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Exams

Exams Download Day 2020 Information

18/08/2020 – Update on A-Level and GCSE Results

15:45 – Capita are still waiting for absolute clarity from the JCQ and their Exam Boards on what result files will be released and when. Thank you for your patience at this time.

12:30 – Capita have met with the JCQ and representatives from Pearson (Edexcel), AQA, OCR, CCEA and WJEC. The JCQ are going to collect together for each board when they will be reissuing their GCE results from last week and when the amended GCSE (Level 1 and Level 2) result files are likely to be available for schools. We will update this KB mid afternoon with any progress.

08:30 – As you will be aware the Government have decided that students this summer will be awarded their Centre Assessment Grade or Calculated Grade, whichever is the highest.  This means that for schools and colleges the re-issue of last week’s GCE result files can be expected from the Exam Boards in the coming days and will be their priority to help students and UCAS with University placements.

Capita have been speaking to Pearson (Edexcel) this morning on what their process may be and we have requested a conversation with the JCQ members later today to seek clarification on what other Exam Boards may be doing so we can best advise schools as soon as we can.  It is unclear at this time when the amended GCSE (Level 1 and Level 2) result files may be released. We will advise further as more information becomes available.

 

Webinar Info – Advice for Secondary Schools on collecting Estimated Grades for Exams in 2020

This webinar takes place on Friday 24th April at 11am and will offer advice for Secondary Schools on collecting Estimated Grades in 2020.

Click the below link to register:

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6770070630813078028

If you missed the webinar above please find the info below:

Watch Recording
Advice for Secondary Schools on collecting Estimated Grades for Exams in 2020 Webinar
One IT Quick Notes from Webinar

Guidance

Results Day Survival Kit

Exams Download Day

Processing results and Calculating PI
Exams GDPR PowerPoint
SIMS Secondary Year Book

Organising Marksheets
Recording External Results
Managing PI Data
Exams Prep
Exams Admin

Latest News from Capita:

Key Stage 5 Result Day Information (12th August 2020)

13/08/2020 – GCSE Grades showing in reports after A Level Result import
After importing the A Level (and other) results yesterday (12th August) from exam boards, a few schools have also noticed than when running a Candidate Statement of Results (their exam grades) that in some cases, they are showing GCSE grades that should not appear until next week. This is only affecting those students who are retaking Maths and English and who have also taken Level 3 courses and who thus will be receiving their results today (13th August).  A full explanation of why this is happening and how to manage this can be found below.

Summary of the issue
After importing the A Level (and other) results yesterday (12th August) from exam boards, a few schools have also noticed than when running a Candidate Statement of Results (their exam grades) that in some cases, they are showing GCSE grades that should not appear until next week.  This is only affecting those students who are retaking Maths and English and who have also taken Level 3 courses and who thus will be receiving their results today (13th August)

The cause of this is where schools have followed our advice as of April (this webinar https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/760778889994235149) temporarily to use the exam results aspects as a method of collecting and collating their estimated grades.  The actual Level 3 results which will have been imported yesterday (12th August) will have overwritten the estimated grades, but since the actual GCSE results have not been issued and imported yet, when the Candidate Statement of Results for the season is generated, it will still be showing the estimated GCSE grades.

The solution for schools is to first to keep a record of the estimates given but then delete these estimated GCSE grades for English and Maths for those resit students and reprint the Candidate Statement of Results.

To delete the estimated results:

If a marksheet has been made for the resit class, in Exams Organiser open that marksheet, right click the column heading for the results and choose Clear Column Contents, then save the changes.  The data has now been deleted.

If such a marksheet does not exist for the resit class, you can create an internal award and link all the elements; the following example takes you through how you can do this for EDEXL/GCSE

  • Open the Basedata Tree for EDEXL and right click on the Series name, i.e. 6G20_10, from the pop up menu select Add A New Award.
  • Add in an internal title such as EDEXL-GCSE and select GCSE in the Qualification option and save.
  • Now right click on the new Award and select from the pop up menu Include An Existing Element.
  • Select the Maths and/or English elements from the left hand side of the picker to the right hand side and click on Update.
  • We can now build one Marksheet for all these GCSEs.  Click on the Marksheet Setup button.
  • From the Award option, click on the browse option and select the award you just created, i.e. EDEXL-GCSE.
  • For the Aspect Type, select Result and when prompted to include Entry Aspects as well, say No.
  • Click on Next.
  • At the next step of the wizard, you will see the GCSE’s you added to your award.  Click on Next.
  • At the next step, the Configure Marksheet Columns, please click in Next.
  • We now need to select the students, to capture all the students, it may be best to select a Curriculum Year, i.e. Year 13 or All Candidates for the Season, however you wish to manage a suitable group that will include as many students as possible.
  • At the last step, click on Finish.
  • The Marksheet will now be available for you to open, the name Exams Organiser will offer for this will vary, so it’s best in the Marksheet Browse window to change the owner from you to All and then click on Refresh.
  • Now re-order the list by Created Date, this will either put the most recent Marksheet at the top or the bottom of the list, scroll as required to find it.
  • Double click to open.
  • You will now see for all the GCSEs you selected for that particular Exam Board and the estimate grades that were entered back in April and May of this year.
  • To delete the results, in turn, right click on the column and select Clear Column Contents, once this is done for each column, click on save.  The data has now been deleted.
  • If you want to check, close and then re-open the marksheet.
  • Repeat this process for all other Exam Boards that you are using for GCSE.
  • When generating any reports, i.e. the Candidate Statement of Results, these results will now not appear.

