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Results days are almost upon us and, if you’re an exams officer, it’s a good time to think about the post-results services you may need. We offer lots of different services, and some have varied closing dates, so it’s worth taking a little bit of time to familiarise yourself with what we can offer you, what you need to tell us, and by when!
We’re keen to make things as simple as possible for you and I know it can often feel like there are endless rules, regulations and forms surrounding post-results services! I hope the information here – and on our website – will show the different routes available to you. If you still have questions then we’re always happy to help.
Key dates and deadlines – All enquiries about results (EARs) and missing and incomplete result (MIR) requests need to be submitted by 20 September 2015 (except if you’re requesting an EAR priority service 2, this needs to be submitted by 21 August 2015). Priority service 2 is only available for GCE A Level and Level 3 Principal Learning qualifications and is particularly handy if you’ve got candidates who are heading off to university and need to know their grades as soon as possible. We’ll prioritise your request which means less waiting time, and less uncertainty, for your students. I’ve also put together a table of all the access to scripts (ATS) key dates and deadlines below.
Deciding on a post-results service – There are quite a few services to choose from! However they’re designed to allow you to select the best possible approach should you need to query results or request more information from us. The JCQ Post Results Services Booklet is helpful if you’re not sure which one you need. We’ve also produced a handy one-page information sheet which lists all of our post-results services; this can be found on our website.
Our charging policy – we’ve tried to keep our charging policy as simple as possible, for a full list of charges please see our fees list.
Missing and incomplete results (MIRs)
If your candidate’s results are missing, or a results indicator has been incorrectly applied (shown as an X, # or Q on their statement of results) then you’ll need to submit a missing and incomplete results (MIR) request by 20 September 2015. If you need any help understanding what these indicators mean then take a look at our brand new guide Understanding Results Indicators or have a peek at the results pages on our website. Guidance on submitting an MIR can also be found on our website.
Once results have been issued, you might want (or need!) to make a late request for a subject grade, for one or more candidates, known as a ‘late certification’. There’s no charge for this service, except for GCSE Short Courses (see our fees list for details). For full details of how to submit a request, see our website. More information on late certifications can be found in Section 12.4 of our admin guide. Late certifications can’t be submitted after 20 September 2015 so, after this date, you’ll need to submit requests in the next available series instead, unless the terminal rule applies (in which case, please contact us).
Access to scripts (ATS) request
With a priority and non-priority service available for access to scripts (ATS), you should be able to meet the needs of all your candidates. For ease, both services can be requested via Interchange. Why not have a peek at our website – you can find full details of how to submit a request, and what you’ll receive from us. I’ve summarised the deadlines for ATS requests here:
Access to scripts
Deadline for submitting priority requests (GCE, Advanced FSMQ, Level 3 Principal Learning, Level 3 Certificate)
21 Aug 2015
Latest date for the receipt of priority scripts by centres
10 Sep 2015
Earliest date non-priority scripts will be returned to centres
21 Sep 2015
Deadline for submitting
4 Oct 2015
Latest date for the receipt of
13 Nov 2015
Enquiries about results (EARs)
For a full list of all the different services we offer, please see our website. Different services have different turnaround times so be careful you don’t miss the deadline for the service you want! A full list with all the details can be found on the JCQ website. We’ve updated our own website to offer better support for you – information on how to submit an EAR can be found here . You can also find details of how, and when, you’ll be notified of your EAR outcome.
Candidate consent for EARs – Don’t forget that for any EAR (except Service 3) you need to make sure that candidate consent has been obtained. This is because the outcome of an EAR may result in a grade change so it’s really important that your candidates are aware of, and understand, potential outcomes before an EAR is submitted; otherwise a change in grade could come as an unwelcome surprise! An example of a candidate consent form can be found on our website. By submitting your online application, you’re confirming candidate consent has already been obtained.
Submitting an appeal
If you still have concerns following the outcome of an EAR you can appeal against it. Don’t forget this must to be done in writing within 14 days of receipt of the outcome and must be submitted by the Head of Centre. The JCQ Guide to the Awarding Bodies Appeals Processes contains lots of useful information and it also contains an ‘Application for an Appeal’ form (pages 15–18) which can be submitted to us instead of a letter. Please send appeals to our Appeals Team firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also find the JCQ Post Results Services booklet useful; this contains further details about the appeals process.
I hope the release of results in August goes smoothly for all of you and that this blog post provides some useful hints and tips, should you need to request one of our post-results services.
