs have the same weight they may have had in other years? Adham, Warrington

Universities will be aware of the challenges faced by Year 11 students this year. I am sure that when the time comes they will be mindful of this.

Are there any safeguards for A-levels and GCSEs taking place in 2021, as students will be at a disadvantage from missing in-school teaching? Shamimur Rahman, Barking

The exam regulator, Ofqual, is already considering plans for next year for all qualifications, GCSEs, A-levels and vocational technical qualifications. You can find out more about A-levels and GCSEs next year here.

Is there any obligation on my son’s grammar school to let him do a retake if he misses the required grade in one subject? Anon, Tring

First of all I hope your son gets the grades he needs. Once he has received his results, the best thing to do is to speak to staff at the school who will be able to advise on next steps and the autumn exams if indeed he needs to take them.

Do you have a question about your exam results? Use the form to send it to us.

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