    12/08/2020 – Pearson Edexcel BTEC Result Files
    We have been made aware in the late afternoon of Tuesday 11th August, from a representative from Pearson, that BTEC Result files being issued today will contain Q (Pending) Results for students that have previously been awarded their full and final outcomes. While this won’t impact those students expecting their grades this summer, we believe that SIMS Exams Organiser will interpret these as an update to the grades that were awarded in the past for these students. We will assess the impact this will have in SIMS and the Performance Reports for Key Stage 5 and make our recommendations as to how schools can work around this issue. Pearson have contacted all the centres who are in this situation and have provided a statement at this link… If after importing your BTEC results you think you are impacted, please do log a case with the Service Desk so we can fully assess the situation with you. Thank you for your patience in this matter.

Key Stage 4 Result Day Information (19th August 2020)

12/08/2020 @16:00 – WJEC/Eduqas GCSE English Language UPDATE
WJEC\Eduqas has updated their GCSE June 2020 Series Basedata to add in the missing JC42 Gradeset for the English Language and C700QS Element.  Their basedata can be downloaded from this link… Once you have downloaded Version 3 (all files will have the .X03 extension) of the Basedata, please refresh this in Exams Organiser for the endorsement grade to be added.  There is no requirement for Patch 25973 to be applied for this to work.  So in summary:

  • Assume a school is on Version .X02 of the GCSE June 2020 Basedata
  • Download Version .X03 of the Basedata from the WJEC Website
  • Refresh this in SIMS Exams Organiser (if anyone is not sure on how, here is a video: https://youtu.be/fdlgmUdH8bo)
  • The running of Patch 25973 in this discrete situation has no bearing on the resolution. This is simply because the .X02 Basedata originally had no link to the Endorsement Grades, whereas other boards for other qualifications did.

12/08/2020 @08:00 – WJEC/Eduqas GCSE English Language
We have been made aware in the evening of Tuesday 11th August, from a representative from WJEC, that their Eduqas English GCSE Basedata is missing the JC42 Gradeset linking the endorsement grade to the element C700QS. We anticipate from the information given, that new basedata will be issued in a few days time, at which point schools should then download this and refresh to ensure that their result files on Wednesday 19th August, from Eduqas import successfully.

SIMS 7 Exams Information

11/08/2020 – Awards impacted and which will need Patch 25973 Applied
We have been in communications with the JCQ regarding this scenario, they have confirmed which awards from the Summer Series may be impacted, they are:

 OCR AQA  Edexcel  WJEC  CEEA 
Advanced GCE
H420/04 – Biology A
H420/80 – Biology A (c/fwd)
H422/04 – Biology B
H422/80 – Biology B (C/fwd)
H432/04 – Chemistry A
H432/80 – Chemistry A (c/fwd)
H433/04 – Chemistry B
H433/80 – Chemistry B (c/fwd)
H556/04 – Physics A
H556/80 – Physics A (c/fwd)
H557/04 – Physics B
H557/80 – Physics B (c/fwd)
H414/04 – Geology
H414/80 – Geology (c/fwd)
Advanced GCE
7401 – Biology AS
7402 – Biology A
7404 – Chemistry AS
7405 – Chemistry A
7407 – Physics AS
7408 – Physics A
Advanced GCE
9BI0 – Biology A
9BN0 – Biology A (Salters Nuffield)
9PH0 – Physics A
9CH0 – Chemistry A
Advanced GCE
A400QS – Biology A
A410QS – Chemistry A
A420QS – Physics A
A480QS – Geology A
Advanced GCE
Confirmation that none are impacted
GCSE (9-1)
J351/03 – English Language
J351/04 – English Language
J351/80 – English Language (c/fwd)
GCSE (9-1)
8700 – English Language
GCSE/iGCSE
1EN0 – English Language GCSE
4EA1 – English Language A iGCSE
4EB1 – English Language B iGCSE
4ES1 – English as a Second Language iGCSE
4SW1 – Swahili iGCSE
GCSE
C700QS English Language GCSE
GCSE
Confirmation that none are impacted

