A-level means Advanced level and refers to the overall qualification.
In GCE A-level one examination takes place at the end of the course. There are GCE AS-levels which count as "half" an A-level. University places are awarded on the basis of grades at A-level but AS awards also attract UCAS points and are often counted towards university entrance.
The International A-level consists of two stages called AS and A2. AS stands for Advanced Subsidiary level. Students who complete the correct pattern of AS level units (usually 2 or 3 units at this level, depending on the subject) will be awarded an AS-level certificate or can continue the subject at A2.
A2 refers to the final stage of International A-levels. Students who have successfully completed AS units in a subject move on to do A2 units, which are of a higher standard. Completing the correct sequence of units at both AS and A2 level means you have finished a full International A-level in a subject. University entrance is at the discretion of the university based on your AS and A2 grades.
GCSE Results Day - 20th August 2015 - Grade Boundaries
Hi to all GCSE students out there
Well, it's that time of year again In just a few days time, you'll be receiving your GCSE results and starting the next chapter of your life, whether that be starting your A Levels (have fun guys! ), BTECs, a job, an apprenticeship or whatever else. It's definitely a day where you'll feel a mixture of emotions, probably a lot of nervousness, but hopefully a lot of happiness and excitement too Myself and the rest of TSR would just like to wish you all the very best of luck, you should all be very proud of the work you put in leading up to the exams, and I'm sure you'll achieve more than you expected! I hope you've had a really great, long summer, and that your grades will be the icing on the cake
This thread is dedicated to everything about grade boundaries; explaining what they mean and their importance, allowing you to ask any questions about them, as well as being a thread where you should be easily able to access the grade boundaries once they are published! As every year, the day before results day is the release date for most board's grade boundaries, so most should be linked on this thread on the 19th August 2015. Looking at grade boundaries can be worrying, but it could also put your mind at ease so please do consider it. If you do have any questions, we have a great Study Help Support Team there to help, so please don't be afraid to quote/tag one of us I'd advise you all to read the information below before asking anything, however, as there is a great chance your answer could be right there.
If you notice grade boundaries are out but they are not yet linked in this post, do let me know as you may have been quicker at noticing their release. I will try and be as quick as I can though
Before I get on to the FAQs etc, I'd just like to point out all the other wonderful threads there to help out you guys! Unfortunately, sometimes your results aren't quite what you expected and this can be a bit disheartening or leave you unsure about what to do, so thanks to the lovely Gingerbread101, there is an excellent thread advising you! And check out her other brilliant thread all about remarks and retakes if that might be an option for any of you! Or why not just join in with the results day discussion thread if you feel like a chat with your fellow students
If you're interested in joining the army, have a look at Ask the Army forum.
These links will turn blue once the grade boundaries have been released, so keep an eye out
-OCR (scroll to page 25 for GCSE boundaries)
-CIE (choose your subject)
What is the purpose of grade boundaries and what do they mean?
Grade boundaries are there to show you what mark you will need for a particular grade, scaling from an A* to a G for individual units. The marks you see that are required for each unit for each grade boundary will be raw marks rather that UMS, so the exact mark you need to achieve on the paper you sat. For example, an A* Unit 1 English Literature (higher) in June 2014 was 51, whilst a C was 27. These are modular grade boundaries, meaning a C in one module does not necessarily mean it is impossible for you to achieve an A overall. There is also UMS to consider, and in terms of this type of mark:
-90% is an A*
-80% is an A
-70% is a B
-60% is a C
-50% is a D
-40% is an E
-30% is an F
-20% is a G
This will mean that for the entire GCSE, depending on what the GCSE is out of, the minimum value for:
-an A* is: | 180/200 | 270/300 | 360/400 |
-an A is: | 160/200 | 240/300 | 320/400 |
-a B is: | 140/200 | 210/300 | 280/400 |
-a C is: | 120/200 | 180/300 | 240/400 |
-a D is: | 100/200 | 150/300 | 200/400 |
-an E is: | 80/200 | 120/300 | 160/400 |
Please remember that these overall UMS boundaries do not change!
What causes unit grade boundaries to change from year to year?
For those of you who aren't aware, grade boundaries vary each exam season in order to accommodate the overall performance of that year. Effectively, they reflect whether or not, as a whole, the students who sat the exam found it easy, average, or difficult rather average. For a more difficult paper, grade boundaries are lower, whereas they will often be higher if the exam was found to be more simple as the students who took it generally performed well. Variation in grade boundaries therefore allow comparison across different years and ensure you receive a fair grade, it wouldn’t be very fair if they remained the same if one year's paper was a lot harder than the previous'.
I am so close to the next boundary, what should I do?
It can extremely annoying when you open your results, see your grade and individual marks, and realise you were so close to achieving one grade higher. I can speak from personal experience and trust me, it isn't nice This could be especially frustrating if the subject is something important like Maths or English Language. One option is to consider a remark, which as evident in the name, involves you sending off your paper to be marked again. This does, however, come with a price depending on the paper and board, so please consider it very carefully. If you're lucky enough to see your mark increase so that your grade changes, you will get your money back, so not all is lost, but please take into account the fact that it's not always likely your mark will increase enough to change your overall GCSE grade. My best advice is to speak to your teacher about this when taking it into consideration, and as mentioned, read the thread created on here which will guide you through.
GCSEs are important in getting you into your chosen sixth form/college, however please remember that getting straight As/A*s is not important for most universities and courses! Do not beat yourself up if your grades are not as perfect as you hoped, because it isn't the end of the world. I remember feeling extremely upset with my results in 2012, but I now realise that they are actually pretty good grades and got me to where I wanted to be, which is all they're really for. Keep your chin up and don't let anyone make you feel like they're not good enough. Your results matter to only yourself so try not to compare to your friends etc
If your results leave you disappointed (which I hope not!) please don't hesitate to PM me for a chat so I can try and cheer you up, or if you need general advice. It's a stressful time and we all need someone to talk to at times
So, I really do hope that the boundaries are what you wish for them to be. Good luck and try not to worry too much in the next few days