Academic grading in the United Kingdom


Academic grading in the United Kingdom

This is an article about the grading used in most of the United Kingdom. The entire United Kingdom does not use the same grading (marking) scheme.

England, Wales and Northern Ireland

England, Wales and Northern Ireland use a unified system for grading secondary school qualifications.

General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE)

General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is graded on scale of A*-A-B-C-D-E-F-G, with U as Unclassified (Failed).

Although any grade from A*-G is officially a pass, many employers accept only A*-CFact|date=May 2008. The headline official school league table also measures only A*-C grades achieved.Fact|date=May 2008 Many sixth form colleges require at least 5 grades A*-C to progress on to Further education.

Advanced Level

The General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced Level (A level), is graded on a scale of A-E, with U as Unclassified (Failed) Fact|date=May 2008. The marks in each paper are mapped to a “Unified Mark Scheme” (UMS) according to the difficulty and weighting of the paper, and the individual UMS for each paper is added to give an overall score (out of 600 for a full A-Level).Fact|date=May 2008 The UMS percentages for each grade are as follows:A- 80%B- 70%C- 60%D- 50%E- 40%

cotland

Scotland's education system uses the following structure:

National Assessments 5-14

In these tests, there aren't Grades, but students are given tests for each level, when it's thought that they should be able to achieve themFact|date=May 2008. Normally if they get over 2/3 they pass the test; and are "working towards" the next level.

*Level A should be attainable in the course of P1-P3 by almost all pupils.
*Level B should be attainable by some pupils in P3 or even earlier, but certainly by most in P4.
*Level C should be attainable in the course of P4-P6 by most pupils.
*Level D should be attainable by some pupils in P5-P6 or even earlier, but certainly by most in P7.
*Level E should be attainable by some pupils in P7/S1, but certainly by most in S2.
*Level F is sometimes obtained by S2 pupils, and rarely earlier.

Standard Grade

Standard Grades are sat by all pupils aged 15-16 in Scotland, usually accross 8 subjects.

There are three different levels of exam which students may sit as a Standard Grade, namely Credit, General and Foundation. Often, students are required to take two exams, depending on their ability. For example, a Credit student will usually have to sit a General exam as well, in case they fail the former.

There are two numbered grades for each level, as well as two fail grades. For the final external exams, the percentage required for each grade is determined on a per-paper basis, usually to allow a certain percentage of people to pass. This allows for varying difficulty levels of papers.

Most writing papers allow the candidate to achieve the full range of grades (1-8) for that paper according to what percentage they attain. All other papers are level-specific, and the candidate may only be awarded with either of the two grades for that level, or a fail. As a rough guide, the top grade in each level requires 70% or more, and the second grade requires 50% or more, where below 50% is a fail.

The percentage bands for writing are as follows:

Credit level
* 1 - excellent - over 70%
* 2 - very good - over 60%

General level
* 3 - satisfactory - over 50%
* 4 - below average - over 40%

Foundation level
* 5 - basic understanding - over 30%
* 6 - limited understanding - over 20%

Fail grades
* 7: less than 20%
* 8: no award (when the candidate does not attend the exam)

Schools in Scotland are now moving away from the Standard Grade system towards the new Higher Still program, which is part of the National Qualifications package. They are phasing in the new system gradually, with certain departments within the school choosing to adopt the new system before other departments. It is therefore common for pupils to sit a few Standard Grades and a few subjects from the Higher Still curriculum.


=National Qualifications=

Advanced Highers
* A: Best possible grade, excellent (around 75% and above)
* B: Above average grade, very good (around 65% and above)
* C: Minimum pass, improvement needed (around 50% and above)
* D: Close fail, (between 45 and 49%)

Highers
* A: Best possible grade, excellent (around 75% and above)
* B: Above average grade, very good (around 65% and above)
* C: Minimum pass, improvement needed (around 50% and above)
* D: Close fail, (between 45 and 49%)

Intermediate 2
* A: Best possible grade, excellent (around 75% and above)
* B: Above average grade, very good (around 65% and above)
* C: Minimum pass, improvement needed (around 50% and above)
* D: Close fail, (between 45 and 49%)

Intermediate 1
* A: Best possible grade, excellent (around 75% and above)
* B: Above average grade, very good (around 65% and above)
* C: Minimum pass, improvement needed (around 50% and above)
* D: Close fail, (between 45 and 49%)

Each band is further sub-divided into 'bands'. The A grade comprises bands 1 and 2, the B grade has bands 3 and 4, and so on. These bands are not shown on certificates issued by the SQA and do not need to be stated on CVs.

The Intermediate 1 Grading is equivalent to Standard Grade General, while Intermediate 2 Grading is equivalent to Standard Grade Credit. Highers remain at the same level as the previous grading under the same name, and Advanced Highersare equivalent to the old CSYS (Certificate of Sixth Year Studies).

National Courses

* A: best possible grade, excellent (around 75% and above)
* B: above average grade, very good (around 65% and above)
* C: below average grade, improvement needed (around 55% and above)
* D: fail (around 50% and below)

Any lower standard of work will simply result in the failing of an exam, which is not graded.


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