Exam Results Appeals Process

Dear students, parents and carers,

Many of you will have seen the headline that OFQUAL has decided to adjust the examination results issued to students, Grades in public exams in 2020 have been awarded as the higher of: The Centre assessed grade or the grade produced by the OFQUAL moderation process whichever is the higher.

How grades have been set this year

“Centre assessment grades (CAGs) were submitted by schools or colleges and are the grades they judged a student would have been most likely to achieve if they had sat an exam.

We asked schools and colleges to use their professional experience to make a fair and objective judgement of the grade they believed a student would have achieved had they sat their exams this year.

Where calculated grades are higher than CAGs, calculated grades will be awarded. These grades have been standardised.”  

OFQUAL guidance

Schools and colleges used a range of evidence to make their judgements including non-exam assessments, results of homework assignments and mock exams and any other records of student performance over the course of study. At least two teachers were involved in agreeing each proposed grade, and each one was signed off by the Principal

It should be noted that for this reason, a grade that a student may have been given as a ‘mock grade’ may not satisfy the criteria needed by the examination boards when calculating the centre assessed grade for a subject for each student. – For example, this may be the case if a mock examination paper was one that the students had planned answers for in class. Therefore, a higher mock examination grade in one paper may not be eligible grounds for an appeal.

What happens if a student’s centre assessment grade is lower than the calculated grade?

“In cases where a student’s centre assessment grade is lower than their calculated grade, the higher of the 2 will be the final result.”

OFQUAL guidance


Appeals and complaints

The vast majority of students received grades that are fair and that will enable them to progress to their next stage. However, we know there are some students and families who may want to appeal a subject grade

Are there routes of appeal still open?

“Schools and colleges can only appeal where there has been an administrative error with the CAG or rank order information. Rank order information was vital to support standardisation, but any change to a student’s position in the rank order would not change the student’s CAG

Administrative errors might include, for example, mixing up 2 students with similar names, or accidentally copying across the wrong data, but do not relate to the professional judgements of centres in assigning CAGs.

Centres cannot appeal against the CAG that they decided was correct at the point of submitting it to the exam board, and for which the head of centre submitted a declaration to confirm that in the centre’s judgement this was the grade the students were most likely to have received had the exams gone ahead.

If a student is concerned that any reasonable adjustments were not taken into account when their school or college determined their CAG, they should discuss this with their school or college.”

OFQUAL guidance

Can a student appeal to receive their mock grade?

“The decision to issue students the higher of their CAG or their calculated grades means that a route to appeal on the grounds of mock exam results is not available. Mock exam results were part of the evidence schools centre took into account when determining CAGs for their students.”

OFQUAL guidance


We have published a guide on our website to help students and their families understand how appeals will operate this summer. This includes information on complaints about potential bias or discrimination. We believe such complaints will be rare, but they will be taken very seriously.

For more information on the next steps after students have received their results, contact the Examination Results Helpline on 0800 100 900. You can also contact OFQUAL directly on 0300 303 3344, or by email at public.enquiries@ofqual.gov.uk.

If you wish to request individual information regarding a grade or rank then this should be done through a request for information form that can be found on the noticeboard in Edulink.

To all students receiving their results, whatever their next step, we wish them well. They have experienced a unique disruption to their lives. Their grades awarded we hope will enable as many as possible to move on in their lives with a sense of pride in their hard work and achievements.

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