#GCSEResults2020 and Summer 2020 grading #AI #Algorithm - What happened? 

Chair of Ofqual Roger Taylor announced on 17 August 2020 that, for GCSEs, AS and A levels, extended project qualifications and advanced extension awards, students would be awarded their centre assessment grade or calculated grade, whichever is higher.

Following this announcement, exam boards have been working hard to provide schools, colleges and UCAS with amended final grades. Therefore, to provide a national picture, Ofqual have calculated overall results for each qualification based on the grades awarded to students. Ofqual have also calculated outcomes by subject, using the JCQ subject groupings.

The results are for all students in England, and for GCSE, Ofqual have also published outcomes for 16-year-olds only. While the data Ofqual have used to calculate these outcomes is nearly complete, there may be some minor differences compared to any subsequent figures that are published by JCQ. Ofqual expect that JCQ will publish final results data in the next few weeks.

GCSE results

Ofqual have published GCSE results based on students being awarded their centre assessment grade or calculated grade, whichever is higher. The outcomes are presented overall and by subject compared to the 2019 outcomes published by JCQ, for all students and 16-year-olds. There are separate data tables showing the outcomes at the key grades (7, 4 and 1), and the outcomes at all grades for those qualifications that were graded 9 to 1 in both 2019 and 2020. There are separate data tables for full course and short course GCSEs.

National Reference Test and grading standards in GCSE French and German

Prior to the summer, Ofqual announced that they would make an adjustment to the grading standards in GCSE French and German, to provide better alignment with GCSE Spanish. Ofqual implemented this by making an adjustment to the statistical predictions that were used as part of the standardisation process.

Although some students will have been awarded their centre assessment grade rather than the calculated grade, Ofqual’s approach still means that the adjustment has been taken into account – because students have either been awarded the calculated grade (which had this adjustment taken into account) or the centre assessment grade (if higher than the calculated grade). Ofqual will keep under review the grading standards in GCSE French and German in future series.

Ofqual have also published information relating to the National Reference Test (NRT). This includes the results of the 2020 NRT and Ofqual’s annual statement setting out how Ofqual have taken account of NRT evidence. As for GCSE French and German, the upward adjustment Ofqual have made in GCSE maths based on NRT evidence has been taken into account given the approach to awarding grades. This is because students have been awarded the higher of their centre assessment grade or calculated grade.

AS and A level results

Ofqual have also published updated results for AS and A level following Ofqual’s announcement – that is, the final results based on the centre assessment grades or calculated grades, whichever is higher. The outcomes are presented overall and by subject compared to 2019 outcomes and include all students.

Vocational and technical qualifications

Since the decision to stop exams and external assessment this summer due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, Ofqual has been working with 160 awarding organisations to help them ensure their alternative arrangements for over 14,000 qualifications fit within our vocational and technical qualifications (VTQ) regulatory framework.

Monday’s decision to move away from the algorithmic approach used for GCSEs and A levels has led to those few awarding organisations that used similar approaches to reconsider their awarding decisions and place greater weight on the most trusted evidence available. Those that used qualification-level centre assessment grades will be able to recalculate results and issue them on time.

Others will need more time, because their approach is more complex: OCR have said that their Cambridge National results will issue next week. Pearson, which initially did not think there would need to be significant changes made, has now decided to revise its arrangements to ensure that students’ qualification-level results better reflect the unit-level results that students have already secured through internally-assessed units. For all awarding organisations, both their original approaches and their revised approach are in line with Ofqual’s VTQ regulatory framework.

Everyone is working as quickly as possible to confirm results as soon as possible, recognising the impact that delays are having on schools, colleges and students.

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