If you still have questions, please get in touch with us.
A guest post from Dr. Frances Wilson, Principal Researcher for OCR’s Research and Technical Standards Team
As the Principal Researcher for our Research and Technical Standards team, headed by Mike Forster, I am part of the Assessment Standards Team at OCR. We carry out valuable research and technical studies into new developments in education and assessment. OCR is part of Cambridge Assessment which is a department of the University of Cambridge.
Working closely with our chairs of examiners, subject specialists and researchers from other exam boards we carry out many different types of research project at OCR. Some extend over several years and others are much shorter – just a few weeks or months. Some projects focus on individual subjects or qualifications, while others make comparisons across subjects and levels. We use research to inform the development of new qualifications, evaluate existing qualifications and assessments, and explore the wider impact on the educational landscape. As part of the university we take research very seriously. We are lucky to work very closely with Cambridge Assessment’s Assessment Research and Development Division (ARD) which employs some of the UK’s leading assessment researchers. Some of our recent projects include:
Tiering at GCSE (ARD).
Some GCSEs, such as maths or science, use tiering in which students and teachers are offered a choice of two papers: a higher tier paper targeted at grades A*–D, and a foundation tier paper targeted at grades C–G. There has been criticism that some students’ achievement might be capped because they are entered for the foundation tier, and limited to a maximum grade C, when they are capable of achieving a grade B or better. Cambridge Assessment’s Research Division investigated this issue and found that boys and students from economically deprived backgrounds were more likely to be entered for the foundation tier, even when their prior attainment at Key Stage 2 was controlled for. However, overall there was relatively little evidence that large numbers of students’ achievement was capped suggesting that teachers are mostly able to enter students for the appropriate tier. Further information on this project can be found on our website.
Practical Science (OCR).
When the reformed science A Levels are introduced, practical work will be assessed using questions in the written exams and through a Practical Endorsement which won’t count towards a student’s grade, but will require students to complete practical activities from 12 different areas of the course. We think that this new model for practical science will help teachers to integrate practical work into their teaching, and avoid some of the problems associated with the current coursework model. This year we started a project which will continue over several years to try to identify whether, or how, practical work in A Level sciences is changing. It’s too soon for any results from this project, but we will keep you updated! For further information about OCR’s work on practical science, please see our Positive about Practicals website.
A Level History choices (ARD).
A Level History qualifications allow teachers to select from a wide range of different topics. At this time of reform, teachers have an opportunity to re-assess their choice of topics. Using a questionnaire, Simon Child, Ellie Darlington and Tim Gill from Cambridge Assessment’s Research Division asked teachers what factors influenced their choice of history topics. The majority of heads of department said that they chose topics after discussion with other teachers in the department, that the expertise of teachers and student engagement in the topics played an important role in their decisions and the need to ensure students covered a breadth of topics was also key in their decision making. Further details on the choices that motivate History teachers can be found on our website.
For further information about Cambridge Assessment’s research, please visit our website.
In May 2015, Ofqual announced the results of their research into the GCSE (9-1) maths Sample Assessment Materials previously published by all awarding bodies (the research is available in full from https://www.gov.uk/government/news/actions-in-response-to-ofquals-gcse-maths-research-report). As a consequence of the research, all awarding bodies were required by Ofqual to make changes to their Sample Assessment Materials, with OCR being asked to ease the demand across the range of the Foundation tier Sample Assessment Materials and ease the demand of the initial questions on the Higher tier Sample Assessment Materials (the higher demand questions of the Higher tier were shown to be of the correct challenge).
We were happy with structure of the Sample Assessment Materials that we had already produced and did not need to produce completely new sets of Sample Assessment Materials to meet Ofqual’s requirements, so our new Sample Assessment Materials (now available from http://ocr.org.uk/gcsemaths) incorporate a number of changes compared to the previously released versions.
For the most part the changes we have made to our Sample Assessment Materials involve reducing the wording or simplifying the calculations required (usually by easing the numbers involved or adding more ‘scaffolding’ into the questions to provide a bit more of a prompt for candidates). In a few instances we’ve made amends to diagrams/images too. Only in a couple of questions did we choose to completely rework the task. These changes in demand to some questions also led us to revisit the ordering of questions within individual papers and we have made amendments to provide a smoother increase in demand through the papers than previously.