 

11/08/2020 – Updates to this article
I have been reminded how important this knowledge base article is and that it should be a single point of information for all users.  I have tidied down some of the earlier information and moved the release information in patches to the correct place lower down.  I will continue to use Yellow Highlights to indicate what was changed since last time and I have asked that any colleague in the business that has exams related information of importance or news worthy, to tell me so I can publish it here.  Many thanks – Paul.

23/05/2020 – Refresh Of Exams Basedata in Preparation for the Summer Results
We have received confirmation from the JCQ that some awarding organisations will making changes to their basedata given the change to the results this summer.  We know that many schools will, as a matter of course, refresh basedata in preparation for the download days in August.  The following is our understanding of the position for each major JCQ AO:

  • AQA, Pearson, WJEC will update their basedata
  • OCR are currently reviewing their position
  • CCEA are not updating their basedata

There was no indication as to when those who are making changes, will release the updated files.

05/05/2020 – Outcomes of the Public Consultation on the Summer Exams
Ofqual has published its initial decisions on GCSE and A level grading proposals for 2020.

28/04/2020 – Customer Success Webinar on how SIMS can help in managing Summer 2020 Exams Season
On Friday 24th April, the SIMS Customer Success Managers presented to over 500 delegates in an online webinar on the arrangements in place this Summer and how SIMS can help for some schools.  If you missed this webinar, you can watch a recording of this by clicking here.

 

16/04/2020 – Public Consultation on Exceptional arrangements for exam grading and assessment in 2020
Ofqual have released a public consultation on the exams grading process for the summer of 2020.  The aim of the consultation, which closes at 11:45pm on 29th April 2020, is to:

  • to ensure students can receive grades in these qualifications this summer so they can progress to the next stages of their lives without further disruption
  • that the grades will be as valued as those of any other year
  • that the approach will be fair

Please do take time to read the additional information and where you can, submit your feedback to Ofqual.

In terms of the awarding organisations working with MIS providers, the conversations have reduced in the past week as they continue to work through their revised processes and figure out their technical strategy for collecting the data they require.  We know that they will not be using revised basedata or different versions of EDI submission files.

We have stressed to the JCQ that any data they collect across the different boards must be in a consistent format.  This is to ease the burden of the Exam Officers and Data Managers coordinating responses across a variety of AOs at their establishment.  When we have more information and certainty on how SIMS can help in this process, we will publish additional guidance.

09/04/2020 – Update Video from Ofqual
Ofqual have provided teachers and students some video guidance on the current Summer Series situation.  There have been some conversations this week at a variety of levels and plans are starting to solidify and I am sure will be announced in the coming days.

06/04/2020 – News from Ofqual regarding Summer Series
You may have heard on the news over the weekend, Ofqual released further information regarding how students this summer will be assessed.  Their document (click here) in summary states on page 5: “For every GCSE, AS and A level subject, exam boards will require each school, college or other exam centre to submit the following information:

  • a centre assessment grade for each student – the judgement submitted to the exam board by the Head of Centre about the grade that each student is most likely to have achieved if they had sat their exams. This professional judgement is derived from evidence held within the centre and which has been reviewed by subject teachers and relevant heads of department
  • the rank order of students within each grade – for example, for all those students with a grade of 5 in GCSE maths, or a grade B in A level biology, a rank order where 1 is the most secure/highest attaining student, and so on.”

Furthermore, Ofqual make it clear on page 10 that Exam Boards are working on how they collect this data:

“Exam boards are currently working to adapt their IT systems to collect this data in a way that is as straightforward as possible for centres. The final deadline for submission of data to exam boards will be specified by the exam boards. It will not be earlier than 29 May 2020 and that centres will have a window of at least two weeks in which to submit the data. Further information will follow from exam boards after Easter. While you can begin the work to generate the grade and rank order, please do not try to submit data until exam boards have issued instructions.”

We (Capita) continue with our discussions with the JCQ and individual Exam Boards, each centre is going to have different ways to manage this, as each school has different levels of access to SIMS and even applications at home such as Excel.  Once we understand more on how the Exams boards proceed with collecting the data, we can then explore if there are any processes of real value in SIMS we can utilise.  I am keen to make sure we don’t over think this and create massively complex ways to collect this data, where a secure shared online spreadsheet may be the most efficient way to do this.

