Thousands of A-level results downgraded after exams cancelled

13 Aug 2020 @ 9.40 am
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Thousands of pupils’ results have been downgraded after this year’s summer exams were cancelled because of Covid-19 despite record-high results.

The proportion of A-level entries awarded an A grade or higher has risen to an all-time high, with 27.9% securing the top grades this year, figures for England, Wales and Northern Ireland show.

But exam boards downgraded nearly two in five (39.1%) pupils’ grades in England, according to data from Ofqual – which amounts to around 280,000 entries being adjusted down after moderation.

Teachers were told to submit the grades they thought each student would have received if they had sat the papers, alongside a rank order of students, after exams were cancelled amid the pandemic.

Exam boards moderated these grades to ensure this year’s results were not significantly higher than previously and the value of students’ grades were not undermined.

In England, a total of 35.6% of grades were adjusted down by one grade, 3.3% were brought down by two grades and 0.2% came down by three grades, figures from Ofqual show.

But overall, the proportion of entries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland awarded the top A* grade this year has surged to 9% – the highest proportion since the top grade was first introduced in 2010.

In total, 27.9% of entries were awarded an A or A* grade this summer, which is up by 2.4 percentage points on last year when 25.5% achieved the top grades.