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Grade boundaries from AQA A psychology

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    I have looked on the specification on the website but don't seem to be able to find the grade boundaries.

    I am wanting to know what marks/ums you need on PYA5 to get each grade. Rep for anyone who finds out this info, becuase I've looked everywhere
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    http://www.aqa.org.uk/over/stat_pdf/...OUND-JAN08.PDF Page 11
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    (Original post by ayesha2210)
    http://www.aqa.org.uk/over/stat_pdf/...OUND-JAN08.PDF Page 11
    so how many ums out of 120 is an A. I don't understand. rep for finding it anyway
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    96 UMS is needed for an A i think
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    A 96 (= 80% of 120), B 84 (= 70% of 120), C 72, D 60, E 48
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    the goose has just worked out if she gets at least a C on her coursework she only needs an E in June. The goose is happy. Rep for ManxKirsty tomorrow =D
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    Wait I don't get is, I only need 52/120 to get an A overall, and the raw mark to achieve such a mark is around 30/120.

    So wait..does that mean I only need 30/120 = E to get the A overall?
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    (Original post by Legend Killer)
    Wait I don't get is, I only need 52/120 to get an A overall, and the raw mark to achieve such a mark is around 30/120.

    So wait..does that mean I only need 30/120 = E to get the A overall?
    The raw score isn't 120 is it? I don't know now..
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    Nah, thats UMS. I was looking at the boundary for the RAW and its like 32/94 for like 52/120 overall. But I was just thinking to myself, if that was the case, then maybe I shouldn't rouch revision till like 2 weeks before the exam!
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    (Original post by Legend Killer)
    Nah, thats UMS. I was looking at the boundary for the RAW and its like 32/94 for like 52/120 overall. But I was just thinking to myself, if that was the case, then maybe I shouldn't rouch revision till like 2 weeks before the exam!
    it is scaled though so you wont know how many raw you need for certain ums. If everyone does really really really well then you'll need a much higher score
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    I've been doing a little research into the past threads on this website about PYA5 and its not looking too good.

    Alot of people ended up with really low marks compared to the other units. These marks were as low as 24/120.

    Although some people only need like 50/120 for the A, it's still gonna be difficult.
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    I've also worked out that according to the examining report of 2006, I only need 32/94=52/120 = A.

    Something doesn't quite seem right though


    If it was so easy to achieve an A, then wouldn't people be getting much higher in the unit? and looking back at people's marks they were achieveing well below this.
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    ouch. Thats gotta hurt. It is a tough exam though, the synoptic element sucks. I've forgotten everything we've done so far. My teacher just goes "you know all this from AS throw such studies in, you remember [insert name or psychologist here]? Course you do"

    urm... no..

    If i can do well on the mental illness bit and ok on the approaches then i shouldn't have to worry too much about the debates. Oh how I loathe the debates.
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    for total A2 ums points
    A- 480+
    B- 420-479
    C- 360-419
    D- 300-359
    E- 240-299
    U- 239 and below
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    isn't it out of 300 for a2?
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    errrr dunno, i copyied it off some board in my psychology lesson, maybe its wrong then?!

    Actually it must be 600. AS was out of 300, 100 for each topic.
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    480/600 seem very low for A but it is 80%

    i cant believe we can drop 120 ums and get A. Last year I dropped like 25 ums overall. 22 on one paper.. i was not impressed.
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    Ok, just to clear this up because I admit the UMS system, confused me too as both Psychology teacher and current A Level intensive Sociology student. Those of you who already know this, can stop reading now! LOL!

    UMS stands for Uniform mark scale and is designed to confuse both students and teachers alike! LOL! No, it's designed to make sure that grades remain consistent from year to year, even though the raw mark (number of marks you get for the actual paper e.g. 62) goes up or down, according to how well or badly students do each year. NB. The grade boundaries are set AFTER the exam papers are marked.

    The scaled mark is just that. When the raw marks are converted to a set number. E.g. 62 in Psychology (usually but not always the same as the raw mark), and then used to produce the UMS.

    As people have said on here already, the garde boundaries for A Level Psychology will always be at the following %s:

    A= 80% of the total A Level/ AS marks. I.e. 240 for AS; 480 marks for A-level.

    B=70% ditto. I.e. 210 marks for AS; 420 marks for A-Level.

    C=60% ditto. I.e. 180 marks for AS; 360 marks for A-Level.

    D=50% ditto. I.e. 150 marks for AS; 300 marks for A-Level.

    E=40% ditto & pass mark. I.e. 120 marks for AS; 240 marks for A-Level.

    NB. The above is true for ALL exam specs! As is the total number of marks/points available at AS and A-Level-300 for AS and 600 for A-Level as a whole. So, in answer to the above post, No, it is NOT 300 for A2 because A2 is NOT a stand alone/separate qualification from AS. I.e. You cannot study A2 unless you've studied AS, but you CAN choose to take your AS (year 1 of your A-Level) grade without going onto do A2, even though you've technically only studied half an A-Level. The government did this, in order to reduce the 'gap' between GCSEs and A-Levels and encourage mroe students to study A-Levels, but that's a seprate issue!

