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To Sam

AS internal exam results

due to the pandemic i couldnt do my AS exam and i am stressed that i will have restart year 12 again oicking my results up tomrrow

Ask Sam


Hi there,

This time of year is always stressful as exam results are due. Normally you might have some idea about how well you did because you've actually taken an exam so you can tell how difficult it was. The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that this year everything is different for exam results. For some people this has added a lot of anxiety to what was already a stressful time.

However, not everyone has been unhappy with the way exams have gone this year - for some it might be a relief that they didn't have to take an exam. The main worry for people is how their grade is going to be decided if they haven't taken an exam. Most of the time this is going to be decided by your teachers and school, looking at work you had produced throughout the year and previous results from other exams. After you’re given a grade by your school they also rank everyone who was given that grade and decide who they’re most to least certain about.

The grades and rankings given by schools then go to the government body responsible for qualifications, in England this is called Ofqual. Ofqual then looks at previous years and compares the results - how many people got the highest grades, how many got the next highest and so on. They will then take all of the estimates and the rankings given by schools and give a grade that best fits how results usually look every year as a whole. The idea behind this is that if the exams had gone ahead as usual, we wouldn't expect there to be much difference in how many people got the highest and lowest grades.

Deciding grades in this way might feel a little unfair to some people. It could be that because you weren't expecting this work to impact on your final grade, you didn't prepare for it as much as you would for an exam. There may also have been difficult circumstances that have affected your school year that you might have been able to overcome by studying harder for an exam. A lot of anxiety can come from this potential unfairness.

If you are unhappy with your grade the government have said you won't be able to appeal to them to get it changed. You can appeal if you think a mistake has been made, but if you disagree with the rating your school have given you, government bodies like Ofqual won't accept an appeal from you. You should speak to your school if you think your grade is lower than it should be and if they agree, they are able to take an appeal on your behalf. Another option you have is to sit the exam at a future date to prove that you can get a higher grade.

Each governing body has produced guides for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland if you want to find out more. Your school is always the best place to start for getting advice and if you don't feel you can get that advice from your school because of discrimination then there is a way to bring this to the exam board directly and you can find out more about that here.

This is a stressful time so be sure to get support for how you feel - our counsellors are available to talk to if you want emotional support and you can talk with other young people on our message boards to find out how they are coping.

Thanks for the letter.

Take care.

Sam ​

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