Frequently Asked Questions

Due to the complexity and fast-changing nature of the situation, these are updated regularly.

Bookmark this page, and if you have any questions not covered here please email comms@qualificationswales.org and we will try to answer them.

Statement from Qualifications Wales following the Minister's direction on the approach for summer 2021 – 20 January 2021

Who will award my grade?

Your final grade in each subject will be determined by your school or college, who will tell WJEC the grade. WJEC will issue your GCSE, AS or A level certificate, which will show your grade as in other years.

How will teachers and lecturers determine grades?

Schools and colleges will award your GCSE, AS or A level grades in summer 2021. They will award these grades based on pieces of work that you have completed over the course of study, in line with the guidance to them. 

Your teachers and lecturers will use the guidance to determine your overall grade by considering your performance in a few assessments.  

Your school or college will be able to choose the pieces of work that they use to inform their judgement. They will share this information with you and the approach they will be taking to come to their final judgements about the grades you will receive. 

Your school or college will have plans to make sure their judgements to determine your grades are as fair and objective as possible. And there will be guidance and training available to support them with this. 

What will the WJEC assessment materials be like?

WJEC has already adapted the assessment requirements for summer 2021 to reflect the impact of the pandemic on teaching and learning.  WJEC will reflect these changes in a range of adapted assessment materials to give schools and colleges as much choice as possible.  Schools and colleges will be able to use these as they see fit without rules being imposed by WJEC.

What happens if I think my grade is wrong?

Schools and colleges will be required to have a process which will allow you to ask for a review of your grade if you think it is wrong and /or correct any factual errors. WJEC will be required to have a process which will allow for an appeal of a grade on the grounds of a procedural error, such as the wrong result being given to someone with a similar name. 

What’s WJEC’s role in this process?

WJEC will provide support to schools and colleges by setting out the rules for assessment in an overall assessment framework and then quality assuring the plans developed by schools and colleges. They will also run checks to make sure that schools and colleges have implemented their plans appropriately.  WJEC will also provide a range of assessment materials, that schools and colleges can choose to use.  

What’s Qualifications Wales’ role in the process?

Qualifications Wales will amend the rules to allow WJEC to award grades in summer 2021. We are changing the rules as we believe this is the best way to award grades in the circumstances. We will work collaboratively with WJEC and others to implement this approach.  

Will universities and Further Education colleges accept my grades?

Grades for GCSE and A level will be awarded in similar ways across the UK and there is no reason to believe that the way forward in Wales will disadvantage learners’ progress to higher and further education. Further Education college representatives have been consulted as assessment arrangements have been developed. We will continue to work with universities and UCAS to inform them about the assessment arrangements. 

When will more information be available?

Detailed procedures and a timeline will be developed over the next few weeks and published as soon as possible. We know that everybody wants clarity and will provide information as soon we can.  

What happens if I don’t attend a school or college and would have entered as a ‘private candidate’?

You will still be able to complete assessments as required by a school or college if they are willing to enter you for the qualification and determine your grade based on those assessments.  The assessment materials provided by WJEC could be used for this. We are looking at alternative arrangements for learners who cannot do this, and more information will be available shortly. 

What will happen if I’m a Year 10 learner?

If you have completed the course and were going to be entered for the whole GCSE course this year, then you can be awarded a grade determined by your school. However, it will not be possible to take just some units of a GCSE this year, and we will need to consider what the assessments arrangements will be for those subjects next year. 

Will my AS grade contribute to my A level in summer 2022?

We’ve considered whether there is any fair way of allowing AS results from this summer to contribute towards A levels in summer 2022, but unfortunately there isn’t. Learners in Year 12 will be awarded an AS grade that teachers and lecturers will determine and will provide for progression into the A level course of study, and support UCAS applications. A levels are usually awarded by putting marks achieved in all units together (including AS units). There isn’t a fair way to use grades from the summer 2021 AS units.    

What happens if I am studying for a vocational qualification?

We are working with the awarding bodies offering Wales-only vocational qualifications on the way forward. We will continue to work with England and Northern Ireland to decide on the arrangements for qualifications offered across the UK.

I’m studying a new Wales-only Vocational Qualification in Health and Social Care or Childcare. Has my qualification been adapted?

City & Guilds and WJEC have put in place arrangements for learners completing the new approved qualifications in Health and Social Care and Childcare during 2020-21. These arrangements help to reduce the impact of disruption to teaching and assessment caused by Covid-19 and supersede the arrangements we announced on 24 April 2020. 

On 14 December 2020, we announced that the arrangements for the Core qualifications in Health and Social Care and Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development will be available to all learners who are expecting to achieve their qualifications before 31 August 2021.

Full details about the adaptations for the new suite of Wales-only qualifications in Health and Social Care and Childcare for 2020-21 can be found on the Health and Care Learning Wales website. 

I’m studying a Health and Social Care or Childcare qualification with “Wales” or “Wales and Northern Ireland” in the title. Has my qualification been adapted?

The awarding bodies offering Health and Social Care and Childcare qualifications for Wales and Northern Ireland have agreed consistent adaptations for learners completing during 2020-21. These adaptations supersede the arrangements announced on 24 April 2020.    

The adaptations, including a list of the relevant qualifications, can be found here. If your qualification is not included in this document, or if you would like to find out more about the adaptations, then please contact your centre or awarding body. 

I’m studying an Essential Skills Wales qualification. What are the arrangements for these qualifications in 2021?

The adaptations to Essential Skills Wales assessments that we announced in September 2020 remain in place. If you are unable to complete your assessment and you can’t wait to take it later in the year, then your centre will be allowed to use other work that you have completed to determine whether you have passed. The awarding body will issue your Essential Skills Wales certificate, which will show that you have passed as in other years. 

What is happening with Skills Challenge Certificate qualifications?

We confirmed (9 Feb) that the awarding of Skills Challenge Certificate qualifications will align with the approach for awarding GCSEs, AS and A levels in summer 2021.  

Find the assessment guidance for schools and colleges here. 

Where can we find more information?

Recognising the ongoing disruption, we will continue to engage with centres and publish information as it becomes available, sharing information on our social media channels and website.

Should I contact my awarding body directly?

Awarding bodies will be in touch with schools, colleges and training providers in the coming weeks to advise them on the information they will be expected to provide about their learners, and when and how it should be submitted. 

If you want to follow your awarding bodies latest updates, here are some useful links:

   

1st4sport Qualifications

 

AAT

 

Agored Cymru    Cymraeg

 

AQA 

 

Ascentis

 

Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music

 

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

 

British Safety Council

 

Cambridge Assessment English

 

City & Guilds

 

EAL

 

Highfield Qualifications

 

LIBF 

 

NCFE

NOCN

 

OCR 

 

Pearson 

 

Qualifications Network

 

Qualsafe Awards  

 

Rock School Ltd.

 

Royal Academy of Dance

 

STA

 

Trinity College London

 

University of the Arts London

 

VTCT

 

WJEC   Cymraeg

 

YMCA Awards