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The Student Room finds that as many as one in two students are confused over how their exams will be graded this summer

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@thestudentroom poll – @Ofqual’s latest announcements around Summer 2020 grading, and how they plan to standardise by taking the grade teachers believe the student was most likely to get and ordering by performance, for each grade and each subject – at every school and college – has thrown many students into a deeper confusion of understanding how their grades will be decided.

The UK’s largest online student community ran The Student Room ran a snap poll which found that close to half of the 500 polled did not have a clear understanding of how their grades would be decided.


“I don’t see how anyone can know exactly how grades will be awarded considering Ofqual has hidden most of their plans for the grade standardisation process. Even the Royal Statistical Society has concerns about the lack of clarity and transparency.”  writes Lightning 720.

Another community member commented

..imho it is a tad unfair to the outliers, those on borderline grades (though this works on lower as well as higher grades) because the board will only award a certain percentage of a given grade based on the centre’s results so if you don’t make the threshold /get a low rank, then you will be put down even though you may have proved yourself to your teachers and your teachers entered the grades you deserved. I think it’s also unfair on teachers (a bit) since they will quite literally have our future in their hands (or computers). A silent prayer ? for those who didn’t get on well with their teachers and may get a lower rank… 

With historical exam performance at each institution taken into consideration when grades are moderated, there is a concern that the process could result in some schools and students being unfairly disadvantaged.

Those who are at low achieving colleges will be the most affected by the standardisation system and this is not fair, it is discrimination that universities themselves wanted to rule out within the next 10 years (widening participation)” comments Future Surgeon26.

Joe Woodcock, Community Manager writes

“Students are understandably concerned that the grades given to them by their teachers will potentially not be the final grades that are awarded to them.  It’s teachers who are in the best position to decide what grade students would have achieved had the exams gone ahead.  If teachers grades are altered through a standardisation process that still remains unclear students are worried that their grades are being decided by awarding bodies that have simply seen no evidence of their work. Some students will justifiably feel they are in line to be unfairly punished due to factors completely out of their control such as historic school performance

In light of this, I would implore all colleges and universities be as flexible as they possibly can be for this year’s cohort, who have faced such a unique and challenging set of circumstances. For many students taking a year out to take exams in the autumn or the summer of 2021 is simply not a feasible solution for themselves or their families who may have to continue supporting them during such a difficult time.”

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