A Level and GCSE results 2020 FAQs

This year the awarding of exam results has taken a number of unexpected turns.  The following is hoped to provide some clarification for parents and students who are in receipt of A Level grades or are awaiting GCSE grades.

A Level

I seem to have been given two sets of results, which are my actual results?

The exam boards have been instructed to make a final exam grade award on the basis of Centre Assessed Grades.  Centre Assessed Grades or CAGs are the grades that were submitted to the Boards in May 2020.  In due course you will receive a certificate with these grades recorded on it.

Can my grades go down as a consequence of this change of approach?

No.  The good news is that if the CAG is lower than the grade that you were given on Thursday of last week by the Board then the higher-grade stands.

Is my CAG the same as my UCAS predicted grade?

No.  Your predicted grade was given in September 2019 and your CAG was given in May 2020.  Your predicted grade for UCAS reflects what your teachers think you could get at A Level.  The CAG is a grade that reflects the evidence that you had provided in summer exams (2019), mocks and most importantly work done up until the time that school was suspended for the COVID shut down.

Can I see my CAGs?

Yes, CAGS were embargoed until results day, but you can see them now – contact the exams office for a copy.  Grades can only go up at this point.

What about university and college places?

If you were accepted by your first-choice university on Thursday, then that agreement still stands no matter what your grade is today.  If your grades have improved, then you may consider clearing/UCAS extra.  Please make contact if you are worried about this.

How has this affected the BSP?

Last week we were told that 29 CAGs had been downgraded by the exam boards.  Those students will be able to use their CAG as their final exam grade. Nine pupils had their CAGs increased by the exam board, their higher grade (the one given on Thursday of last week) will stand.

There is no change for the other pupils.

What is all this talk of university caps?

As the national picture has improved more students have gained the grades they require to move to their first-choice university.  Universities have been given permission to make more places available at their institutions to cope with this new influx of students.

What is the BSP’s A*- C pass rate now?

A*-C – 90.9%. 

A*-A – 40.09%

A*-E – 100%

What about other exams?

Media reports suggest that the International A Level and International GCSE grades have been changed in line with the A Level and GCSE grades (the BSP has always done the “home version” of the exams)

International Baccalaureate results were downgraded earlier in the summer and remain so.

Want more?

UCAS have provided a short video to explain the changes to A Level and the impact on university places  https://twitter.com/ucas_online?lang=en

The view from an ex minister via the Times Educational Supplement (TES) https://www.tes.com/news/gcses-2020-call-delay-results-over-flawed-algorithm

More from the TES including a statement from the Head of Ofqual


The GCSE grades will be made public on Thursday 20th August as planned.

The exam regulator Ofqual announced that the plan to apply an algorithm to the results submitted by the School in May (these grades are knowns as Centre Assessed grades or CAGS) will not take place.

What should I do on Thursday?

If you are worried about your grades then please do come into school to discuss them.  Results can be collected from the exams office – Braille Building from 09:00am on Thursday.

What if I am not in France?

Then we are ready to answer questions by ‘phone, video call or email.

Will the Ofqual algorithm be used?

It appears that we will only see the CAGs and the algorithm will play no part in this set of results.

Nicholas Hammond