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Ofqual: Student Guide to Awarding - Summer 2021

Monday 17 May 2021

Student guide to awarding summer 2021

Ofqual have released clear guidelines for students outlining the arrangements in place for awarding grades in summer 2021, and where students can go for additional information.

The government has said that many exams and assessments cannot be held fairly this year as a result of the disruption students have faced due to the pandemic. Teachers will instead submit grades to the exam boards, based on assessments, enabling students to progress to the next stage of their education, training, or employment.

How GCSEs, AS and A levels will be awarded in summer 2021: a summary
How your grade will be determined

  • graded by teacher judgement, with grades signed off by your head of department and your head teacher or principal before being submitted to the exam board
  • not graded by an algorithm
  • school and college assessments can continue - your school or college will let you know the timings of any assessments
  • you’ll only be assessed on what you’ve been taught
  • your school or college will tell you the evidence they will use to determine your grade
  • you will not be told what grade has been submitted for you
  • if you’re a private candidate you can work with a school, college or other exam centre to provide evidence on which your grades will be based


  • a range of evidence can be used, such as mocks, tests and work you have already done
  • non-exam assessment (often known as coursework) should continue
  • non-exam assessment can be used as evidence even if incomplete
  • art and design grades will be based only on your portfolio
  • schools and colleges can use questions provided by exam boards if they choose to do so
  • your school or college must follow guidance when determining your grades and the exam boards will check they have done so

Results days

AS and A level: 10 August
GCSE: 12 August