Standardising grades

Exams boards will standardise centre assessment grades to produce students' final results.

Now that centres have submitted their centre assessment grades and rank orders, we'll standardise across all schools and colleges to produce students' final results.

These are known as 'calculated grades'.

Why standardising is important

Standardising makes sure that results are as fair as possible.

It uses statistical evidence to ensure that the same grading standards are applied across all schools and colleges from one year to the next.

We standardise every year. But with no exams this summer, it will have a bigger role to play in making sure results are as fair as they can be and of equal value to previous years.

How we'll standardise

This summer, all exam boards will follow the same standardisation process set out by Ofqual.

It will take schools' centre assessment grades and consider them against:

  • past results for each school or college and changes in its year-on-year entry profile
  • prior attainment information for this year’s students
  • national outcomes for each subject in previous years.

Combining centre assessment grades with this data ensures consistency of grading standards across the country. This is important as some schools may have been more generous than others when making their judgements.

It also ensures we are treating this year’s cohort consistently with any other year.

As a result, individual grades may be adjusted upwards or downwards. This means that the final grade awarded to a student could be different from the one their school or college sends to us.

For some qualifications, like Applied Generals and Functional Skills, the process might vary slightly to reflect the different structure of these qualifications – but we’ll be using the same principles to ensure it is just as fair.

Video summary

Our Director of Research and Regulation, Alex Scharashkin, explains more about how calculated grades work.