guywithabigdream
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Hey guys,

Please please please, explain what UMS marks are. I don't understand what they represent. I mean say I get 80% in Biology (Edexcel IGCSE) that would be an A* on Edexcels website. Would the UMS mark get me a lower grade? I'm so confused Our school doesn't explain anything!

Thanks,
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fletch17
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Your mark gets converted to a UMS score, it varies between subjects and depends on how easy/hard people overall found the paper. They give you a grade then based on your UMS score. Very confusing, but I hope that helps a bit?


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guywithabigdream
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(Original post by fletch17)
Your mark gets converted to a UMS score, it varies between subjects and depends on how easy/hard people overall found the paper. They give you a grade then based on your UMS score. Very confusing, but I hope that helps a bit?


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So the grade boundaries are irrelevant? arghh I can't take this xD
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Gaiaphage
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UMS stands for Uniform Mark Scale - basically 80 UMS in one paper is meant to represent the exact same achievement as 80 UMS in any other paper. Your raw score will be converted into UMS (see http://www.aqa.org.uk/exams-administ...t-marks-to-ums) and then this will be used to work out your grade - 90% UMS is ALWAYS (when applicable) an A*, 80% UMS is ALWAYS an A, 70% UMS is ALWAYS a B etc.


Also see http://www.aqa.org.uk/exams-administ...orm-mark-scale.
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guywithabigdream
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(Original post by Gaiaphage)
UMS stands for Universal Mark Scale - basically 80 UMS in one paper is meant to represent the exact same achievement as 80 UMS in any other paper. Your raw score will be converted into UMS (see http://www.aqa.org.uk/exams-administ...t-marks-to-ums) and then this will be used to work out your grade - 90% UMS is ALWAYS (when applicable) an A*, 80% UMS is ALWAYS an A, 70% UMS is ALWAYS a B etc.


Also see http://www.aqa.org.uk/exams-administ...orm-mark-scale.
what are we graded on though? say 129/180 raw (don't know what raw means) on edexcels igcse biology is an A*. What would that be as a UMS mark? Would it not be an A* anymore?
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anonwinner
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(Original post by guywithabigdream)
Hey guys,

Please please please, explain what UMS marks are. I don't understand what they represent. I mean say I get 80% in Biology (Edexcel IGCSE) that would be an A* on Edexcels website. Would the UMS mark get me a lower grade? I'm so confused Our school doesn't explain anything!

Thanks,

UMS stands for Uniform Mark Scale. 40 UMS = E grade, 50 UMS = D, 60 UMS = C, 70 UMS = B, 80 UMS = A, and 90 UMS = A*. Its purpose is to convert raw marks into a uniform scale that can be compared with previous and future years' exam results.

For example: in June 2013 there was a particularly difficult C3 maths exam which people complained about. As many people did not perform as well as they normally do in this exam, the UMS required to achieve each grade was significantly lowered. I think it was something like 57/75 raw marks (which is 76% of the marks) for 90 UMS which is an A*, when usually it's around 68/75 for 90 UMS.
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gdunne42
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Only MODULAR exams need UMS.
That is because you can take different units at different times in the course nd can resit individual units so some students may face a slightly harder exam than others and there needs to be a way to standardise the marks. If you take any Modular A levels you will care about how many real actual "raw" marks are converted to how many standardised UMS marks. Your total ums mark from all the units will decide your grade.

IGCSE biology is not modular and is assessed by exams at the end of the course. Papers do vary in difficulty. To standardise this type of assessment, for each exam the examiners just decide how many marks are required to be awarded a specific grade. These are the grade boundaries.


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Gaiaphage
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(Original post by guywithabigdream)
what are we graded on though? say 129/180 raw (don't know what raw means) on edexcels igcse biology is an A*. What would that be as a UMS mark? Would it not be an A* anymore?
When an examiner/teacher etc. marks a paper, the resulting mark is called your raw mark. This is then converted to a UMS score using a converter such as the one I linked you, and then that UMS is used to calculate your grade.

