UK Exams - What we know so far:

Updated: Apr 15

The decision was taken in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic, to cancel all UK and International exams for this summer.

British and International exam boards will therefore not be issuing papers for this summer’s GCSEs, AS and A-Levels, and BTECs and IB.

Whilst for some students this will be a matter of great relief, for many others there is a sense of disappointment that after all the hard work they have put in, they will now not get the chance to demonstrate this in an exam situation.

There is still much confusion surrounding the exam situation and how grades will be awarded and the impact it will have on future education plans, so, we have put together a timeline of how schools and exam boards will handle this change. We will also answer the questions at the top of most student’s and parent’s minds.

This is the information as we have it on 13th April 2020. This is relevant to UK exams boards but we expect the International exam boards to mirror this. Please check their individual websites for up to date information. IB, CIE, Edexcel, and AQA

If you are entered as a private candidate and need to produce evidence for your grades, please contact us for support. Carfax College in Oxford is a registered exam centre and can provide private candidates with an intensive academic review to verify the required evidence to submit to exam boards. Please call +441865200676.


How will schools assess the grades?

The schools have been advised that they will be required to submit the grades they think the student would have achieved if they had sat the exam, and they have to rank their students, with the ranking being considered alongside the predicted grade. They will be required to submit the predicted grades in the 2 week period between 29th May and the 12th of June.

What evidence will they use?

Schools have been asked to take the following evidence into account when they are assessing the grades.

  • classwork

  • bookwork

  • any participation in performances in subjects such as music, drama or PE

  • any non-exam assessment – whether or not complete

  • the results of any assignments or mock exams

  • previous examination results – for example, for any re-sitting students or those with relevant AS qualifications (but do note, there will be no more scheduled mocks between now and May)

  • any other records of student performance over the course of study

How will teachers avoid over or underpredicting?

The exam boards have asked schools to rank the order of the students in each grade boundary. This will then be used in a statistical standardisation of the results at each exam board. The standardisation is to allow boards to fine tune the results to make sure the results mirror previous years standardised results.

What if I am a private candidate?

If the candidate is known to the exam centre then they will be able to submit the grades. As stated, you will need enough evidence to submit, such as homework, mocks, book work, to allow Ofqual to judge this, but more importantly you need a teacher figure who can give you a predicted grade and submit it, which Carfax can provide for you.

Will the student be told their grade before the exam boards release them in the summer?

No, these grades will be confidential. Students have been asked not to pressure teachers for the grades that have been submitted.

The grades from the school will be moderated by the exam boards to fit overall norms and therefore the grade issued by the school may not be the final grade awarded. The grades should be released at the same time as normal, so around 20th August.

So what information will the schools be sending the exam boards?

The schools will send in two pieces of information

1. the grade they think the student was most likely to achieve if the exams had gone ahead as planned.

2. The order of the students for each grade in each subject.

How will a student lodge an appeal?

This is not entirely clear yet, as it cannot be the usual procedure of reviewing the papers. The exam boards will update us on this process in due course.

Will this year’s results be considered to be the same as in other years?

Yes – the grades will appear on exam certificates in exactly the same way as in previous years and Universities, Colleges and future employers will consider them in exactly the same way as results that came before and will come after.

How are the Universities dealing with the situation?

The Universities are working closely with the exam boards to make sure that students will not be disadvantaged by the current circumstances.

They are reassuring students that the process will continue as normal, based on the grades issued in the summer. If there need to be appeals then they will factor that in too.

We expect there to be some increased flexibility in the system this year to accommodate students who may have been disadvantaged by these unprecedented events.

What advice are we giving students?

We are advising students who would have been taking exams this summer if to:

  • Complete the exam syllabus, even if it is not going to be examined, it is still relevant knowledge for the next stage of their education, whether that is moving onto A Levels or University.

  • Make sure you complete any work that is set by the school to the best of your ability as this could all be used as evidence to support your grade recommendation.

  • Have records of your achievements, in case you need to make an appeal later in the process.

  • Be prepared to take the exams at the beginning of the next academic year, if needs be.

  • Get ready and be prepared to move onto the next stage of your education journey.

If you need subject consolidation, support with working through the remote learning, mentoring in order to maintain academic standards, or advice on University applications

Contact us now on +97144385276 or email



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Telephone: +971 4 438 5276



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Abu Dhabi, P.O. Box 769446 

Telephone: +971 50 286 1117


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