Students in Bridgend County Borough have received their standardised A and AS level results for 2020 – the first time that standardised results have been issued following the cancellation of examinations due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Because of the unusual circumstances, information on this year’s results has only been made available on an all-Wales basis.
Official results have revealed an increase in the number of students across Wales achieving A* and A grades – up from 27 per cent in 2019 to 29.9 per cent in 2020 – while a total of 98.6 per cent of students scored A* to E grades compared to 97.6 per cent in the previous year.
There was a 2.1 per cent decrease in entries and a 75.4 per cent pass rate for the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate, while 98 per cent of all candidates achieved the Skills Challenge Certificate.
For 2020, the results have been calculated by the Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC) exam board using a statistical standardisation process approved by Qualifications Wales
Designed to provide the most likely result that might have been achieved under normal non-pandemic circumstances, the process accounts for rank orders and estimated grades based on information such as coursework, mock exams, classroom work, homework, practical work and teacher assessments.
It uses this information to ensure consistency across grades while avoiding extreme under or over-estimations, and applies rank orders provided by schools and colleges to allocate a final grade to each learner.
Welsh Government has also pledged that if a standardised grade is lower than what a student achieved at AS level the previous year, it will be automatically revised to match the higher grade.
Councillor Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: “Due to the extreme circumstances in which we find ourselves, the WJEC and Qualifications Wales have developed the standardisation process as an alternative to regular examinations, which had to be cancelled because of the coronavirus.
“At the same time, Welsh Government has recognised the difficulty of the situation and the unique new challenges that learners have had to adapt to.
“With assurances in place that grades will not be lower than results scored at AS level in the previous year, I truly hope that our students’ hard work and ambitions are rewarded.
“As they prepare to move on to the next stage of their lives with university, employment or new training, they should feel proud of their efforts. The results for 2020 carry the same significance as they would under more usual circumstances, and the council and its partners remain committed towards ensuring that they are fully supported throughout this period of transition.
“For anyone who did not receive the grades they were hoping for, a wide range of advice, support and confidential counselling remains available, so please make sure that you speak to your school, college or Careers Wales for more information.
“This year, exam marking cannot be reviewed in the usual way for anyone who may be dissatisfied with their standardised grades, but learners will be able to ask their school or college to check that there were no errors in the submission of their data, and schools and colleges will be able to appeal to the WJEC on the learner’s behalf.