A-Level Results Day: Grade Boundaries

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The Financier
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A-Level Results Day - 18th August 2016: Grade Boundaries

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This discussion will be updated with links to grade boundaries for different exams so you can work out what grade you probably got in your exams before the official grades are announced


You've made it through your exams and the only thing left to do now is to collect your results. After a long year of hard work and revision I'm sure you'll be having fun on your summer holiday, ready for the good news that you've accomplished the grades you've worked for and secured your place at university or whatever you've planned your future towards. Still, I remember how anxious I was last year in the couple of days leading up to the big moment so make sure you do stuff to relax and take your mind off things, be it going out with friends or staying in and watching a great movie!

There can be a lot of things to think about on results day so we've made a few threads to help guide you through everything. Changing Skies has made a brilliant FAQ & Advice Thread for AS students whilst James A and rayquaza97 have set up threads where you can post your results for AS students and A2 students! There's also a really comprehensive general guide to results day and if you didn't do as well as you hoped or just want to prepare for everything, Black Rose has some great advice so there's no need to worry! You're also welcome to quote in the Study Helpers if there's anything you're still not sure on and we'll do our best to answer!

But for the hardcore, this thread will contain the hallowed documents that are the grade boundaries. As I'm sure a lot of you know, the exam boards release these before your actual results are published, usually on the day before results day. As soon as they're out you'll be able to find them below (where the text will have turned blue):


(Most exam boards will have both the Notional and Raw to UMS grade boundaries in the same document, but if they're kept separately you just need to click the Notional bracket next to the exam board if you're on the new linear qualifications)

Each exam board also has a converter which you can use to work out your UMS marks from your raw marks if you're on the old specifications. If you're interested in where your marks are on the scale, you can find the links for each converter below:

Raw Mark to UMS Converters

Edexcel (Excel file)
AQA
OCR
WJEC

If you're not sure what the grade boundaries are all about, you can find some more information below. Otherwise, there's lots of help available on TSR so if there's any more guidance that you might need then don't hesitate to message me or the other Study Helpers with a question!

Remember, grade boundaries can help you predict your grade if you have a rough idea of what you might have got on each unit but there are other considerations to account for. If they're higher than you thought they might be, don't panic! From personal experience, results day can throw in some pleasant surprises.

Best of luck and all the best for the 18th!

FAQ


What are grade boundaries and what are they for?

Grade Boundaries indicate the minimum raw marks required to achieve a certain grade for a unit of your subject. For each subject, you get a table which looks something like this:

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From here, you can see that to get a B in Edexcel Economics Unit 1 last year, you would need a minimum of 54 marks whilst an A needed 61 marks.

For subject specifications which do NOT follow the reformed A-level exams taught from or after September 2015, raw marks are also converted into UMS marks which go towards your final subject grade classification. In terms of UMS marks, the grade boundaries are usually:
-
<40%: U
40%: E
50%: D
60%: C
70%: B
80%: A
(An A* for a subject requires meeting an A grade overall whilst scoring an average of at least 90% in your A2 units)

Why do they change?

Exam boards try to ensure that each exam paper has the same level of difficulty from year to year, but in reality there is a little variation in how challenging a paper is for students. To compensate for this, the exam boards adjust the conversion of raw marks to UMS marks to reflect and accommodate the overall performance of students for the year.

For example if many people have found an exam easy and so the average performance of students is higher than usual, the exam board will shift the grade boundaries higher, increasing the number of marks needed to get the best grades. Conversely, if the general performance of the year is poor, the grade boundaries are lowered to balance out the difficulty.

That way, it ensures your grades aren't a matter of pot luck and will fairly reflect your performance.

Do linear qualifications have grade boundaries?

For those on the new specifications that follow a linear format, exam boards don't need to combine marks from different occasions so won't publish UMS marks. Hence, the grade boundaries for these qualifications will be different in nature to the modular qualifications.

Instead, exam boards will publish "illustrative" or "notional" grade boundaries, which show the minimum mark needed if the unit was graded. These are for illustrative purposes only - they do not affect your subject grade as linear qualifications don't combine the grades of individual units.

What if I'm close to the next grade boundary?

