This year have been filled with a lot of uncertainties in many areas such as travel, employment and others. The pandemic has caused devastation to people’s livelihoods and lifestyle and it seems it has also affected A level results of students in England. Teachers were asked to estimate their student grades as we learned this year exams were cancelled due to the pandemic.
The predicted results were moderated by exam boards to ensure that A-Level grades were not inflated compared to previous years. However, there was an outcry from teachers earlier on the approach that was been considered. This was overlooked and as A-Level results day progressed, we experienced the injustice of this system. We can see the reason for concern of teachers showed across the board.
England, Wales and Scotland A level results
- 78% A* – C grades of results, up 2.6% from last year.
- 28% of these were A* and A grades just over 2%
A-Level Results Controversy in England
- 39% of grade entries were downgraded by the algorithm
- 2 % of grade were increased
BTEC results were stable and have been receiving estimated results in recent weeks. They are considered in line with previous years. The unfairness of the algorithm have greatly impacted A-Level student on a wider scale.
Students are being asked to consider appealing the decision or taking a re-sit. However, many of these students have now been rejected by their chosen universities and some, all their university choices. This is due to getting marked down on their A-Level results. This is to no fault of their own but merely the result of an algorithm. This took into consideration past school performance, and ranking from teachers. This have impacted students from disadvantaged backgrounds more than it has those who attend private schools.
Analysis and prime ministers’ statement
Boris Johnson said earlier “where pupils are disappointed, where they feel they could have done better, where they feel that there’s an injustice been done to them, there is the possibility of appeal and they can re-sit, they can take a re-sit this autumn as well.”
This is rather unfair to those students who would have had their places rejected and will have to spend longer searching for places at universities where they wouldn’t have otherwise gone to. Some would not know what to do and considering the price of the appeal and re-sits are not affordable, students face a harder time as parents now also must bear the brunt of the grading system that has placed them at a disadvantage.
Some students who have consistently performed at a higher level have suddenly found themselves with grades lower than they would have achieved given the chance to sit the exam. This is all down to the school and where they come from. We have learnt a lesson that despite warnings from different bodies and teachers, the exam body still went ahead with a system that we can say is based on class and not individual performance.
Protests in London
Students have taken to the streets and Downing street to protest the way they have been graded. It is now up to the government to listen to complaints and take action. We all await the decision of the government on this matter as a lot of students are heart broken and now face more stress from their A-Level results on top of the uncertainties the pandemic has brought.
It is an unusual year for A-Level results this year, with grades given for exams that were never taken. As expected, how it has been handled and delivered have not been to the best interest of students. Today has filled many with uncertainty and others who have not been affected with joy. Although some universities have promised flexible admissions, we can’t be 100% certain this will go to the favour of all.