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# The UMS - Understood watch

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1. Hey, I just wanted to see whether I've understood the system correctly:

If you have your AS-level maths, and Grade A boundaries, say for P1, P2 and S1 64, 63 and 64 repsectively, is it true that you'll have to acquire a total of 191 (all totalled up) marks in order to acquire an A?

Pls say yes/no. Thanks.
2. Sort of. If you scrape an A in every paper, you will scrape an A overall, so yes, if you get 64 in P1 and S1 and 63 in P2 (using your example) = 191 marks overall, you will just get an A. However, remember that the scaling is slightly different for every paper, so if you get 65 in P1, 64 in S1 and 62 in P2 = 191 marks, you might not quite get an A (or you might end up slightly above the A boundary).
3. (Original post by Squishy)
Sort of. If you scrape an A in every paper, you will scrape an A overall, so yes, if you get 64 in P1 and S1 and 63 in P2 (using your example) = 191 marks overall, you will just get an A. However, remember that the scaling is slightly different for every paper, so if you get 65 in P1, 64 in S1 and 62 in P2 = 191 marks, you might not quite get an A (or you might end up slightly above the A boundary).
So is what you're saying that I cannot compensate with one grade to the other, i.e. - if according to my example i needed 191 to get an A, if I got 70, 70 and 51 in S1 would I still get an A (again, considering my example)

Thanks a lot!
4. If you just scraped an A on each of the 3 papers you'd end up with 240 UMS marks. That’s because an A will always be 80 UMS marks.
So if you got slightly over the A in two papers, but slightly under in another - say 75 UMS, 83 UMS and 82 UMS you'd still end up with 240 UMS marks giving you the A.

The UMS calculation is done on each paper - not on the three papers as a whole. Which is why the marks are scaled up to the UMS scale and then added together, so you can compensate by doing better in one paper then another.
5. Just do your best, you can't calculate what you need for an A and aim for that because what you need for an A is dependent on how the nation as a whole performs on your papers... unless you intend to control their performance then there is no way to predict boundaries pre-exam whatsoever.

You never get told your marks for each paper because they are in themselves completely insignificant, they just compare them to everyone else's in such a way that a certain proportion (average) get C's, those that do better than average get a B/A and those that do worse get the D/E's
Grade boundaries for UMS will never change but "mark boundaries" for the papers are dynamic and will always be different.

Don't know how helpful any of that was, can't believe England lost after 90 mins of drawing/winning.
6. (Original post by Kiril)
So is what you're saying that I cannot compensate with one grade to the other, i.e. - if according to my example i needed 191 to get an A, if I got 70, 70 and 51 in S1 would I still get an A (again, considering my example)

Thanks a lot!
You can compensate, but remember that one mark on one paper may be worth slightly more/less than one mark on another, so the compensation isn't linear.
7. [QUOTE=halc]
You never get told your marks for each paper because they are in themselves completely insignificant....

Your teachers do get sent the actual exam marks as well as the UMS marks. Its always interesting to see what marks qualified for a minimum A grade and what mark achieves 100% UMS marks - not often much of a difference.

Jan BYA5, 54 = 72/90, 59 = 83/90, 62 = 90/90.

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Updated: June 14, 2004
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