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):
The Grade Boundaries
Edexcel(New AS - Notional)
OCR(New AS - Notional)
AQA(New AS - Notional)
(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)
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!
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:
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:
(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.
- 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.
Like with the GCSE Media Studies tracker in my shop, this too is all you would need to accurately report grades for your post 16 media studies groups following the LEGACY AQA SPECIFICATION.
There are three tabs included on this spreadsheet depending on the routes being taken by the students in your group:
- Those resitting some AS modules alongside A2 modules. This allows input for all 4 units alongside existing results from Y12. Each unit is broken down into different areas for possible marks and each unit is also converted into an overall grade based on JUNE 2017 boundaries.
- Those only completing A2 units this year. This allows input for unit 3 and 4 broken into each mark, alongside each students certified AS results. Calculations will be made totalling scores from the marks already achieved alongside the new units being completed as the year goes on. Overall A level grades are produced using this data.
- Those students who are only entering for AS Media Studies legacy spec this year with the intention of dropping at the end of the year (otherwise you would be entering them for the NEW spec). Individual boxes are there to enter marks for each question/mark of each component and overall AS grades are calculated based on JUNE 2017 boundaries.
On each tab there is also an additional column - the buffer. Here I have made the boundaries 10% tougher in case of a surprise grade boundary increase in June 2018. This could help identify those who are only just toughing each grade and who may benefit from a few more marks on their coursework or extra revision to ensure they are comfortably into each grade boundary and so avoids any nasty surprises on results day.
I have used these trackers (alongside the ones produced for English) for several years with great success. Not only can you monitor the progress of you group, but they are invaluable when reporting at parents evening and students love to be able to see exactly where they have marks, what grade each unit is on and where they can gain more marks to achieve success.
This tracking sheet really is a must for ALL media departments!
If you do purchase and are happy with my work, please leave a positive review so others are more likely to come across this product in TES searches. If you experience any issues, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will happily try and resolve it. Likewise, similar trackers are available in my shop for GCSE AQA Media Studies and GCSE 9-1 AQA English Literature and Language. I am in the process of writing trackers for the new 9-1 Eduqas Media Studies as well as AQA English language, English Literature and English Lang and Lit A levels, so subscribe for updates for these subjects.