    Ok, now, this is the bit that drives everyone nuts when working out the relationship between raw marks, UMS marks and grade boundaries, including me (or it did until recently):

    1. Although, you need to achieve 80% overall to achieve a Grade A, you do NOT need to achieve 80% of the raw marks to get a grade A in a particular unit and the UMS mark bears no relation to the number of marks available on a perticular paper, except as described above. I.e. The lowest UMS mark will ALWAYS be the same as the lowest RAW mark needed for an A, even if (as the eagle eyed/Psychology student revision conference attendees amongst you may have already noticed) the raw mark for an A is usually lower than 80%.

    2. The total UMS marks available for each unit in A-levels/GCSEs is calculated according to the 'weightings' for each unit. I.e. What percentage of the overall AS/A-level mark is made up by each unit. For AQA A Psychology (other exam boards students should look on their exam board websites):

    Units 1, 2 and 3= 33.33% of the total AS marks (300) and 16.67% of the total A2 marks (600). Thus, the max number of UMS mark for these units is 100. NB. 100 does NOT mean 100%, despite what it looks like! ;-)

    Units 4 and 6= 15% of the total A-level (NOT A2) marks (600).

    Unit 5= 20% of the total A-Level (NOT A2) marks (600).

    3. Another thing to remember is that you do NOT have to achieve the full number of raw marks to get the full number of UMS (although full UMS is still good! ;-))! So, when converting from raw marks to UMS or working out how many marks you need for an overall grade, you need to divide the UMS mark for the grade that you want by the raw mark needed for the grade that you want. Then, diviNow, as these vary from year to year, I suggest that you use the grade mark boundaries for the exams in either the Jan/June series just before the one that you're taking (i.e. the most recent one). E.g. One of my students last year achieved:

    Unit 1=C in June 2007
    Unit 2=C in June 2007
    Unit 3=E in January 2007

    The grade boundary for a Grade E for unit 3 in Jan '07 was 21/62 and the grade boundaries for a grade C for units 1 & 2 in June 2007 were 29/62. In terms of uniform marks, this means that my student got a minimum of 60 UMS in units 1 and 2 and 40 in unit 3. This means that overall, she got:

    60+60+40=160 marks for her AS. A grade D.

    Now, let's go back in time to March '07 and she wanted me to work out what she needed to do to get a Grade C overall. So far, she has 40 marks and needs 180 for a C. So, she needs 140 in units 1 and 2 to get a grade C. I.e. at least 70 UMS marks for each unit! At the moment, this info is pretty meaningless because the papers are marked out of 62 for these units. To convert:

    1. Look up the grade boundary for Cs in units 1 and 2 for June 2007 (when she will be sitting the exam. Or in January 2008, if you're working things out now). This was 29/62 for both units.

    2. To work out the difference between the UMS and raw mark, divide the UMS boundary for a C by the raw mark boundary for a C. I.e. 60/29=2.068965517241379310344827586 2069.

    LOL! A long number, so I'll convert to 3.dp. 2.069.

    3. To work out how many raw marks needed to get a C overall, divide UMS mark for a C by the above number Thus 70/2.069=33.83276945384243595940067 6655389. Another long number! LOL I.e. 34 for each unit or a total of 68 for both units. I.e. she needs to get 1 mark off a B for each unit, so I'd advise the student to aim for at least35 marks in each unit (Bs), just to be on the safe side!

    4. If you want to convert raw marks to UMS , you can of course multiply instead of divide! E.g. Let's say that she did mock tests in each unit as part of her revision and achieved 38/62 in unit 1 and 33/62 in unit 2. So, to calculate the UMS' for each unit:

    unit 1= 38X2.069 = 78.622 approx 79.
    Unit 2= 33X2.069 = 68.277 approx 68

    This adds up to 147 which added to her 40 gives her 187! So, if she'd got these marks in June 2007, she would have achieved her Grade C

    The January 2008 boundaries for AQA specs for each unit can be found on the AQA website (aqa dot org) under teachers and then grade boundaries on the right hand side of the page (6th link down) on the quick links section. For the June 2008 grades, I recommend using the Jan 2008 grade boundaries, as they are the most recent. These can be found under the Grade boundaries section on the grey menu on the left hand side of the page (4th link down) and on the second column GCE on the red table for Jan 2008 (first table on the page).

    I hope that I've cleared things up because it's taken me ages to write this!

    Ice Mario

    PS. This method is NOT foolproof because the grade boundaries change from year to year, so when working out what marks you need for a particular grade, always go higher if you can, in order to be sure! Tip, if you want an A, play it safe and go for 80% of the raw marks in each unit anyway, in order to guarantee yourself an A for UMS. This is true for the other grades.

    PPS. I'm a Psychology teacher an examiner and used information from the uniform mark leaflets and grade boundaries which you can download for free from the exam board websites. By the way, yes, it's true that PYA5 is the 'worst' exam for a lot of students! Don't let it stop you though!
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    how many part does PYA5 actually have. because I thought it was 3, the schizophrenia OCD bit, debates and approaches. but today we were doing evolutionary psychology. now i'm lost
  20. Offline

    There are 3 parts.

    Psychopathology is one, approaches OR debates (whichever one you choose) and approaches which consists of psychodynamic/behavioural/biological etc...


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Updated: May 28, 2010
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