Cancelled exams? Don't worry ...

My Exams have been cancelled - What happens next? A reminder

So you were due to sit your GCSEs, but as you know ...


Some of you might have been wondering how your teachers will work out how to mark you for your subjects but all is not lost - your effort through the year will still contribute to your final grade.

Hopefully, you should now have had all the information you need about how grading will work and if you have a C&K Careers adviser at school or college, you’ll have spoken to them. But if you’re still a bit unsure, or if you’re wondering what to do next, read on!

How will my grades be awarded if I don’t do exams?

Ofqual released a new video recently to explain how everything will work. Here’s an overview of what they decided:

Your school will be asked to send the exam boards TWO pieces of information for each of your subjects, based on what they know about your work and achievements:

Information 1 is the grade they believe you were most likely to get if teaching, learning and exams had happened as planned, while

Information 2 is a list of students at your school who are taking each subject, combined with a performance rank for each student for each subject.

How does this impact on you? Well, for Information 1, your school will consider a range of things like:

  • Your classwork and homework
  • Your results in assignments and any mock exams
  • Any non-exam assessment or coursework you might have done
  • Your general progress during your course

So for those of you who might be thinking that your mock exam grades don’t show what you know you’re capable of, don’t worry. Your teachers will be aware of your progress through the year and should be sending in a grade that considers what you’ve shown you can do.

A further important thing to note is that your grade will be awarded on what you did at school, not what you’ve managed to complete during lockdown.

Will the grade I get match what I would have achieved anyway?

Your school will provide the exam boards with a list of students taking each subject, and the grades awarded. These results will then be compared with other schools. Because of this, the grade your teachers award you could change. This is something that would normally happen after you’d sat your exams and is to make sure that grading is fair across the country.Students looking at exam results

Will I get into college/sixth form, or meet the requirements for my apprenticeship?

If you have an unconditional offer, congratulations – the grades you get won’t affect your entry to college/sixth form, or the start of your apprenticeship.

If your offer is conditional, this means that whether you’re able to get into your first choice or not will depend upon the grades you get.

What might be helpful is to have a think about how well you did in your different subjects this year, and how this matches up with what you need.

For example, if you need at least five grade 4s in your GCSEs, you could think about the following:

  • the set you were placed in for your subjects
  • your target grade (if known)
  • any coursework you may have completed (if applicable)
  • how you’ve been working throughout the year.

The result of any mock exams you might have taken (don’t worry too much about this – it’s just a guide. Teachers will take into account that these were just mock exams, not the real thing)

If you think you have a good chance of meeting the requirements for your first choice, it might be an idea to check your offer letter to make sure you accept by the required date.

If you’re unsure about whether you will get the grades you need, here are some things you can do right now:

  1. Work out which subjects you’re unsure you’ll get the required grade(s) for
  2. Identify how far off you might be from getting the grades needed
  3. If it looks as though you might be a few grades off getting what you need, think about having a look at some different courses or other options, so you can choose a back-up
  4. If you’re concerned about English and maths, send an email to the college/sixth form admissions department, or training provider. You might find that you can still be accepted for your first choice and retake these at the same time

Remember, your C&K Careers adviser is here to support you. If you have any questions, you can contact them directly.

For further advice about Year 11 options in Calderdale and Kirklees, check out the great information on our website.

If you can’t find the answers to your questions, remember we’re here if you need us. Our Chat service is available 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. You can get in touch by phone, email and Facebook chat. 

Good luck!


Trainee careers adviser

Page updated June 2020

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Our careers advisers are based at:

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Huddersfield Careers Centre
24 High Street

T: 01484 242000 - general enquiries

T: 01484 213856 - Chat service, speak to a careers adviser