Exams FAQs

This section is updated regularly as soon as we receive any new information. LAST UPDATE: 22/06/2020 09:31

We’ve had more details on your functional skills exams . The awarding organisation, City & Guilds have announced that you will receive a calculated result for your functional skills qualification this year. This will be judged from a range of evidence, all the work you’ve been doing with your teachers and assessors on the course. So, this could include assessment, classwork and mock exam results.

Once again, we want to reassure you that your teachers will be acting with utmost professionalism and accuracy during this period. We are very used to working with data and assessments and we are confident in our ability to work with the exam boards to ensure your result is fair and that you reach your progression goal.

As you would expect, the assessment grades given will be completely confidential. We are not permitted to inform you of your assessment grade. Exam results will be released later on in the year between late July and August.

There may be opportunities for some students to sit an exam later in the year if required. Therefore, it is important that you continue to develop your skills and knowledge and engage in the work that is being set by your tutors.

Apprentices who are required to gain a specific level functional skill for maths and English before they are able to sit their end point assessment, are included within the above flexibilities.

Please be reassured, this is a national issue, your result is completely valid for universities and employers.

The Government has announced there will be no exams taking place in schools or colleges this year, for any qualification (this includes GCSE, A level and all other vocational and technical qualifications)

The government have said ‘we recognise that some students may feel disappointed that they have not been able to sit their exams. If they do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance, they will have the opportunity to sit an exam, as soon as is reasonably possible after schools and colleges open again. Students will also have the option to sit their exams in summer 2021.’

Therefore, it is important for students to continue to study and develop their skills.

Awarding qualifications: information for students (vocational, A level, GCSE)

Latest information from the Department for Education and Ofqual, with regards to grading vocational qualifications. 

As you may have seen in the media, colleges are still awaiting guidance about how vocational and technical qualifications are going to be awarded. As soon as we have this guidance we will communicate with you immediately. We would like to thank you for your patience at this uncertain time, and the continued engagement students are maintaining with their teachers. 

Ofqual – the body that monitors qualifications – are working with awarding bodies to determine how qualifications may be finalised and awarded. There are currently three potential categories being discussed in relation to how this might happen:

Calculated results 

Adaptation of assessments 

Rescheduling 

Calculated results:

Qualifications being awarded based on students’ completion of class-work, assessments, mock exams, exams – as examples. This will be a similar process to how A levels and GCSEs are going to be calculated. Further information can be found at; https://www.gov.uk/government/news/awarding-vocational-and-technical-qualifications-this-summer 

Adaption of assessments: 

Where calculations are not possible alone and some assessments need completing, Ofqual are encouraging awarding bodies to adapt assessments or delivery models. This may mean completing an exam/assessment remotely for example. This could only be completed if it does not undermine the reliability of the result and only where assessments can take place within the current social distancing rules.

Rescheduling:

Where qualifications are required to show a students’ ability and knowledge to work in a particular role safely or they need a licence to practise, and students have not completed these elements of their study, there may be no option but to wait until normal assessments can take place again.

Ofqual are determining with awarding organisations those in scope for each category of grading,

This is still under review and awarding organisations were asked to submit this information to Ofqual by 17th April 2020. We hope that colleges will be communicated to within the coming weeks, to confirm which qualifications will be in which category. We can then move swiftly to ensure that all learners are clear as to how their grades will be awarded. 

GCSE and A level – awarding quals

We have had a little more information on how your GCSE/A Levels will be awarded. As outlined below, the college will be working closely with the exam boards to ensure that you achieve a fair and appropriate grade for your subjects. We understand this is a worrying time, but please be reassured that the college will do everything needed to allow students to progress appropriately. 

How will my GCSE and/or A Levels be decided?

Due to the cancellation of summer exams, your teachers will be giving you an assessment grade. This prediction can include evidence from homework, classwork, mock exams, controlled assessment completed so far. Your teacher will be going through a rigorous process to make the assessment grade.

These grades will be submitted to awarding bodies, where they will go through a rigorous moderation, before your final grade will be given. 

Will students see the centre assessment grades their school or college submits?

 No. It is important schools and colleges do not share provisional grades with students or parents and carers before final results have been issued. This is to protect the integrity of the teachers’ judgements, and to avoid teachers, Heads of Department or Heads of Centre feeling under pressure to submit a grade that is not supported by the evidence. Once centre assessment grades have been submitted to exam boards, the process to produce the final grades will start. More information will be given to teachers, students, parents and carers at the time final results are issued.

Will centre assessment grades be accurate? 

College internal assessments already has an important role in many GCSEs and A levels. In an unprecedented situation such as this, colleges are best placed to judge the likely performance of their students had courses been completed as normal. There is evidence to show that teachers can make predictions for their students with a high degree of accuracy. In the interests of fairness to students, judgements made by colleges across the country should be consistent. Exam boards will therefore standardise the judgements once grades have been submitted.

When will results be released? 

The exam boards are working hard to get results out as soon as is possible. Results won’t be delayed after the dates they were expected in August and ideally will be issued a little earlier, so students can have the certainty they need.

Will grades issued in 2020 carry the same weight as grades issued in previous or future years? 

The grades awarded to students will have equal status to the grades awarded in other years and should be treated in this way by universities, colleges and employers. On the results slips and certificates, grades will be reported in the same way as in previous years. 

Will students be able to progress to the next stage of education or employment with these grades?

 Yes, this approach will enable students to move onto the next stage of their education or employment in the autumn as planned. The Department for Education has discussed the plan with UCAS, school and college leaders, who are supportive of the approach.

We are still awaiting further updates from awarding bodies for clarification of how vocational course grades will be decided.


The calculated grades awarded will be formal grades, with the same status as grades awarded in any other year.

University representatives have already confirmed that they expect universities to be flexible and do all they can to support students and ensure they can progress to higher education.

Due to the cancellation of summer exams, your teachers will be giving you an assessment grade. This prediction can include evidence from homework, classwork, mock exams, controlled assessment completed so far. Your teacher will be going through a rigorous process to make the assessment grade.

These grades will be submitted to awarding bodies, where they will go through a rigorous moderation, before your final grade will be given.

 No. It is important schools and colleges do not share provisional grades with students or parents and carers before final results have been issued. This is to protect the integrity of the teachers’ judgements, and to avoid teachers, Heads of Department or Heads of Centre feeling under pressure to submit a grade that is not supported by the evidence. Once centre assessment grades have been submitted to exam boards, the process to produce the final grades will start. More information will be given to teachers, students, parents and carers at the time final results are issued.

College internal assessments already has an important role in many GCSEs and A levels. In an unprecedented situation such as this, colleges are best placed to judge the likely performance of their students had courses been completed as normal. There is evidence to show that teachers can make predictions for their students with a high degree of accuracy. In the interests of fairness to students, judgements made by colleges across the country should be consistent. Exam boards will therefore standardise the judgements once grades have been submitted.

The exam boards are working hard to get results out as soon as is possible. Results won’t be delayed after the dates they were expected in August and ideally will be issued a little earlier, so students can have the certainty they need.

The grades awarded to students will have equal status to the grades awarded in other years and should be treated in this way by universities, colleges and employers. On the results slips and certificates, grades will be reported in the same way as in previous years.

 Yes, this approach will enable students to move onto the next stage of their education or employment in the autumn as planned. The Department for Education has discussed the plan with UCAS, school and college leaders, who are supportive of the approach.

We are still awaiting further updates from awarding bodies for clarification of how vocational course grades will be decided.

Our student services team is on hand to provide support and advice. Call 01952 642237, or email info@telfordcollege.ac.uk