Standardising grades

Exams boards have standardised centre assessment grades to produce students' final results.

Once centres submitted their centre assessment grades and rank orders, we standardised these across all schools and colleges to produce students' final results.

These are known as 'calculated grades'.

As a result of Ofqual’s decision on 17 August, students received centre assessment grades if they were higher than their calculated grades.

Why standardising is important

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.

How we've standardised

This summer, all exam boards have followed the same standardisation process set out by Ofqual.

It has taken schools' centre assessment grades and considered 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 treated this year’s cohort consistently with any other year.

As a result, individual grades were adjusted. 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 varied slightly to reflect the different structure of these qualifications – but we’ve used the same principles to ensure it is just as fair.

Calculation of results for other qualification types offered by AQA

Ofqual have published requirements and guidance for calculating results for GCE (AS/A-level), GCSE and Extended Project.

This document outlines the differences in the process for calculating results for other qualification types offered by AQA. The document also covers qualifications offered in the joint venture with Oxford University Press.

Calculation of results in summer 2020

Further information

Read more from Ofqual about the standardisation process.