Student and parent support
How grades will be awarded in summer 2021
The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) has published guidance for students, parents and guardians for summer 2021. Read more
Are you a student, parent or guardian, private candidate or someone who wants to help a student realise their potential? In this section you can find all the information, resources and advice you might need.
Understanding how exams work
This series of short videos explains 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 the right grade – it has to be an accurate reflection of your ability too.
Find out what we're already doing to get it right, and how we are continuously improving what we do.
You can also watch this video 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.
When students are disadvantaged during their exams due to unforeseen personal circumstances such as illness, injury or bereavement, we can sometimes make mark adjustments or estimate grades as part of a process called special consideration. 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 (JCQ) to help ensure the approach is consistent and fair.
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.