Exam boards have asked teachers to submit judgments about the grades they think their students would have received if tests had gone ahead.
In June, secondary schools in England submitted centre assessment grades for their Year 11 pupils to exam boards; the government stressed these should be fair and objective.
The next step is moderation by exam boards, before grades are issued to pupils in August.
Here's what you need to know about grade boundaries this GCSE results day.
Changes introduced in 2014 by then-Education Secretary Michael Gove saw the replacement of the A*-G grades with 1-9 grades.
Subjects like chemistry and biology were also stripped of assessments and students' marks will depend entirely on final exams.
The overhaul of traditional GCSEs in favour of “more demanding, more fulfilling and more stretching” exams was an effort to help the UK better compete academically on a financial level.
It’s also hoped that tougher exams will mean GCSE grades are taken more seriously by employers.
How will GCSE results work this year due to Covid-19?
The government said the calculated grades will be “a best assessment” of the work students have put in.
It added that “the aim is to provide these calculated grades to students before the end of July”.
GCSE grades are typically published mid-August.
It added that this year’s grades will be “indistinguishable from those provided in other years”.
It said it would also aim to ensure that the distribution of grades “follows a similar pattern to that in other years, so that this year’s students do not face a systematic disadvantage as a consequence of these extraordinary circumstances”.
However, some MPs have warned pupils could miss out on the exam results they deserve this summer as the system risks being “unfair” for disadvantaged students.
The Commons Education Select Committee report said England’s exams regulator’s process for allowing students to appeal their grades if they believe discrimination has occurred is not accessible for all students.
Students in England who are unhappy with teacher-assessed grades, or who are unable to receive a calculated grade this summer, can take A-level exams in October and GCSE exams in November.
A DfE spokesman said: “The vast majority of students will receive a calculated grade this summer that enables them to move on to the next stage of their education or training.
“Ofqual has developed a robust process that will take into account a range of evidence, including non-exam assessment and mock results, with the primary aim of ensuring grades are as fair as possible for all students."
The deadline for submitting grades and rank orders was Friday 12 June.
What are the GCSE grade boundaries this year?
There are five different exam boards used within every school in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The list includes; Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA), Council for Curriculum and Examinations Assessment (CCEA), Pearson Edexcel, Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Exams (OCR) and Welsh Joint Examinations Committee (WJEC).
Each exam board has its own set of grade boundaries which change annually.
Grade boundaries show the minimum number of marks you need for each grade, and are published on results day.
As a general guide:
- 9, 8 or 7 is equivalent to an A* or A grade
- 6, 5 or 4 is equivalent to a B or C grade
- 3, 2 or 1 is equivalent to a D, E or F grade
- A U is mark is judged as ungraded
Nevertheless, OCR stated: "Due to coronavirus, there were no OCR exams in summer 2020. This means we will not be issuing any grade boundaries for the summer series."
The other exam boards have not issued guidance on this year's grade boundaries yet.