A-level results appeal: How to appeal your A-level results

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Coronavirus forced students of all ages into uncertainty when it hit the UK earlier this year. Lockdown resulted in the cancellation of all exams up and down the country, including A-levels which are crucial for attending university.

Now the Government has changed its advice for students who will be getting their results this August.

The A-level grades students in England receive will be based on the judgement of their school or college.

But those teachers’ assessments has been “moderated” by exam boards before they get turned into a final grade.

This “standardisation” is supposed to make sure the same standard is applied for all students, whichever school, college or part of the country they come from.

But it is a problem because teachers historically over-estimate pupils’ final grades or aren’t fully accurate.

But on Tuesday evening, only 36 hours before results were due to come in, A-level students will now get a “triple lock”, where they can use their mock exam results from earlier this year to mount an appeal.

The “triple lock” essentially means they have three options and can take the best result from the three.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said “it’s not a coincidence” that England’s changes were announced now, as “we looked very carefully at what was happening in Scotland”.

He added: “We apologise to nobody for finding solutions, even at the 11th hour, to stop any student being disadvantaged by this system.”

What are the options for A-level students?

There are three options for students getting results about which grade they can take.

  1. Use the standardised result
  2. Use the mock result
  3. Sit the exam in the autumn

This is interchangeable – meaning one grade can be taken from the standardised result and another could be taken from the mock result.

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How do I appeal a result?

Students who want to use a mock exam result can only do so through a formal appeal.

The mock exam will have to meet a definition of a “valid” mock, which is to be set by exams regulator Ofqual, and the student’s school will be required to submit evidence to their exam board to show the mock was a valid attempt.

The Government has not outlined how the appeal will take place or how long it will take.

The process jeopardizes university places up and down the country, as the appeals process could run into the start of the new academic year in September.

Universities have said they were not consulted on the changes, and have now been asked to wait for resitting and appealing students – something which is practically impossible.

And the Association of School and College Leaders said using mock results “beggars belief”.

General secretary Geoff Barton said the plan creates the risk of “massive inconsistency” from school to school, as mock exams are not standardised across the country.

Some schools make mocks tougher to push students, while others make them easier to encourage them.

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