There's little worse on results day than looking through your results and realising you're only one or two marks away from the next grade. It can particularly frustrating at A2, where there can be a material difference to meeting your firmed university's grade requirements. :unimpressed:
- If this does happen, you may want to consider getting your paper remarked. However, this does cost money, the amount of which will vary depending on the paper and which exam board you're enrolled on, so it's important to think carefully about whether to go ahead with one. If your marks increase such that your grade changes, you'll get your money back! This doesn't always happen though so you may want to consult with your teacher when considering a remark.
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Xuancong
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Anyone got the idea how are they going to decide what is your grade for the subject (A,B,C,...) ?For example, last year I took D1 FP1 and S1 for Further Math, my grade is 88,88,70 respectively.My overall is 243/300 and i got an A, Why ? Thank you
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The Financier
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(Original post by Xuancong)
Anyone got the idea how are they going to decide what is your grade for the subject (A,B,C,...) ?For example, last year I took D1 FP1 and S1 for Further Math, my grade is 88,88,70 respectively.My overall is 243/300 and i got an A, Why ? Thank you
Your subject grade is calculated by the percentage of UMS points that you have. A minimum of 80% of the max UMS points is needed for an A, 70% for a B etc.
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kingofthejungle2
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Hey what about CIE?
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Niyi Aderounmu
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The grade boundaries for the new specs should be balanced, not too high.
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emiloujess
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1 week today GBs will start coming out
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smegsxo
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Anyone got any predictions for AQA Psychology A, Sociology or HIS3M? So nervous for these boundaries...could be the make or break for uni!
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bishbashbosh123
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anyone know what grade boundaries could be like for OCR A2 F214 and F215 Biology exams? hopefully not a big increase!
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Pato1
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You should note that remarks are pretty much useless now unless the examiner has made a fat blatant error.
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Saywhatyoumean
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(Original post by bishbashbosh123)
anyone know what grade boundaries could be like for OCR A2 F214 and F215 Biology exams? hopefully not a big increase!
I was thinking (for A's) 42 for F214 and 67 for F215? What about you?


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-jordan-
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Really interested in the AQA C3 grade boundary. Given everyone's reaction, surely the lowest it's been for that module.
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Aph
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I thought this was about how grade boundries are decided and trying to make us feel better...
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rosieh312
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(Original post by -jordan-)
Really interested in the AQA C3 grade boundary. Given everyone's reaction, surely the lowest it's been for that module.
Also the AQA chemistry
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surplus98
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What time on Tuesday night do the grade boundaries for Edexcel usually come out?
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TheRandomGenius
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(Original post by surplus98)
What time on Tuesday night do the grade boundaries for Edexcel usually come out?
As soon as it hits 12AM Wednesday morning (ie midnight on Tuesday night)
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ozmo19
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CCEA's will never turn blue because they don't put them online
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TiernanW
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(Original post by ozmo19)
CCEA's will never turn blue because they don't put them online
What do you mean turn blue?

I'm with CCEA as well. For my GCSEs I actually requested them under the Freedom of Information for the subjects I was doing hahaha.
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ozmo19
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(Original post by TiernanW)
What do you mean turn blue?

I'm with CCEA as well. For my GCSEs I actually requested them under the Freedom of Information for the subjects I was doing hahaha.
It turns blue when it has been linked to a site/document (to the grade boundaries) but CCEA don't post them on their website. Yes you can email to receive copies but they won't be linked on this thread. I did the same last year for a few of my subects
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lucabrasi98
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Alright let's get this out the way. How many of you cheated on your ISA's which inevitably contributes to the disgusting grade boundaries we're going to see?

I have friends in 4 local schools and they all confirmed multiple classes cheated. Meanwhile there's our school doing it properly. It's so frustrating to know I'm inevitably getting a B grade max in the ISA. And that's in my best one. In my worst I'll probably get a D.
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marioman
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(Original post by lucabrasi98)
Alright let's get this out the way. How many of you cheated on your ISA's which inevitably contributes to the disgusting grade boundaries we're going to see?

I have friends in 4 local schools and they all confirmed multiple classes cheated. Meanwhile there's our school doing it properly. It's so frustrating to know I'm inevitably getting a B grade max in the ISA. And that's in my best one. In my worst I'll probably get a D.
Only a small number of schools do the ISA without any cheating at all.

It's a moot point now because ISAs are being phased out, but for AQA Science A-levels then the EMPA is provided as an alternative. It's much harder to cheat on the EMPA compared to the ISAs and (in Physics at least) it has very low boundaries.
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