For instance (showing simpler calculations required)…
Previous Sample Assessment Materials (J560/02, Q1 and Q2)
Amended Sample Assessment Materials (J560/02, Q1 and Q2)
…or (showing simpler wording)…
Previous Sample Assessment Materials (J560/01, Q9(c))
Amended Sample Assessment Materials (J560/01, Q9(c))
A full list of the changes we’ve made to our Sample Assessment Materials is available below!
These new Sample Assessment Materials are available to download now from the ‘Assessment Materials’ section of http://ocr.org.uk/gcsemaths and printed copies will shortly be mailed out within GCSE (9-1) packs to all centres across the UK!
We will also be releasing an additional set of question papers supporting our new GCSE (9-1) maths qualification very shortly, so keep a watch on http://ocr.org.uk/gcsemaths and https://twitter.com/ocr_maths for news of those…!
J560/01 (Foundation tier, calculator paper)
Wording reduced: 1(b), 4(a) and (b), 5, 6, 7(b), 9(c), 10(a), 14(common with J560/04 Q3)(a) and (b), 16(b) and (c), 17(b), 21.
Calculations eased: 10(b), 17(a), 19(common with J560/04 Q6).
Other changes: 4(a) – just a single image of the spinner is now given, 13(common with J560/04 Q4)(b) – single part now broken down into two separate parts, 15(common with J560/04 Q5) – bullet points added to text, 19(common with J560/04 Q6) – ’profit’ emboldened.
J560/02 (Foundation tier, non-calculator paper)
Wording reduced: 3(b), 7(a) and (b), 8(b), 9, 10(b)(ii), 11(previously Q12), 13(was previously Q10), 14(common with J560/05 Q1), 15(common with J560/05 Q2), 16(common with J560/05 Q3).
Calculations eased: 1(a) and (b), 2, 5(previously Q4)(b) and (c), 6(b), 12 (previously Q13) (b), 19(common with J560/05 Q5).
Other changes: 4(previously Q5) – bullet points added to text, 5(previously Q4)(d) – ‘more’ emboldened, 6(b) – ‘three’ emboldened, 14(common with J560/05 Q1)(a) – axes and scale added to grid, vector format added, 14(common with J560/05 Q1)(b) – order of vectors amended.
J560/03 (Foundation tier, calculator paper)
Wording reduced: 1(b)(i), 2, 3, 4, 6(c), 7, 9(a) and (b), 11, 14, 15(previously Q19), 16(previously Q15).
Calculations eased: 1(b)(ii), 3, 4, 10(a) and (c), 14(a), 17(previously Q16, common with J560/06 Q1), 18(previously Q17, common with J560/06 Q2) (a)(i) and (c), 19(previously Q18, common with J560/06 Q4).
Other changes: 6(b) – question amended, 8(b) – single part now broken down into two separate parts, 9(a) – images of seats replaced with a table.
J560/04 (Higher tier, calculator paper)
Wording reduced: 1(previously Q2), 2(previously Q1), 3(common J560/01 Q14) (a) and (b), 9(a), 13, 14(b), 15.
Calculations eased: 2, 6(common with J560/01 Q19), 8(a), 8(b).
Other changes: 4(common with J560/01 Q13)(b) – single part now broken down into two separate parts, 5(common with J560/01 Q15) – bullet points added to text, 6(common with J560/01 Q19) – ’profit’ emboldened, 11 – ’right-angled’ emboldened.
J560/05 (Higher tier, non-calculator paper)
Wording reduced: 1(common with J560/02 Q14), 2(common with J560/02 Q15), 3(common with J560/02 Q16), 4(b), 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15(b), 18, 19, 20.
Calculations eased: 5(common with J560/02 Q19), 13, 20(a).
Other changes: 1(common with J560/02 Q14)(a) – axes and scale added to grid, vector format added, 1(common with J560/02 Q14)(b) – order of vectors amended, 4(b) – ’profit’ emboldened, 10 – labels added to towers, 10(a) – mark allocation reduced by one mark, 10(c) – mark allocation increased by one mark, 12 – diagram enlarged.
J560/06 (Higher tier, calculator paper)
Wording reduced: 5(previously Q1)(c), 4(previously Q5)(a), 11(a), 15(previously Q16), 16(previously Q12)(b).
Calculations eased: 1(previously Q2, common with J560/03 Q17), 2(previously Q3, common with J560/03 Q18) (a)(i) and (c), 4(common with J560/03 Q19).
