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How will my child’s exam results be awarded in 2022?

How will my child’s exam results be awarded in 2022?

by Newcastle University

After nearly two years of disruption, UK students are back to sitting formal exams.

But are you still worried about how Covid-19 could affect your child’s results, and wondering how exams will be graded to fairly reflect the impact the pandemic has had on their education?

Read on to find out how your child’s exam results be awarded in 2022.

What’s changing for 2022?

During the pandemic, students’ grades were awarded using centre and teacher assessments based on coursework, mock exam results, in-class tests and homework.

This year it’s all change again, because although the decision was made by Ofqual and the Department of Education to reintroduce formal exams, the approach that’s been adopted is still a little different to pre-pandemic years – both in how students have been preparing for their exams and how grades will ultimately be assessed.

Support in the run-up to exams

In recognition of the difficulties students may have faced during the pandemic, a lot of emphasis has been put on supporting them to take their exams and assessments this year.

For A Level and equivalent qualifications, this support has included the release of advance information about the focus of exams, so students have more information than usual about what they need to revise.

In England, non-exam assessments and fieldwork have been relaxed and in Scotland and Wales elements of coursework have been reduced and exam content streamlined. Northern Ireland has also allowed students to drop an entire exam unit if they wish.

A minimum 10-day gap between exams has also been built in to the exam timetable, to make sure that, if students become ill, they won’t miss all their exams in a subject.

How will exams be graded?

Exam boards set grade boundaries – the minimum number of marks needed to achieve a specific grade.  

This year, these boundaries will be more generous. They’ll be set at a mid-point between the 2019 boundaries – the last year exams were sat in normal conditions – and the grading used in teacher assessments in 2021. 

There’ll also be a return to external marking, with papers marked by examiners who have significant teaching and examining experience. Exam boards also quality-check marking to make sure it is consistent and to the required standard.

Further safety nets

Measures are in place to support your child if they fall ill or are injured and can’t sit their exams.

If, for example, they test positive for Covid-19, then the advice from the UK Health Security Agency is that they should stay at home. Your child can ask for ‘special consideration’ and their mark or grade will be adjusted.

If they have special educational needs or a disability they can ask for ‘reasonable adjustments’ to help them complete their exam or assessment to the best of their ability.

You should contact your child’s school or college for further advice.

When will exam results be released?

Scottish Highers results will be released on Tuesday 9 August. Both A Level and BTEC results will be released on Thursday 18 August.

How can I support my child as they wait for their results?

This part of the student journey to university – waiting for exam results – is nerve-wracking at the best of times. The fact that the process is still being overshadowed by the final throes of Covid-19, makes it even more unsettling.

If your child is worried about how they’ve performed in their exams, reassure them that they’ve done their best, and that you’re proud of all the hard work they’ve put in. Help them stay positive, too, about their plans and dreams to go to university.

And if they really think they’ve messed up, are not going to get the grades they need, but still want to go to university, start exploring UCAS Clearing. Thousands of course vacancies from universities across the UK are listed through Clearing each year – and one of them could be perfect for your child.

Preparing for Clearing now, researching possible universities and courses, will give them a valuable head start on Results Day.

You can find out more about Clearing at Newcastle on our webpages. 

What happens if my child doesn’t agree with their grades?

If your child thinks their results are wrong, they’ll need to speak to their school or college as soon as possible.

In certain circumstances, they can ask an exam board to review their results, and if they’re still not satisfied with the decision, they can appeal.

Your child can’t submit a request for a review or make an appeal directly to the exam board themselves; they have to go through their school or college who will be best placed to advise them.


We hope you’ve found this blog useful. Do keep checking back with us as we continue updating our website with lots more information in the run up to, and during, Results Day and Clearing. PLUS, check out our blog – a Parent’s Guide to Results Day 2022.

Although we use the terms parent and child in this blog for simplicity, it is intended for anyone fulfilling a parenting role.