# How do they calculate the A level grade?

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by satsmarker, Apr 24, 2008.

1. ### satsmarker

Edexcel answer:
Each paper out of 75 is turned into a score out of 100 using a lookup table that is different for each paper.
The score out of 100 has boundaries 80% A, 70% B etc.
The total for 3 modules at AS or 6 modules for A Level is used to find the overall grade for the subject.
e.g.
AS Maths C1 82% C2 42% M1 65%
Total 189 Average 63% = C grade overall

2. ### Dr. Watson

Actually, rather than an "average" (by which I think you mean the arithmetic mean), they use a UMS total to determine overall grade.

So, for AS, the UMS required out of 300 are: E-120; D-150; C-180; B-210; A-240. Double these for A2.

I concede that, in practical terms, it makes no difference whether you use total or arithmetic mean, but I always explained it to students by using total UMS. By the way, this method is used by ALL exam boards for ALL AS and A2 courses (as far as I am aware).

How they gwet the UMS scores is an arcane branch of alchemy which involves sheeps' entrails, quicksilver and what percentage pass rates the government want this year...

3. ### likeglue2

And have you seen how the new A* grades for A-Level are going to be awarded?

4. ### Dr. Watson

Not yet, I'm not in a post-16 environment right now...

5. ### likeglue2

Off the top of my head, they need to get A grades in all AS modules and then get an average of 90 across all modules. I might be wrong, but that's roughly right.

6. ### Dr. Watson

Sounds reasonable - more money for the exam boards then as kids with mid 80s in AS modules will want to resit...

7. ### hgxivNew commenter

For an A* in A Level Maths they need to get at least 90% across C3 and C4, as well as an A grade overall.

Maths is unusual in having only two compulsory A2 modules; in other subjects (including FM) they will need to get at least 90% across the 3 A2 modules.

8. ### Dr. Watson

Surely it would be easier just to say: "UMS of 540 = A at A-level." rather than all this deciding which modules are more or less important?

So, for your straight A-level student, the message is: "Make sure your C3 and C4 are top notch, you can let the M1/S1/D1 you do in Year 13 slide a bit, because nobody cares what you get in that, as long as you get those 90+ in C3 and C4." After all, score of C3-91; C4-92; Applied Module-57 would be good enough for an A*, wouldn't they?

9. ### IlluminationNew commenter

All A Levels will have A* awarded on the basis of performance in A2 only (http://www.qca.org.uk/qca_4076.aspx)

10. ### STCoop

When is this A* for A2 going to start?

11. ### STCoop

Oops sorry it's 2010 I've read the link now.