Well done to everyone receiving their A-level and GCSE results this summer. The whole team at AQA wish you the very best of luck and hope that you got the results you set out to achieve.
We use estimated grades when a student hasn't been able to sit an exam due to illness or family tragedy. This process, known as special consideration, is followed by all exam boards to make sure students still get the results they deserve, even under challenging personal circumstances. We may also need to estimate a grade for a paper on the rare occasion that a script goes missing.
All exam boards estimate grades by taking into account a student's performance in other papers and the national averages for that qualification. The guidance and criteria for calculating these grades, also known as Z-scores, are set out by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQCIC) to help ensure the approach is consistent and fair.
Understanding how exams work
We've put together a series of short films that shows you how we go about creating a new question paper and how we ensure you get the right grades.
Getting the right result
We know that getting the right result is very important to you; that's why we've put it at the heart of everything we do. And by 'right result' we don't just mean getting the right number of marks or grade – it has to be an accurate reflection of your ability too.
Here you can find out what are already doing to get it right, as well as how we are continuously improving what we do.
You can also watch our short film which explains why marking some subjects is more challenging than others and what research tells us about how to make marking as accurate and reliable as possible.
Changes to GCSEs and A-levels
Here is an update on some recent changes. You can find more information on our GCSE and A-level changes page.
Staying in school or training after age 16
The Government has raised the participation age for students. This means if you were planning on leaving school in summer 2013 but are only 16 years old, you will now need to stay in full time education or training for another year. From June 2015, you must stay in full time education or training until you are 18 years old.
Avoid malpractice in your exams
While you're revising and preparing for exams, you might want to discuss your concerns with other students online. Read our malpractice in exams page to make sure you're clear on what you can share online and how to avoid malpractice in your exams and other assessments.