Ocr Critical Thinking Grade Boundaries June 2012

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.

Grade Boundaries

These links will turn blue once the grade boundaries have been released, so keep an eye out

-Edexcel IGCSE
-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

The Advanced Extension Awards are a type of school-leaving qualification in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, usually taken in the final year of schooling (age 17/18), and designed to allow students to "demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills to the full". Currently, it is only available for Mathematics and offered by the exam board Edexcel.

They were introduced in 2002, in response to the UK Government's Excellence in Cities report, as a successor to the S-level examination – and aimed at the top 10% of students in A Level tests. They are assessed completely by external examinations.

Due to introduction of the A* grade for A Level courses starting September 2008 (first certification 2010), they have since been phased out, with the exception of the Advanced Extension Award in Mathematics which continues to be available to students.


For each subject, only 50-100 students in the country received a Distinction.

According to EducationGuardian.co.uk,[1] in 2004, 50.4% of the 7246 entrants failed to achieve a grade at all (fail), indicating that the awards are fulfilling their role in separating the elite. Only 18.3% of students attained the top of the two grades available, the Distinction, with the next 31.3% of students receiving the grade of Merit. Given the fact that only the top students in the country sat these examinations, these results indicate that the AEAs were successful at rewarding only the 50-100 students that were most able in a particular subject.

It was possible to obtain an AEA distinction in more than one subject; however given the rarity of AEA distinctions, this was uncommon.

Available subjects[edit]

Due to the small numbers of candidates for each subject, the exam boards divided the subjects offered amongst themselves - so unlike for A-Levels, each AEA was only offered by one board.


The last AEA examinations across the full range of subjects took place in June 2009 with results issued in August 2009. After this time the Advanced Extension Award was withdrawn for all subjects except Mathematics.[2] This came after the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) decided that the new A* grade being offered at A level will overlap with the purpose of the AEA, thus rendering them unnecessary. However, the AEA in Mathematics was extended until June 2012, as confirmed by Edexcel and the QCA. This was because it met a "definite need", meaning the A* grade was still not viewed as being challenging enough.[3][4] On 2 June 2011 Edexcel announced that the AEA was being extended yet further for Mathematics, until June 2015.[5] It has been extended further up to 2018.[6]

Many[who?] still maintain that the A-level A* grade is still too easy for the most able students, and that AEAs, or similar examinations are still necessary for all subjects in order to distinguish the most academically capable students.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

National Qualifications Framework in England and Wales and Northern Ireland

For higher levels, compare with the FHEQ system.

Level 8

City & Guilds Fellowship,

Level 7

City & Guilds Membership, National Diploma*, BTEC Advanced Professional Diploma*, Level 5 NVQ

Level 6

City & Guilds Associateship, City & Guilds Graduateship, NEBOSH National Diploma, National Diploma*, BTEC Advanced Professional Diploma*, Level 5 NVQ

Level 5

Higher National Diploma, Higher National Certificate, Level 4 NVQ

Level 4

City & Guilds Licentiateship, Level 4 NVQ

Level 3

BTEC Extended Diploma, BTEC National Certificate, City & Guilds Level 3, Level 3 NVQ, A-level, National Diploma*, Ordinary National Certificate, Advanced Diploma, NEBOSH National General Cerificate, Access to Higher Education Diploma, Advanced Extension Award, International Baccalaureate, Extended Project Qualification

Level 2

City & Guilds Level 2, Level 2 NVQ, GCSE (grades A* to C), BTEC First Diploma, OCR Nationals, Skills for Life*

Level 1

Level 1 NVQ, GCSE (grades D-G), Foundation Diploma, BTEC Introductory Diploma, Introductory Certificate, Skills for Life*


English as a foreign or second language (up to level 3), Skills for Life*, Functional Skills, Entry level certificates

* certain subjects fall under this level.


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