What To Do If Your Child Doesn't Get The Exam Results They Need

Published date09 August 2023
Subject MatterConsumer Protection, Coronavirus (COVID-19), Education, Operational Impacts and Strategy
Law FirmIBB Law
AuthorSalima Mawji and Celia. Whittuck

Average A-level and GCSE grades are expected to fall this year, potentially impacting thousands of students' plans for their continuing education. Students who miss their predicted grades may miss out on their first choice of further study, so it is essential to understand your rights if this affects you or your child.

Why are A-level and GCSE grades expected to fall?

The government has asked regulators to set grade boundaries so that the percentages of different grades awarded would fall halfway between those given out in 2019 and 2021.

Average grades were much higher over the last two years due to exams being cancelled and grades being teacher-assessed instead. Now that grades have returned to being assessed by exams, the government wants to correct this grade-inflation.

What will lower average grades mean for students?

Up to 60,000 students applying to university could miss out on their first choice place, according to an analysis by Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at the University of Buckingham. This assumes an average drop of two grades per student.

The impact of missing grades is likely to impact some students more than others. Those applying for popular universities and courses can expect places to be more competitive, so missing their offer could be more serious.

However, students have been assured that most will get their first choice of university course by exams regulator Ofqual and university admissions service UCAS. An Ofqual spokesperson confirmed that the regulator has spoken to universities to confirm that they understood how grades were being awarded this year.

What happens if you miss your required A-level or GCSE results?

Even if you miss the required grades for your chosen course of study, you may still be accepted. It is important to check with your first choice university, college or sixth form before taking further action.

If you do not receive the place you were hoping for due to missing out on your predicted grades, then it may be possible to have your exam results reassessed to see if a mistake has been made.

How to challenge A-level or GCSE exam results

There are various processes available to challenge A-Level or GCSE results.

These can involve, for example, the following:

  • requesting that your exam is re-marked
  • applying for Special Considerations
  • challenging any potential malpractice or maladministration. The process...

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