Other changes: 8 – question replaced, 9 – bullet points added to text, 11(a) – blank Venn diagram added.
What better subject to focus on in my first blog post than results! Results days arrive so quickly and 2015 has proved to be no different. Here at OCR all our teams have been working incredibly hard over the last few weeks and months to make sure the build-up to results days, and everything that happens during and afterwards, progresses smoothly for you.
I’ve included information to make sure you’re prepared for results release below – you can find information on results release dates, how to contact us, and the importance of making sure that your MIS and Interchange user roles are up to date. I’ve also included details about what reports will be available to you via Interchange, and our website, and when you can access these. So that you know how to access any post-results services you might need, we’ve also produced a brand new guide, watch out for full details of this, and all our post-results services, in my next blog post!
If you need help understanding results indicators then don’t forget our new Guide to Understanding Results Indicators is now available!
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very successful results day!
GCE and GCSE results days
- GCE: Provisional results are issued to you on Wednesday 12 August via Interchange and A2C and can be released to candidates after 6.00am on Thursday 13 August
- GCSE: Provisional results are issued to you on Wednesday 19 August via Interchange and A2C and can be released to candidates after 6.00am on Thursday 20 August.
Our Customer Contact Centre will be opening earlier than usual on both restricted release and release to candidates’ results days. You can get in touch from 7am until 5.30pm on 01223 553998 or by email. I and my fellow Customer Support Managers (CSMs) will be available on results days to provide you with extra support. For details on how to get in touch visit our website.
During the exam series, it’s really important that all your MIS systems are kept up to date to ensure that everything is working correctly. If we discover any known data issues we will notify you wherever possible but you can help to ensure everything runs smoothly by checking for updates or patches with your MIS provider. It’s also a good idea to double check your Interchange user roles before results day to ensure the right people have access to the necessary information. The following three user roles have access to results information:
- Centre Administrator (GQ) – Allows full access to all results information from restricted results release onwards. The Centre Administrator can also allocate all other roles within Interchange.
- Results Full Access (GQ) – Allows full access to all results information, by assessment or candidate, and allows the user to generate results reports from the restricted results release date onwards (does not include Active Results.)
- Tutor/Teacher – Allows access to the ‘Results documents’ area from the candidate release date onwards and gives access to Active Results, our online detailed analysis tool for teachers.
Please don’t forget that Moderator reports for Entry Level Certificate, GCSE and GCE Art and Design, Physical Education and English (Speaking and Listening A632, A640 only) are despatched to centres by post to arrive on results day, rather than being issued via Interchange. Ask your exams officer to keep an eye out for these as they contain valuable feedback which may be useful to the relevant teaching staff in the forthcoming academic year. A full list of the subjects for which a hard copy report is sent can be found on Interchange.
A variety of reports will be available for you to download from restricted results days. To access the reports, log in to Interchange, hover over ‘Results’ and click on ‘Results documents’ in the left-hand menu. Reports include:
- Results and grade thresholds report
- Results broadsheet
- Moderation adjustments report
- Cumulative specification results report
- Statement of results
- Report to a centre on coursework moderation
We’ve produced a handy user guide to our electronic results documents which you may find useful.
We’ve updated the results pages on our website and a number of documents will be available for you to download and use. On restricted results days you can access the following:
- Unit level raw mark grade boundaries
- Specification level UMS grade boundaries
- A2 units showing 90 per cent conversion points
From the day of results release to candidates, we’ll also put the provisional examination statistics on our website.
Active Results: Compare your school’s performance
Active Results is our free results analysis service for A Level, GCSE and Cambridge National qualifications, which enables centres to review the performance of individual candidates, cohorts and whole schools. This year we have updated and improved our service so any changes to results which occur because of post-results enquiries will be taken into account and reflected in the statistics and analysis of Active Results.
You may find our user guide to Active Results useful, this lists the qualifications which are included and the levels of analysis that are available.
After the release of results, it will be time to start thinking about whether you need any of our post-results services. Keep an eye out for my next blog post which will be focussing on our post-results services – including what information we need from you and when you can expect to hear from us.
Here a few key post-results dates you may want to make a note of:
13 August 2015: Applications open for AS and A Level enquiries about results
20 August 2015: Applications open for GCSE enquiries about results
21 August 2015: deadline for receipt of priority service 2 requests for June 2015 series
20 September 2015: deadline for receipt of enquiries about results (except priority service 2)