How your Final GCSE Grade is worked out (AQA)Watch
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:
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.
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