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The A* at A Level is awarded to candidates who achieve a grade A on the A Level overall – at least 80% on the uniform mark scale (UMS) – and who also achieve at least 90% across the A2 units.
In a four-unit A Level which has a total of 400 UMS, 200 UMS are available for the A2 units.
To achieve an A*, you need to achieve:
The A* is not awarded for individual units or for the AS Level.
The structure of A Level Mathematics is different from other subjects, and so uses a slightly different rule.
It is currently possible to achieve A Level Mathematics with four AS and two A2 units or with three AS and three A2 units. Therefore, so that the same rule can be applied to all unit combinations, candidates must achieve a grade A on the A Level overall and achieve 90% of the UMS on the two mandatory A2 units combined (Units C3 and C4).
It's also possible to achieve A Level Further Mathematics with more than three A2 units. In this case, the A* is calculated in the same way as it is for all other subjects, based on the three best A2 units.
Answers to frequently asked questions are provided in the following useful document:
The 90% rule described above will no longer apply for the new linear A Levels, as they don’t use UMS, and there are no A2 units (just A Level components).
For the new A Levels being awarded for the first time in June 2017, the A* will be set using statistical and technical evidence.
This statistical evidence is based on the 'comparable outcomes' philosophy, which means that, broadly speaking, the same proportions will get A* in the reformed A Levels as did in the unitised A Levels.