 

30/03/2020 – Continued conversations regarding the Summer Series
Today there were a number of different meetings with SSUs, Awarding Organisations, JCQ and internally on how Exam Centres will deal with the change to assessing the outcomes of learners this summer.  Progress is being made on a consistent approach and all are invested in making the alternative arrangements as easy as possible even when access to school systems is difficult.  I would like to think that as we move towards the end of this week, this process will have taken shape and we hopefully will have something that we can all share.

25/03/2020 – Alternative arrangements for GCSE and A Level’s this summer
Capita are working in consultation with awarding organisations and the JCQ to formulate our plans moving forward on how to best manage the return of data required for the Summer 2020 Season.  Please continue to review this article and as soon as we have more information and confirmed detail, we will share that here.

5/02/2020 – Update to KS4 Attainment 8 Estimates for 2019
In February 2020, the DfE updated their KS4 Attainment 8 Estimates based upon the outcomes of students who took exams in the Summer of 2019. The details from this recent document on page 43 have been produced in Patch 25661. Schools wanting to run the SIMS PI Reports for KS4 2019 and want to use the latest Attainment 8 Averages should apply this patch.  This patch will be included in the SIMS Summer 2020 release in preparation for the 2020 KS4 cohort’s estimated Attainment 8 scores.

UPDATE 24/01/2020 – Issues Importing AQA Basedata
Patch 25477 has been withdrawn from SOLUS3 because of an issue with External Results.  We have now released a new patch, 25588 on SOLUS3.

09/01/2020– Welsh Performance Measure File Version 6
We have released Version 6 of the Welsh Performance Measure file to add in one specific qualification:

  • QWAD C00/3896/1 with QAN 603/3040/5

Schools who need to use the QWAD only will need to import this PM File, those schools not teaching this qualification will NOT need to import this updated PM file.

29/11/2019 – We are now writing a database patch to update SIMS with the new and corrected information from the JCQ Formats spreadsheet.  Please keep an eye on the Notification for further updates.

Investigations into the root cause of the problem have been completed. The issue is a difference in the qualification levels published in the JCQ formats documentation and that in the AQA basedata. This difference is the reason why this particular basedata cannot be imported. We are waiting for official confirmation from the JCQ in a change to the formats documentation to which we can then prepare a database patch to then allow the successful import of AQA’s basedata.

 

 

21/08/2019 – OCR Drama J316A and J316B
Exam Board: OCR
Region: Any school in any region who has students entered for this qualification
Issue: When importing a result file for students who are expecting grades and marks for OCR J316A or J316B Drama, the error “Result not in range defined for the aspect” will be recorded in the import activity log.  This is because the current basedata has the maximum and minimum marks both set to zero and the incoming result file has a mark outside this range.  Only results for this specific qualification for OCR in this file will be impacted, all other incoming results should import fine.
Advice: OCR will be issuing new Basedata on their website which will need to be refreshed in Exams Organiser as soon as possible.

21/08/2019 – WJEC English Endorsements
Exam Board: 
WJEC
Region: Any school in any region who has students entered for qualifications in English with Endorsements
Issue: Errors received upon import
Advice: Download and refresh Version 2 of the basedata for series 6G19_40 (link available here)

Exam Board: Pearson.
Issue: Result file not importing.
Notes: Pearson have issued some test files, (as in system test not exam test) which end in the extension .x99. They are not required to be imported into Exams Organiser, if attempting to do so, the user will receive an error. There is no requirement to import these test files.

Exam Board: All
Advice: In advance of the Double Award GCSE results next week, we have issued KB-481520 on how Exams Organiser displays grades like 99 and 98.

 

KB-481520 – Double Grades on Candidate Statement of Results
KB-481520
Description
When running the Candidate Statement of Results report in Examinations Organiser, if a student has a GCSE Double Award Grade, the Grade will display in a different format. For example, 99 instead of 9-9.
WorkAround
See Solution
Solution
At present, Examinations Organiser reports will always use the Gradeset Short Code. In this instance, the GCSE Double Grades are in the format of 99, 98, 88, etc… and this cannot be changed. We are looking to change this in the next Generation of Exams.

 

28/05/2019 – Explanation and Demonstration of how to refresh basedata
As the exams result season draws closer, there can be confusion with users on how to be successful in refreshing exams basedata.  A recent meeting with OCR and WJEC also identified that awarding organisation also are confused by this process in Exams Organiser 6.  This video helps explain how this completed.   

10/05/2019 – Exams Pod Cast
To help customers understand what’s going to be available in the summer release of the software, we have put together some pod casts that are available on the SIMS Customer Success Resource Hub.