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Exam results FAQs

What do the grade changes mean for you? We explain it all in our Facebook live Q&A, with our Head of Student Recruitment, and by answering all your frequently asked questions.

Our Clearing hotline is open 9am - 5pm every weekday; call if you have any questions about exam results or Clearing: 0121 331 6777

Got your results but not sure what your options are?

See what next steps are available to you

Frequently asked questions after the Government’s announcement on Monday 17 August

What are the three sets of grades?

Teacher-predicted grades* – the predicted grades you entered on your original UCAS form that your teachers gave you based on what they thought you would achieve.

Centre-assessed grades – the grades which your school or college submitted to Ofqual to be used in awarding you grades instead of sitting exams.

Awarded grades - the grades which were subsequently standardised across all students, and revealed to you on Thursday 13 August.

*Teacher-predicted grades exclusions: Primary Education with QTS, Social Work, Engineering courses

I had an offer to study in year one of a degree, but neither my predicted grades or my standardised grades were high enough and I have accepted an offer for a foundation year. My centre-assessed grade is high enough for the full degree – can I swap?

Yes, we will automatically move you across to the full degree when we receive confirmation from UCAS that your centre-assessed grades meet the criteria for the full degree.

I had an offer to study one course, but neither my predicted grades or my standardised grades were high enough and I have accepted an offer for an alternative course. My centre-assessed grade is high enough for the original choice – can I swap?

Yes, please accept your alternative course choice, and then we will automatically move you across to the original degree when we receive confirmation from UCAS that your centre-assessed grades meet the criteria for the full degree.

Can I release from my BCU offer because I now have the grades for my original choice?

Yes, you can – but we will keep an offer open for you for a week in case you change your mind. Some courses regulated by professional bodies are exempt from this.

*Teacher-predicted grades exclusions: Primary Education with QTS, Social Work, Engineering courses

I had accepted an offer from BCU before results day ('main cycle') but was rejected as neither my awarded grades or my teacher-predicted grades met the entry requirements. However, my centre-assessed grades do - can I have my place back?

Yes - we are expecting the CAGs to be sent to us from UCAS on Friday 21 August. Our admissions team will then go through these for all students who previously had firmly accepted an offer from us but were later rejected. If the CAGs meet the terms of the student's original offer, the student will be contacted to be offered their place on their original course.

Appeals FAQs 

My predicted grade was higher than my final grade. What do I need to do?

If you are unhappy with your awarded grades, there is no need to panic. BCU will accept whichever is higher out of your actual exam results and your teacher-predicted grades. Call us now on our Clearing hotline 0121 331 6777 to see what courses are available to you. Some exceptions apply.* 

What is statistical standardisation and how does it affect me?

This is a model put in place by the exam regulator Ofqual to make sure grades across different schools and colleges are of a consistent standard. When your school/college submitted your grade to the exam board, they also sent a rank order – putting you in a list alongside other students at your institution. The exam board then compares these results with factors such as how the school has performed in recent years, and may make some adjustments.

What’s the difference between the centre assessment grade and the calculated grade?

The centre assessment grade is the one that your school/college sent to the exam board. Your final grade is the one that counts, and the one that you will receive on results day. It will have been through the standardisation process before you receive it. Your school will be able to give you your centre assessment grade if you want it, but not until after 8am on results day.

How do I appeal?
  • The school/college will contact the exam board in the first instance to find out how your grade was calculated. Based on the information they receive, they will then decide whether to submit an appeal.
  • If your appeal is successful, your grade could either go up, down or stay the same.
  • If your school/college is still not happy with the decision can ask Ofqual to review the case through the Exam Procedure Review Service.
Will my grade go up if I appeal?

It can go up, down or stay the same – so it’s worth bearing this in mind.

When can and can’t I appeal?

You can only appeal if you think there was an error in the process, not just because you disagree with the grade you’ve been given.

You can appeal if:

  • School or college made an error when submitting the grades
  • The school or college believes the exam board used the wrong data when calculating your grade
  • The school or college believes the exam board incorrectly communicated the grades calculated
You can’t appeal:
  • Your centre assessment grade If you think you could have done better in the exam
What if my school/college won’t appeal for me?

Speak to the school or college first. They must have a process in place for you to ask for the decision to be reviewed. If you want to complain, you can speak to the exam board for guidance.

What if I can’t appeal but I’m still not happy with my grade?

You would need to look into other options such as applying for university through Clearing or sitting your exams in the Autumn

When do I need to appeal by?

17 September 2020

I did a BTEC or other vocational qualification – how do I appeal?

The appeal process is similar but can vary slightly for each qualification – but you should still speak to your school or college in the first instance.

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