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Revision Courses for Autumn A level Sittings

This year has of course seen massive disruption to the A level examinations due to the coronavirus/ Covid 19. Examinations themselves have been cancelled and "calculated grades" will be awarded to students in August at results time.

It is likely that for different reasons some students will be unhappy with their calculated grades. Ofqual, the exams regulator, has ruled that if students or schools feel unhappy with the grades awarded this year the “best way for students to demonstrate their abilities will be to take exams in the autumn series”.

Rochester Independent College will be offering intensive revision and exam preparation for students who choose to take advantage of the autumn sitting to prove their potential. Students will be able to attend these revision courses whether they choose to sit their autumn exams at their previous school, or move to RIC as a fully enrolled student.

More details about these courses will be published over the summer as more information emerges.

Rochester Independent College will also be offering the usual one-year A level resit programme which may be more suitable for students who have a lot of ground to make up in their subjects and would benefit from comprehensive reteaching and even in some cases switching A level subjects.

Intensive A level exam preparation and revision at RIC

• Very small classes, average 8

• Full College facilities including supervised single room boarding with evening study club and activity programme

• Tutors are the College’s own experienced permanent teachers with proven track records of exam success

• Initial assessment and discussion to ascertain areas requiring attention

• Essential examination skills taught and model answers demonstrated

• Shorter one or two module topic specific courses or individual tuition can be arranged

• Over 35 years’ experience teaching specialist intensive courses

• Online study options available

What Do We Know About The Autumn A level Exam Sitting?

The government has released more, but limited details about the proposed Autumn series of GCSE and A level examinations for students unhappy with their predicted, or more correctly, their calculated grades. Ofqual are also still consulting on the following proposals:

-There should be a full series of exams

-Papers should be the same as the summer

-Grades though should only be based on exams, not coursework- with an exception for art where there will be a new, shorter project set

-Suggestion only that AS and A-level exams will take place in October, and GCSEs in November.

-Ofqual believes autumn A-level results could be published before Christmas (opening up the possibility of January university starts perhaps if more universities become flexible) and GCSEs in February.

-Normal appeals procedure with remarks etc

Full details are here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/responsibility-for-autumn-gcse-as-and-a-level-exam-series/centre-responsibility-for-autumn-gcse-as-and-a-level-exam-series-guidance.

A level 2020 FAQs- Results and Resits

Will students and parents be informed of their predicted grades before calculated grades are issued?

No. This is forbidden.

Could the exam boards change the grades teachers predict?

Yes. There will be a moderation process where teacher predictions are liable to change. Grades will be standardised, taking account of the expected national outcomes for this year’s students, prior attainment of student cohorts and previous results of the school or college.

Can a student appeal a result?

There will be limited opportunity for appeals this summer, with students unhappy with their final grade(s) encouraged to take A level and GCSE examinations in the autumn if they do not feel the grades reflect their true potential.

Will UK universities accept the August results based on predicted/final grades?

Yes.

If a student takes A level examinations in the autumn can they still attend UK university next academic year?

If a student does not have a place at a university they wish to enter based on their grades published on 13 August, it is highly unlikely that they will be able to attend a UK university in 2020 based on the results of any exams taken in the autumn, given that it takes many weeks for results to be issued.

If a student wishes to apply to UK university using autumn 2020 exam results they should re-apply through UCAS (by 15 January 2021).

Some UK universities offer January entry and if the results of the autumn sitting are published before Christmas students could join these courses then but it is likely, that for the majority, a start in September 2021 is more likely.

When can I resit my A levels if I am not happy with the calculated grade I am awarded?

The government has committed to a resit, or perhaps more correctly a first real sitting, opportunity for students unhappy with their A level or GCSE grades awarded in August. We are told that this sitting will be in the "autumn" and early indications are that A levels will be in October and GCSEs in November.

Will universities treat me a resit student if I am not happy with my calculated grade and opt to take the autumn exams and reapply?

No. Early indications from universities is that you will not be penalised as a retake if you opt to take exams in the autumn sitting because you are unhappy with your calculated grade.

UCL for example say: "We are happy to consider applicants for 2021 entry should they wish to defer their assessment or are unhappy with the grades they are given in the summer examination result release. Applicants will be required to re-apply and will be considered in competition with other applicants for 2021. However, we will not consider sitting the examinations in the Autumn as re-takes and therefore applicants taking this route will not be disadvantaged in the application process."

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