The Student Room Group

A-level predicted grades

So I'm in year 12 and I've been really stressing out about predicted grades. How do they work and when are they actually important ? I didn't do as well as I wanted in my recent mocks and I'm scared about how much it affects them. Do teachers take the average of all your grades or is it just whatever they decide. Also is it bad to be getting Bs now if you're aiming for predicted grades of A* A A.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by zajamelia
So I'm in year 12 and I've been really stressing out about predicted grades. How do they work and when are they actually important ? I didn't do as well as I wanted in my recent mocks and I'm scared about how much it affects them. Do teachers take the average of all your grades or is it just whatever they decide. Also is it bad to be getting Bs now if you're aiming for predicted grades of A* A A.

Normally schools would use the actual paper set from the previous year as the mock examination, this is why examination boards do not release them publicly for at least a year. They would then mark and grade as per the markers guide that goes with it, so the actual grade that you would get would depend on how last years students did in the exam. At A-level there are multiple papers per topic, and the way that the grades are weighted across each paper would be set out in the marking guide. If you can find guides from previous years then that should give you an idea how the marks from each paper count towards the final grade. As for what you should be getting now, I don't know - some students are good at cruising through interim tests and nailing it on the day and others aren't, only you know what you can achieve.
Original post by BeingBoring
Normally schools would use the actual paper set from the previous year as the mock examination, this is why examination boards do not release them publicly for at least a year. They would then mark and grade as per the markers guide that goes with it, so the actual grade that you would get would depend on how last years students did in the exam. At A-level there are multiple papers per topic, and the way that the grades are weighted across each paper would be set out in the marking guide. If you can find guides from previous years then that should give you an idea how the marks from each paper count towards the final grade. As for what you should be getting now, I don't know - some students are good at cruising through interim tests and nailing it on the day and others aren't, only you know what you can achieve.


This really troubles me - students will only be half way or a little more through the A level syllabus in those schools that hold mocks in May/June and if they are using last year's papers it seems hardly fair to base predictions on those. Or do you mean they use the previous year's A/S levels? I am told not many schools are offering A/S any more.
Original post by fluentinmaths
This really troubles me - students will only be half way or a little more through the A level syllabus in those schools that hold mocks in May/June and if they are using last year's papers it seems hardly fair to base predictions on those. Or do you mean they use the previous year's A/S levels? I am told not many schools are offering A/S any more.

They can add/remove questions, but on the whole the mock exam questions will be drawn from the unreleased main or reserve paper from the previous year. They can also increase or reduce a mark based on their opinion of how well a student is likely to progress. Different schools work in different ways which makes the whole process of predicted grades a bit unfair and one of the main reasons that a lot of universities and employers are starting to ignore them in their application and assessment process - even for the top courses like medicine and veterinary.
Original post by BeingBoring
Normally schools would use the actual paper set from the previous year as the mock examination, this is why examination boards do not release them publicly for at least a year. They would then mark and grade as per the markers guide that goes with it, so the actual grade that you would get would depend on how last years students did in the exam.

NO, most schools don't do that because idiots release the papers. We use secure papers and also grades throughout the year.
Original post by Muttley79
NO, most schools don't do that because idiots release the papers. We use secure papers and also grades throughout the year.


I wish you were correct but my kids went to two different schools and that's exactly what both of them did... In fact my daughter did so well in one of her mocks last year that she went through a very difficult period of being accused of having accessed the previous years unreleased paper in some way which she had not done. Then my sons grade was grossly unfair as due to covid they were way behind in the curriculum when they set the paper at the end of 2020 (and strictly applied the associated marking scheme without allowing for all the educational turmoil), but then the 2021 actual exams were scrapped so his predicted grade flipped into his actual grade and he was very badly let down with no recourse. So unfortunately it would have been far better for us if the past papers hadn't been used this way in either case but they did..
Original post by BeingBoring
I wish you were correct but my kids went to two different schools and that's exactly what both of them did... In fact my daughter did so well in one of her mocks last year that she went through a very difficult period of being accused of having accessed the previous years unreleased paper in some way which she had not done. Then my sons grade was grossly unfair as due to covid they were way behind in the curriculum when they set the paper at the end of 2020 (and strictly applied the associated marking scheme without allowing for all the educational turmoil), but then the 2021 actual exams were scrapped so his predicted grade flipped into his actual grade and he was very badly let down with no recourse. So unfortunately it would have been far better for us if the past papers hadn't been used this way in either case but they did..


I'm a teacher - this is what we do and what many schools do.
Original post by zajamelia
So I'm in year 12 and I've been really stressing out about predicted grades. How do they work and when are they actually important ? I didn't do as well as I wanted in my recent mocks and I'm scared about how much it affects them. Do teachers take the average of all your grades or is it just whatever they decide. Also is it bad to be getting Bs now if you're aiming for predicted grades of A* A A.

Its true teachers will use your mock grades as a guideline to predict what you'll get at the end of year 13 but they will also assess you as a person in terms of your attitude and work ethic. There are so many teachers with the skill of just knowing whether you can jump 3 grades from Y12 to Y13 or even drop multiple grades so you really need to give them the impression that you are making that effort in aiming for that A*AA. Your predicted grades are quite important if you're applying to uni as this is what unis will look at to see if youre capable of meeting their offer.
It depends what your school does and also what your teachers are like. For me personally, my maths teachers quite literally just asked me what I would like to be predicted while my other teachers didn't communicate anything with me and I still don't know what I was predicted in those subjects.
It depends on your work ethic. I have a friend who got a C in their first Y12 mock, then Bs in their next 2 mocks but was predicted an A because his individual marks in that subject were continuously improving. But again, I have heard others who couldn't handle Y13 that well and dropped from Bs to Ds so it really does depend.
Original post by BeingBoring
I wish you were correct but my kids went to two different schools and that's exactly what both of them did... In fact my daughter did so well in one of her mocks last year that she went through a very difficult period of being accused of having accessed the previous years unreleased paper in some way which she had not done. Then my sons grade was grossly unfair as due to covid they were way behind in the curriculum when they set the paper at the end of 2020 (and strictly applied the associated marking scheme without allowing for all the educational turmoil), but then the 2021 actual exams were scrapped so his predicted grade flipped into his actual grade and he was very badly let down with no recourse. So unfortunately it would have been far better for us if the past papers hadn't been used this way in either case but they did..


Many years ago my brother had a similar experience with one of the leading schools in our area - the syllabus had not been covered but the mock was an actual past paper, he was caught entirely by surprise, most of his class failed, except the child of one of the teachers at the school. I was hoping things had changed and/or this was not a widespread practice.

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