Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    A lot of people have been asking what they would need to get in controlled assessments and exams to get certain grades, so I thought I would make a thread to explain how grades are decided for the people that didn’t know. (This is for AQA, not certain about other exam boards, although I think they have very similar systems. Also, please note this information is available on the AQA website).
    So, the first thing you need to know is that most GCSE’s are out of a total 400 UMS. These are the fixed UMS grade boundaries that apply to each exam and each GCSE subject:

    A* = 90% of the maximum UMS
    A = 80%
    B = 70%
    C = 60%
    D = 50%
    E = 40%
    F = 30%
    G = 20%

    So this would mean that to get a grade B on an individual exam, you would need 70% of the maximum UMS marks available for that paper; and to get a grade B for a subject overall, you would need 70% of the total UMS marks available for the subject in total. (Please note, the working out of your final grade involves your percentage UMS. Your percentage UMS is not the same as your raw percentage. E.g., just because you got 60% on a paper, does not mean that you got 60% UMS on that paper).

    If you look at the ‘Specification at a glance’ page for your subject on the AQA website, you will see what percentage each exam and each controlled assessment (each unit) is of your final grade. For example, for Geography:
    • Unit 1, an exam, is worth 37.5% of your final GCSE grade.
    • Unit 2, an exam, is worth 37.5% of your final GCSE grade.
    • Unit 3, the controlled assessment, is worth 25% of your final GCSE grade.

    This means that of 400 UMS, 37.5% of it is available for each exam, meaning the 2 exams are worth 37.5% x 400 = 150 UMS each. The controlled assessment is worth 25% of the maximum available 400 UMS, meaning that it’s worth 25% x 400 = 100 UMS.

    These are the UMS grade boundaries for each grade, for each subject out of 400 UMS:
    A* = 90% of the maximum UMS = 360 UMS
    A = 80% = 320 UMS
    B = 70% = 280 UMS
    C = 60% = 240 UMS
    D = 50% = 200 UMS
    E = 40% = 160 UMS
    F = 30% = 120 UMS
    G = 20% = 80 UMS

    So, carrying on with the geography example, imagine someone did their exams last year in June. They got 37/75 their Unit 1 exam. This mark is then converted into a UMS mark. Using the UMS converter on the AQA website, we see that for that exam 37/75 = 113 UMS.
    In their Unit 2 exam say they got 63/84. This mark is then converted into a UMS mark. Using the UMS converter on the AQA website, we see that for that exam 63/84 = 132 UMS.
    In Unit 3, the controlled assessment, they got 49/60. This mark is then converted into a UMS mark. Using the UMS converter on the AQA website, we see that for that controlled assessment 49/60 = 83 UMS.
    To work out the total UMS they got for their GCSE Geography, simply add the UMS’s for each unit together:
    113 + 132 + 83 = 326 UMS total.
    Using the list above, we see that 327 UMS equates to an overall grade A.

    As you can see, this system means that you don’t have to get a grade A on each individual unit, you can do worse on one unit and make up for it on another; but also keep in mind that some units carry more weight than others, e.g. in geography the exams are each worth 12.5% more than the controlled assessment.

    In conclusion, the steps used to find out your final grade are:

    1. The total UMS marks available for each unit are worked out. This is done by:The maximum UMS available for your GCSE x The percentage that each unit is worth.

    2. Your UMS mark for each unit is worked out. There is no formula for this. They just create a table, like the ones on the AQA UMS conversion tool website. They are slightly different each year. Then they use the table that they've made to see how many UMS your raw mark is worth.

    3. Your UMS marks from each unit are added up.

    4. You get a percentage UMS, i.e. they find out what percentage of the total available UMS you got.

    5. The following is used to work out what grade your UMS percentage equates to:
    A* 90%
    A 80%
    B 70%
    C 60%
    D 50%
    E 40%
    F 30%
    G 20%

    If you have any further questions, or don’t understand something here, leave a reply and I’ll try to reply as soon as I can. I made this in a rush so please let me know if there are any parts that aren't clear or don’t make sense, and I’ll update it ASAP.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Is the total UMS for english literature and language 400UMS/ could you please do an example on these please


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by blueribbons99)
    Is the total UMS for english literature and language 400UMS/ could you please do an example on these please


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    That depends on which course you're doing. I googled AQA english and there's few different courses. If you tell me the code for the specification you're doing, I might be able to help.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    Thank you for this!


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Aamna-)
    Thank you for this!


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Np, glad I could help
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Hi this has been really useful.Just wondering if you could work out a grade in art and design gcse. Aqa.Unit 1 60% was 72 /80Unit 2 40% was 67/80I only ended up with a B when I thought it was an A.Thanks
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Marms)
    Hi this has been really useful.Just wondering if you could work out a grade in art and design gcse. Aqa.Unit 1 60% was 72 /80Unit 2 40% was 67/80I only ended up with a B when I thought it was an A.Thanks
    Unit 1 must be out of 120 if it's 60% of the course as it need to be out of 50% more than Unit 2 if that's 40% of the GCSE.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Brussels sprouts
    Useful resources

    Study tools

    Rosette

    Essay expert

    Learn to write like a pro with our ultimate essay guide.

    Thinking about uni already?

    Thinking about uni already?

    See where you can apply with our uni match tool

    Student chat

    Ask a question

    Chat to other GCSE students and get your study questions answered.

    Creating

    Make study resources

    Create all the resources you need to get the grades.

    Planner

    Create your own Study Plan

    Organise all your homework and exams so you never miss another deadline.

    Resources by subject

    From flashcards to mind maps; there's everything you need for all of your GCSE subjects.

    Papers

    Find past papers

    100s of GCSE past papers for all your subjects at your fingertips.

    Help out other students

    Can you help? Study help unanswered threads

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.