Calculating your grade

The difficulty of AS/A Level and GCSE exam papers may vary from year to year, so in order to ensure fairness and consistency across years and within subjects the raw examination marks are converted into a common scale. This scale is known as the uniform mark scale/score (UMS). It has common boundaries that are unchanged year on year and is used to make the marks compatible and comparable.

This is how the UMS is calculated:

  1. Students sit the exam and the script is marked by an examiner according to a set of strict criteria. The examiner then calculates the raw mark.
  2. An awarding meeting takes place, with a group of experienced senior examiners comparing papers from that year with previous papers and statistics. Using their professional judgement they decide what the grade thresholds should be.
  3. The raw marks for the unit are converted to a UMS.
  4. Grades are awarded.

Further queries

For either of the following queries please speak to your Exams Officer:

  • You need to find out if special consideration was taken into account in calculating your grade and how it was applied
  • If you have trouble understanding how your grade has been calculated. If necessary, your Exams Officer will be able to submit an investigation via the appropriate route.

More information