THE CLASS OF ‘2020’ – Flawed grading and your career


In August 2020, the UK academic exam results grading system for A-Levels, GCSEs and other work-related qualifications (e.g. BTEC) was in complete turmoil.

It started with A-Level students’ grades being determined by a questionable algorithm, which led to 40% of results being unjustly downgraded. Following a government U-turn, it was decided that grades should be based on teachers’ assessments, unless the algorithm predicted a higher grade. This change means that many students have now obtained the grades they had been expecting based on their efforts before lockdown.

There will still be those who feel that this revised grading approach does not truly reflect the results they could have achieved had they been able to sit the exam.

Whilst a significant number of students will now opt for higher education, others will be looking to jump on to the jobs ladder. A daunting step in the current economic climate.

As a background screening company, it is our job to report on the facts and we know that employers take a dim view on CV lies.

In 2020, there were no A-Level and GCSE exams sat, therefore are no exam results, only grades produced by algorithmic or teachers’ assessment.  When building your CV, it is important that the information you provide clearly reflects your recorded academic achievements and awards.  Some students may rightly feel they deserved higher grades than were eventually awarded under this imperfect system, but they should not fall into the trap of embellishing their results on their CV if they are less than had been expected. Doing so may harm your career prospects further!

For more info on the Government u-turn, check out this article in the Guardian.