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How will the TAGs be used by universities?

This year, due to pandemic, the teacher assessed grades will be used instead of actual exam results - Dr Dent explains the current approach.
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Hi, I’m Gordon Dent I’m director admissions for the MBCHB program at Keele University School of Medicine. I’m going to talk a little bit about the differences that affects qualifications, so a levels and highers and advanced highers in 2021 and how this may carry over into differences in 2022. It should all be aware owing to the COVID pandemic, the AS level, A level Scottish higher and advanced higher exams in summer 2021 have been cancelled in all Four Nations of the UK.
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So if you’re currently in year 13 or S6 and intending to apply for Medicine 2022, either the first time applicant or as a re applicant, having already applied for 2021 entry, then this will obviously be relevant to you and I’ll go through an outline of what the process is going to be for awarding the grades in summer 2021. But if you’re in your 12 or S5 and you’re expecting to complete your A levels or higher and advanced highers in summer 2022 and then there are also things you’ll need to know about how the qualifications are going to be awarded. And high standards might compare between the years.
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Now a lot of the details of this aren’t known yet, So what are largely do is try to highlight some things that you need to lookout to lookout for over the coming months.
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Now there are some details that are pretty much the same for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. And then there are a few differences between the nations that it’s important to be aware of. So broadly for England and Northern Ireland there are no exams in summer 2021. That’s the case for all Four Nations and grades to be awarded by schools on the basis of evidence submitted to exam boards. And again, that’s the same for all Four Nations. In England and Northern Ireland there will be a process and in Scotland actually for schools to submit appeals against results after the results are issued in August.
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Now in England there will be the option to sit exams in the autumn of 2021 if you’re not happy with the grades have been awarded in August and the grades from those exams will count as though they were from the summer of 2021. In Northern Ireland, there isn’t a sitting of exams in the autumn, but if you take the exams in summer of 2022 then those grades will be treated as though that they were from the 2021 qualifications and you’ll be able to choose which of the grades from 2021 or from summer 2022 you were accepted for the qualification.
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The similar situation to Northern Ireland in Scotland. Clearly the qualifications are different in Scotland, but the process here is the same, so the grades will be awarded by schools on the basis of evidence, that’s submitted to exam boards and again the results will be published in August and there will be an appeals process once those results have been issued. And as with Northern Ireland, there’s no autumn exam sitting for highers and advanced highers in 2021. Some slight differences in Wales.
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Process for awarding grades is the same, but students in Wales or taking Welsh Joint Examinations Council exams will be awarded well be given provisional grades in June and then the appeal process will start in June for final grades to be awarded in August. But As for the other nations, apart from England, there will be no exam sitting in the autumn.
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Now it’s important to note if you are in Wales that the provisional grades awarded in June are provisional. They’re not final if not been confirmed by the exam board and universities in general, won’t. Confirm a place for 2021 entry until those grades are official in August. It’s important for you while you’re studying in the academic year 2021-2022 to keep up with details of how final grades for your qualifications are going to be calculated. So on the assumption that there are going to be exams at the end of year 13 or S6, then how those are going to contribute towards your final grade? What exactly is going to be assessed on?
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Whether the assessments will take account of the fact that you’ve missed some of the curriculum content? In 2020 to 21 it’s also important to know how the grading standards are going to operate. So because grades in 2020 and in 2021 have been based on school assessments, there has been a general increase in the grades awarded and when they’ve been supplementary exam sittings in England.
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Then the awards are the grades awarded for qualifications completed through those exams have taken account of the different standards that are applied for the school assessments, so it’s important to find out for qualifications completed in 2022, how the grades are likely to compare between that year and the two preceding years, and we don’t have any details yet for how that’s going to be approached by the regulators on the exam boards. And it’s important that you keep up to date. Developments and ask your teachers to keep you up to date with what they know about how the exams are going to be used and what the grade profiles are likely to look look like.
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