A-level results and career guidance are reaching hundreds of thousands of students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
But unlike other years, these results were estimated after exams were canceled by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The exam watchdog has reported A * and A scores up 2% this year at A – close to record levels.
Controversy surrounds deciding how the results are done – with principal teachers angry with the use of mock test scores.
Geoff Barton, head of the ASCL Teachers Association, warns that there is “profound frustration” in schools about the confusion caused by late changes to the results system.
Nearly 300,000 teenagers will search for A-level results – some by email and others entering school, perhaps for the first time since they left during the cut-off in March.
The moderation process will mean that about 40% of the results will be different, mostly lower than the teachers’ predicted scores.
There will be a close examination of whether disadvantaged students will lose out of such changes – a problem that caused protests and a ouster in Scotland.
Students taking the vocational exam have received estimated results in recent weeks – with 250,000 hitting BTec results this year.
For college-bound students, it is expected to be the “buyer’s market”, with the Ucas admissions service saying the universities will be “super flexible” even for those with slip the score.
The A-level results are expected to display:
- About 8% will achieve A *
- 27% will reach A * or A
- 78% will reach from A * to C
- Psychology is now the second most popular subject, after mathematics
- Girls will be better than boys, except A * s
- Northern Ireland will have the most first place compared to England and Wales
- About 40% of the score will differ from the teacher’s prediction
- There will be 25,000 undergraduate courses available in the clearing, including 4,500 courses in Russell Group’s top universities.
There has been controversy over how to calculate scores without exams – with the two biggest factors being the order of students’ rankings and their previous results at school.
In the UK, principals angrily complained of a last-minute “mess” going to the “third class”, in which students could score the highest out of three on the assessment:
- their estimated score
- an optional writing paper in the fall
- or appeal through their school if the estimated result is lower than the mock test,
The head warns the mock exams are organized by schools in different ways and using them to decide exam results is wrong.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, UK Education Minister Gavin Williamson said he would refuse to follow Scotland’s instructions to allow students whose results were downgraded to be awarded points as predicted by their teachers.
He warned that if teachers’ scores were used in the UK, “we would see them skyrocket,” which would “devalue” the 2020 class results and be unfair to previous years and Future.
But worse, that means students this year will lose twice as much, both in terms of their education and their future prospects, he added.
Mr. Williamson said the government has set aside £ 30 million to help schools with the cost of running exams this fall for students who choose this option.
Congratulating the students who “made it through this extraordinary school year”, he said that the 2020 class will not “lose money because of Covid-19” and that their future will be “as promising as the other years”.
In Wales, students have been promised that their A-level results will be revised upwards if they are below their AS level.
The test panel said the results would not show the widening gap or “unconscious bias”, as it would for ethnic minority students.
But linking student scores with past school results will mean paying close attention to whether this works for disadvantaged children.
This comes when test results are published in Scotland – forcing to switch to using teacher prediction.
And in the UK there will be concerns that the brightest students in underperforming schools may be underestimated.
The UK exam watchdog has said that if teacher predictions are used, it will increase results – so about 38% of the test will be an A * or A grade.
But using a system based on ranking students by ability could create a “lottery” of scores for the average, Buckingham University Professor Alan Smithers said in a press release. pre-analysis of annual results.
He said that although the students at the top and bottom of the ability range would be clear, it would be more difficult to “differentiate those in the middle”, with the risk that the ranking decisions were “inaccurate. and not fair “.
Mr. Williamson has defended the certainty of replacement points – and told those receiving their results “they should feel proud of all they have achieved under exceptional and difficult circumstances. towel “.
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