GCSE results 2020: date exam results come out in England, how marks are calculated - and how to appeal

Students will receive a result marked on teachers’ predicted grades for each subject

Exams across the UK were cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning that grades have been calculated in a different way this year.

Scottish pupils received their National 5 and Higher results on 4 August, but when do students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland receive their GCSE results?

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Exams across the UK were cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning grades this year have been calculated in a different way (Photo: Shutterstock)

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When is GCSE results day?

This year, GCSE results are out on Thursday 20 August in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Results for vocational and technical qualifications used for progression to further or higher education will also be available on the same day as GCSE results.

A level results came out a week earlier, on 13 August.

How do I collect my GCSE results?

You can usually collect GCSE results from your school on the morning of results day.

However, this year some schools may have different arrangements, and there may be social distancing measures in place.

You may also be able to request to have your results sent to you by email.

This will vary based on your school, so it’s worth checking ahead of time what the process is going to be.

How have GCSE grades been awarded?

Given that GCSE exams were cancelled this year, students will now receive a result marked on teachers’ predicted grades for each subject instead.

Following the controversy over the way in which A level results were graded last week, which saw the government do a u-turn on Monday (17 August), GCSEs will now be graded according to teacher assessment, instead of by an algorithm.

This means that students will be given the grades that they were predicted to receive by their teachers, instead of the previous system used for A level results, which saw regulator Ofqual asking teachers to assess and rank their pupils, and then submit their recommendations.

Moderators took into account factors like the recent historical performance of a school and the academic track record of each pupil in order to come up with a final grade, but this resulted in around 40 per cent of predicted results being downgraded.

There were concerns that GCSEs could also be downgraded, but the government has reverted back to issuing students grades according to teacher assessment instead.

However, on Wednesday evening (19 August) exam board Pearson announced that it would re-grade BTecs in line with GCSEs and A-levels, meaning students will no longer receive BTec results on Thursday. Pearson's last-minute decision affects around 500,000 pupils.

What can I do if I’m not happy with my results?

If you think the correct process hasn’t been used to calculate your grade, you have the right to appeal.

However, schools and colleges can only appeal on students’ behalf, against the process or the use of data, not against teachers’ use of their professional judgement.

Pupils who do not feel that their calculated grade reflects their ability will have the opportunity to sit an exam in the autumn term, in the month of November, or in summer of 2021.

If you do choose to sit an exam, then you can use the higher of the two grades, either the one given to you on GCSE results day 2020, or the one you obtain in your exam, as your final, official GCSE grade.

The school that you would have taken exams with this summer if they had gone ahead, will need to enter you for autumn exams if you wish to take them, even if you are no longer enrolled there.