If 129/180 was the A* mark, then that would be equal to 90% UMS, which would be 90 UMS if the paper was worth 100 total UMS as it probably is for GCSE.
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guywithabigdream
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(Original post by gdunne42)
Only MODULAR exams need UMS.
That is because you can take different units at different times in the course nd can resit individual units so some students may face a slightly harder exam than others and there needs to be a way to standardise the marks. If you take any Modular A levels you will care about how many real actual "raw" marks are converted to how many standardised UMS marks. Your total ums mark from all the units will decide your grade.

IGCSE biology is not modular and is assessed by exams at the end of the course. Papers do vary in difficulty. To standardise this type of assessment, for each exam the examiners just decide how many marks are required to be awarded a specific grade. These are the grade boundaries.


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This clears a lot up, thank you. One more question if you don't mind me asking, I am doing Classics in AQA GCSE, I'm not doing IGCSE in that. How would I be able to achieve an A* in that?

Thanks so much
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guywithabigdream
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(Original post by Gaiaphage)
When an examiner/teacher etc. marks a paper, the resulting mark is called your raw mark. This is then converted to a UMS score using a converter such as the one I linked you, and then that UMS is used to calculate your grade.

If 129/180 was the A* mark, then that would be equal to 90% UMS, which would be 90 UMS if the paper was worth 100 total UMS as it probably is for GCSE.
Ah, so the A* for the raw mark is always 90% in UMS?
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Compost
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(Original post by guywithabigdream)
Hey guys,

Please please please, explain what UMS marks are. I don't understand what they represent. I mean say I get 80% in Biology (Edexcel IGCSE) that would be an A* on Edexcels website. Would the UMS mark get me a lower grade? I'm so confused Our school doesn't explain anything!

Thanks,
IGCSEs don't use UMS as they don't have modular exams like most GCSEs.
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guywithabigdream
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(Original post by Compost)
IGCSEs don't use UMS as they don't have modular exams like most GCSEs.
Yup, someone explained that to me xD could you enlighten me on how in AQA Classics GCSE to get an A*? Like how many modules do we do? If you know haha.

Thanks
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Compost
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(Original post by guywithabigdream)
Yup, someone explained that to me xD could you enlighten me on how in AQA Classics GCSE to get an A*? Like how many modules do we do?
4 units, equally weighted. http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/class...ec-at-a-glance

You need to average 90% UMS across the 4 units.
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guywithabigdream
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(Original post by Compost)
4 units, equally weighted. http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/class...ec-at-a-glance

You need to average 90% UMS across the 4 units.
Thanks man when you say 90% UMS, does that mean the AQA A* grade boundary? Also you wouldn't by any chance know when the controlled assessment will be held? Im in year 10.

Thanks so much
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Compost
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(Original post by guywithabigdream)
Thanks man when you say 90% UMS, does that mean the AQA A* grade boundary? Also you wouldn't by any chance know when the controlled assessment will be held? Im in year 10.

Thanks so much
The A* boundary is the same for all GCSEs with UMS: 90%. For AQA Class Civ, I think each unit is out of 100UMS so you would need to get at least 360/400 overall.

You do the controlled assessment whenever it suits your school so i can't help you with that.
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Gaiaphage
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(Original post by Compost)
IGCSEs don't use UMS as they don't have modular exams like most GCSEs.
My IGCSEs all used UMS
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Compost
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(Original post by Gaiaphage)
My IGCEs all used UMS
Presuming you mean IGCSEs, which exam board?
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Gaiaphage
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(Original post by Compost)
Presuming you mean IGCSEs, which exam board?
Yeah typo - they were CIE, Edexcel and AQA
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Compost
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(Original post by Gaiaphage)
Yeah typo - they were CIE, Edexcel and AQA
CIE doesn't use the term UMS although they do have a similar system for at least some of their IGCSEs.
Edexcel doesn't have UMS for IGCSEs at all, the grade boundaries change with every exam series.
AQA does use UMS for its Certificates.
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Gaiaphage
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(Original post by Compost)
CIE doesn't use the term UMS although they do have a similar system for at least some of their IGCSEs.
Edexcel doesn't have UMS for IGCSEs at all, the grade boundaries change with every exam series.
AQA does use UMS for its Certificates.
All three used UMS on my certificates, I'm not sure which exams you're confusing them with.

This is offtopic though - OP simply asked what they are
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