We have made it to the end of this very strange year! There is no escaping the effect COVID 19 has had on all of us. The education sector has been hit massively by the pandemic. We have never experienced a year like this one, with exams cancelled completely at relatively short notice. All of us at 3A Tutors have had to show resilience and flexibility to help all our students through this very stressful time.
In this most challenging of years now is a good time to look back at everything that has happened.
The cancellation of the Summer 2020 Exams
What do you do when you are an exam centre and all the Summer exams are cancelled? This was a situation like no other and incredibly stressful for students and staff alike. All our students work hard to be ready for their exams and the stress and uncertainty was difficult for everyone. Unlike students within a school our private candidates did not have predicted grades that could be used. We had to understand the government directives and gather sufficient evidence to award centre assessment grades to a significant number of our students.
Unfortunately, there were some candidates that were unable to gain their grades in this way. For those candidates we were able to move their exams to the Autumn series.
We supported all of our candidates through this process to help them achieve their grades as best they could, whilst at the same time dealing with lockdown. We are pleased so many of our students were able to obtain their grades to move on with their studies.
The Autumn Series of exams went ahead
After the upheaval of the Summer exam series, we immediately started looking at how we could hold the Autumn exam series in a safe COVID secure environment. We had to change our examination centre in Bristol to increase the distance between desks and introduced a “no waiting” policy. All our desks and chairs had to be thoroughly cleaned after every exam sitting.
Despite having to implement these changes we still conducted 607 GCSE, IGCSE, A Level, NEBOSH diploma and university admission examinations.
We are proud of the fact that we were able to provide these exams in a safe manner for our candidates and wish them the best of luck with their results.
The results publication dates for the Autumn 2020 examination series are as follows: –
• Edexcel, AQA, OCR A-Level Results: Thursday 17th December 2020
• Cambridge AS and A-Level Results: Monday 11th January 2021
• Edexcel, AQA, OCR, WJEC Eduqas GCSE Maths and GCSE English Language Results: Thursday 14th January 2021
• Cambridge IGCSE Results: Tuesday 19th January 2021
• Edexcel, AQA, OCR, WJEC Eduqas GCSE Results (all other GCSE qualifications that are not Maths or English Language): Thursday 11th February 2021
• Edexcel IGCSE Results: Thursday 11th February 2021
We are ready for the 2021 examinations
It is fantastic news that the exam series for 2021 are due to go ahead. The January examinations start immediately after Christmas, between January 7th – 15th.
The Summer examinations are going ahead albeit with a three-week delay. This is to provide schools and colleges with additional teaching time. The Department of Education has announced a list of measures to support students taking exams in the Summer of 2021.
These measures include;
• ‘Generous’ grading in Summer 21 aligned to national outcomes in Summer 2020.
• Advance notice of topic areas in GCSEs, IGCSEs and A-Levels to focus revision and exam aids – such as formula sheets – provided in some exams to build confidence.
• A contingency exam series shortly after the main Summer exams giving students a second chance to sit a paper if they missed the exam series due to illness or self-isolation.
• A new expert group to look at differential learning loss and monitor variation in the impact of the pandemic across the country.
We will do all we can to help our students in the year ahead. With so many things surrounding the pandemic still uncertain we will strive to make sure our candidates can take their exams in a safe, secure way.
The deadline for the Summer examinations is 12th February 2021 but we strongly advise anyone who wants to take their exams in this series to register in advance, as we are expecting a higher demand than usual.
After a year like no other all we have left to say is we hope you have a safe and Merry Christmas. Hopefully 2021 will bring better things for us all. For those students planning to take exams next year be rest assured that we will follow all the guidance and directives to provide the best exam experience we can.