A-Level Results Day: Can I appeal my results?

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Thousands of students who received their A-Level results today have been left feeling dissapointed, after more than a third of entries in England were lowered by one full grade as part of a moderation process that head teachers have branded as “unfair.”

This news has left many students and parents wondering whether it’s possible to challenge grades.

It’s not straightforward, but if you’re a student who feels hard done by, there are some circumstances in which your school might be able to appeal your grades on your behalf. Pupils can’t lodge appeals by themselves.

Results this year were calculated based on teacher predictions. Your teacher had to submit a centre assessed grade for you, alongside a rank order of which students they believed would do best within each subject.

Grades were then moderated by an algorithm, which took into account factors including the past performance of your school.

If your grades are dramatically lower than you expected, there might have been a mistake when your school or college submitted your centre assessment grade or place in the rank order. You can ask them to check this. If your school or college agrees that it made a mistake, it can submit an appeal to the exam board, but it must be supported by clear evidence that an error had been made.

Furthermore, your school or college can appeal to an exam board on your behalf if it believes the exam board used the wrong data when calculating grades or incorrectly communicated the grades calculated. You should discuss this with your school or college.

Besides mistakes in communication or data use, schools can lodge appeals on behalf of students if they can show that the school has changed in some way, for example if the school has gone from single-sex to mixed, and therefore previous cohorts are no longer representative of this year’s students.

In a last-minute change, education secretary Gavin Williamson has also announced that schools can appeal if a student did considerably better in their mock exam than in the result they are given today.

If you think that any of the above circumstances might apply to you, you should speak to your school, but be aware that this is a national issue, with the vast majority of students across the country receiving slightly lower results than expected. Unfortunately, just because your results might not be as high as you were hoping for, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have grounds for an appeal.

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Featured image: © Piqsels.


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