GCSE Results Day - 25th August 2016 - Grade Boundaries
Can you believe it's GCSE results day already?!
Two years of hard work are about to come to an end; I'm sure many of you will be incredibly relieved by that, but I guarantee some of you will miss them when A levels kick in
or maybe you'll be starting a BTEC, the IB, an apprenticeship and so on. Either way, you've got a lot of hard work ahead but I'm sure you'll all cope extremely well
I remember being really nervous, yet strangely excited for my GCSE results day, and it was certainly a very interesting day! You'll see tears of joy and tears that we don't want any of you having!
Regardless of what your grades are on Thursday, as long as you put your heart and soul into your exams and coursework, you should be so proud of your achievements. Grades on a piece of paper are not the be all and end all of your life (though it may feel that way at the time!) and they definitely do not define your intelligence, so please don't feel you've let yourself down if you don't reach your goals. I didn't, and I couldn't be happier with where I am at the moment
Now to get to the important stuff! If you want to know all about grade boundaries, and access them when they're first released, then you're in the right place
often people aren't too sure about what they mean or have specific questions regarding them, so this thread is for all of you. I'm sure most of you are here as you want to see the boundaries themselves, however, so once they are available, they will be linked below! How scary Grade boundaries are usually released the day before results day itself, so we expect them to be available on the 24th August!
Sometimes they're released at midnight, sometimes they're released in the daytime, so keep your eyes pealed. If you're super speedy and discover they're out before they are linked in this post, go ahead and let us know and we'll link them straight away
Grade boundaries can be a bit intimidating and a little confusing at times, so if you're a bit stuck and have any questions about what you're looking at, what you need for a certain grade in a certain exam, please quote/tag/mention me! Or mention any of the other members of the Study Help Support Team, as they are all here to support you with anything
I'd also just like to draw your attention to the wonderful threads set up just for you guys on this upcoming results day!
The amazing Gingerbread101
has created two excellent threads, one all about retakes and remarks
, and the other focused on advice
if you didn't quite do as well as you hoped or expected
If you're feeling really proud of yourself and want to show everyone the grades you achieved, the lovely Black Rose
has set up a thread just for you
Right, now for the details! What are grade boundaries for and what do they mean?
There are essentially two types of grade boundaries. The grade boundaries for the whole GCSE, expressed in UMS (these will always be the same), and the grade boundaries for each exam you sit (these change each year). The grade boundaries basically show you what marks are needed to get a particular grade, and range from an A* to a G. For individual unit grade boundaries, the marks required to achieve a specific grade are raw marks, not UMS, which are scaled marks used to ensure a fair comparison across the years. So if a paper has 80 achievable marks in total, and the grade boundaries are 64 for an A*, that's the exact mark you need. Another year it could be 67 for an A*, so bear in mind these do vary a lot, and UMS will be scaled accordingly. For the entire GCSE, the boundaries are expressed in UMS:
For a GCSE out of 200:
A* = 90% (180/200)
A = 80% (160/200)
B = 70% (140/200)
C = 60% (120/200)
D = 50% (100/200)
And so on Aforementioned, these boundaries will ALWAYS be this way.
Why are individual unit grade boundaries different each year?
Of course, new papers are used each year, as does the cohort of students sitting the exams, meaning that grade boundaries need to be adjusted to accommodate this. Some papers may have a few slightly trickier questions than others, meaning it could be more difficult to achieve top marks, so it's important to take this into consideration to avoid exams being unfair across the years. They basically consider the overall performance across the students who sit the exam, so if there seems to be a lower amount of students reaching the top grades, the boundaries will be decreased, whilst they will be increased if a greater number of students perform very well. Essentially, a paper with the general consensus that it's difficult will mean lower boundaries and vice versa. As a whole, grade boundaries ensure that it is a fair process each year, if they were fixed, students who sat an "easier" paper would have an unfair advantage.
What should I do if I am very close to the next boundary?
One of the most frustrating things is being really close to the next highest grade boundary, particularly if it's the difference between a pass and a fail, or if you have a personal goal you were oh so close to reaching but falling short by a couple of marks. When it comes to subject like GCSE Mathematics and English Language, it is even more annoying as getting that C/B is so important. However, there are options, as always!
You could perhaps look into getting a remark, which is exactly as it sounds - getting your paper marked again. This is an option that shouldn't be taken lightly, as 1. it can be quite expensive, and 2. there is a chance your mark could go down or simply stay the same. This is obviously only recommended if you are very close, and is perhaps a better option for a more subjective GCSE like English Literature rather than a more objective subject like Maths or Chemistry. A remark is definitely a decision to discuss with your teachers who will be able to guide you. It's also important to note that a remark will only potentially make a difference if you're close to the OVERALL GCSE boundary, not just the individual unit boundary
Remember to check out the retakes and remarks thread linked previously for more details on this subject
So, all that is really left to say is, BEST OF LUCK!
I hope you are all extremely happy with what you achieve on Thursday
You've worked so hard and it's what you all deserve. But do take into account that few universities and degrees require the top grades, so if you fall short, don't panic!
I'll be just a PM away if you need any advice or support