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DESC Careers Information, Advice and Guidance Service

Please Note: The content below is based on the current information available from Exam Boards and is therefore subject to change. This content will be reviewed and updated regularly as further information is released.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will grades will be determined?

This year grades for Year 11 and 13 students who are completing courses will be determined by their schools as Examination Centres, instead of them sitting summer exams.

Grades will be determined using a range of evidence that may include coursework, mock examinations, homework, and class-based tests as well as other evidence produced during their courses.

Student grades will be holistic and will be determined as late in the academic year as practicable, but no later than early June. This is so students can undertake additional ‘in class’ assessments as needed in Island schools during the first half of the Summer Term in line with Exam Board deadlines.

Island Secondary schools are developing procedures in line with Exam Board requirements to ensure that grading is fair.

When will students find out their grades?

This year’s grades will be treated the same as any other year. Exam Boards will issue the grades in August following moderation across Examination Centres. Schools will not know, or be allowed to tell their students their subject grades, before the official results day.

This year’s results days will be:


Year 13 Level 3 Qualifications Tuesday 10th August 2021

(For all Level 3 qualifications: A Levels, AS Levels, IA Levels, IAS Levels, BTEC Level 3 )


Year 11 Level 1 and 2 Qualifications Thursday 12th August 2021

(For all GCSE, IGCSE, BTEC, OCR National and other Vocational qualifications at Levels 1 & 2)


Does this change impact all Awarding Bodies and courses?

This change in how grades will be awarded to students completing their courses affects most general courses (IGCSE, GCSE & A-level) and technical courses (BTEC and OCR National Courses) at Levels 1, 2 and 3.

However, there are some vocational courses that require skills to be assessed through practical exams so these will still go ahead as normal. In this case teachers will work closely with students to ensure they know how and when they will complete these assessments.

Will exam certificates for Summer 2021 look different?

Exam certificates will look the same as any other year as the rules around the awarding of grades this year will be stringent and highly regulated.


Will there be an appeal process for results Summer 2021?

There are procedures for ensuring grades have been awarded fairly by schools. Exam Boards will be outlining the types of evidence required from schools to support grading decisions in different subjects as well as providing external quality assurance over the processes followed by schools.

However, if on receiving their results, a student feels that there has been some sort of error made whilst the school was determining their grade there will be an appeal process in place.

The appeal process is likely to vary slightly across Exam Boards and schools will advise of appeal procedures, if necessary, to individuals, as well as any cost attached.

How will this change impact the summer term for Year 11 and 13 students?

Broadly,  students in Y11 and 13 will be in school up until mid-May and then, at the school’s discretion, some may be allowed to go on study leave in the lead up to TT week (this may vary slightly from school-to-school).

This year’s official leaving date is Friday 28th May, but schools may ask pupils to come in after that date to finalise assessments and complete work that will help determine their grade.

Being in school a bit longer this year will help support the positive progression of school leavers on to the next stage of their education, training or employment by ensuring that content has been delivered, and learning consolidated. There will also be additional advice and guidance available for Year 11 and 13 this year to help them make good decisions and take positive next steps into further or higher education, training or employment on leaving school.

What should private candidates do?

Some adults, and some home educated students, who were intending to take examinations privately this Summer at University College Isle of Man will now not be able to. They should contact UCM enquiries for advice.

How do I keep updated?

Over the coming weeks, national and international Awarding Bodies will be communicating further detail about their arrangements for awarding qualifications in Summer 2021. More information will be provided to students and their families through schools as plans develop.

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