What grade boundaries have Ofqual confirmed for autumn resits?


Pupils resitting exams this autumn will be given similarly generous grade boundaries to those awarded in the summer, Ofqual has confirmed.

The exams regulator said the boundaries will be lower compared to past years, providing a welcome boost to those pupils who were either not issued a grade this summer, or who were unhappy with their awarded grades.

In a blog addressing the autumn resits, taking place from late October, Ofqual said it is “working with exam boards to carry forward the generosity from summer 2020 grades”.

Cath Jadhav, associate director of standards and comparability at Ofqual, said pupils “must be treated as fairly as possible”, with proxy grade boundaries used to guide examiners.

“Exam boards will generate these by looking at how far the 2019 grade boundaries for each specification would have to move to achieve the proportion of students at the key grades we say for each of those specifications in summer 2020,” she explained.

She added that archived work and some other sources of evidence may also be considered to help set the grade boundaries.

Atypical results data expected

Statistical predictions are usually used as a means of regulating grades, as performance across each annual cohort is not expected to vary wildly.

With just over 20,000 entries for the autumn A-level resits, Mrs Jadhav said the limited number of entries by subject would impact on how statistics can be used, as the smaller sample size is unlikely to be representative of the wider cohort.

She suggested that exam boards will rely “more heavily on the judgement of their senior examiners looking at the quality of student work.”

The exams regulator has also warned that resits do not yield improved outcomes for pupils in the majority of cases, with 60% of November GCSE English and maths resits seeing pupil score the same as their initial grade.

In fact, just 30% of pupils have improved their grades with a resit, while one in ten has scored lower the second time around.

Should a pupil score a lower grade in a resit than they were awarded in the summer, the grade from the summer will stand.