Student guide to awarding: summer 2021

A guide for students on how GCSEs, A levels, vocational and technical qualifications are graded and awarded in summer 2021.

This publication was withdrawn on

This guide has been withdrawn as it applied only to qualifications awarded in summer 2021.

Applies to England, Northern Ireland and Wales


Student guide to awarding: summer 2021

Student guide to awarding: summer 2021

BSL Student guide to awarding: summer 2021


The government has said that many exams and assessments cannot be held fairly this year as a result of the disruption students have faced due to the pandemic. Your teachers will instead submit grades to the exam boards, based on their assessment of what you have shown you know and can do, enabling you to progress to the next stage of your education, training, or employment.

This guide outlines the arrangements in place for awarding grades in summer 2021, and where you can go for additional information.

Published 10 May 2021
Last updated 9 August 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated to include links to JCQ's guide to appeals and Ofqual's guide to the Exam Procedures Review Service, and BSL guide updated to match other guide versions.

  2. PDF, HTML and easy-read guides updated to provide more details on appeals for qualifications awarded in 2021.

  3. Added easy-read and BSL versions of the guide.

  4. We have clarified that the autumn exams will assess students in the same way as had been planned for exams in summer 2021.

  5. First published.