How will the virus impact the process for 2020/21 applicants & the grades ?

UCAS Applications

UCAS is working with universities, colleges, and the government to support applicants during these unprecedented times. To give some more time to students applying, they have extended some deadlines such as their May offer deadline for UCAS Undergraduate applicants. UCAS aims to minimise the impact on applicants and is opting for the same process as previous years.

  • If you’re holding a conditional offer – your offer will still become unconditional if you meet the offer conditions.
  • If you’ve already accepted an unconditional offer – this does not affect your offer.
  • If your application is unsuccessful – you can still use Extra and Clearing as thousands of other students before you have.
  • If you’re applying as a private candidate – you need to get in touch directly with the universities or schools, you have applied to. Be assured they will consider your circumstances when they review your application.

Find out more on the UCAS website here.

Standardised tests (IELTS, TOEFL, A-levels)


IELTS tests have been suspended until further notice for the COVID19 outbreak to protect the health of test-takers.  IELTS has launched a new online test call IELTS indicator. The Indicator test will be available in selected location and bookings open from 22 of April. They are also planning to hold additional test sessions as soon as permitted, to ensure that they have the capacity for those who need to take IELTS, as quickly as possible, for an admissions decision.  Updated information here.


Tests have been moved online everywhere except Mainland China and Iran subject top eligibility. The test is an at-home testing solution for the TOEFL iBT test for students who have been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19). Monitoring of the test will be conducted using live remote proctors and artificial intelligence technology by ProctorU, the leading proctoring solution for online testing. 


The government announced the closure of all schools until further notice and clarity that GCSE’s and A-level exams will all be cancelled. Have a look at how GCSE’s and A-levels will be awarded in summer 2020 here.

University Final Exams

The race has been on for quite some time to find the best way to reorganise end of year exams for students so that it remains highly accurate and controlled. Along with teaching, exams have been moved online, and institutions face a challenge of organising online exams. The task has been a challenge, how to grade each student on their modules, some subjects are looking at predicted grades, while others are converting their exams to coursework which can be submitted through portals online. There is much debate about this currently, some medical students have had exams ultimately cancelled, while Cambridge, in particular, is in the spotlight where their students are debating different views on how best for them to be assessed this year. Read more here.

It is specific to each institution how and when they take steps to transition to the current circumstances. While all students must strictly follow their school or universities guideline, we are certain that we have to accept an unconventional method of final examinations for students in 2020. 

Some Universities summer assessment announced below:

University of Oxford: There will be no exams for Trinity term. The first-year undergraduate students will consider having passed apart from law and medicine. For the second and third-year undergraduate students’ exams will be deferred into the next academic year. The final year undergraduate and taught masters would be replaced either open-book versions of papers, longer pieces of work completed over several days, or a mix of the two. 

University College London (UCL):  UCL adopted a ‘no detriment’ principle which recognises current performance so far and ensures that academic outcomes cannot be negatively affected by the alternative assessments that put in place in response to this extraordinary situation. UCL is working to offer a modified assessment rather than cancelling to complete the academic year. 

King’s College London (KCL):  KCL has adopted “safety net policy” which means to ensure that no student will be disadvantaged academically by the impact of the current situation. KCL will put in place a range of ‘safety net’ arrangements to manage any negative impact on students’ outcomes. KCL has adopted an assessment format that would allow the students to complete the assessment remotely, such as replacing some unseen, timed exams with open-book exams, or alternative forms of coursework.

Imperial College London:  The College has established an education group with membership, including students, academic and administrative representatives to consider the impact of the COVID19 and the delivery of the education. The education group concluded this year summer assessment would be taking place remotely rather than cancelling altogether. 

The University of Manchester: The university has taken no disadvantage approach for all assessments. First-year and internal Foundation Year students will progress automatically to your next year of study. All faculties will apply no disadvantage policy, and all student should complete the semester two dissertation, coursework, and projects.