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# Calculating linear grades

## General qualifications

### Weighting factors

Weighting factors are used in linear qualifications, e.g. the reformed AS and A Levels and GCSEs.

In linear specifications, each component has a given number of raw marks available. For example, a written paper with ten compulsory questions, each worth five marks, has a maximum mark of 50. We call this the **raw mark**.

However, the maximum raw marks across components do not always reflect the relative value each component has within the overall specification.

We use **weighting factors** to make sure that, when a candidate’s marks for each component are added together, the relative values are correctly reflected.

The weighting factor is the **maximum weighted mark of a given component divided by the maximum raw mark of the component**.

### Example

A qualification has three components each marked out of 50:

- Component 1 is worth 50% of the overall assessment, and the other two components are each worth 25% of the overall assessment.
- In order for component 1 to achieve its 50% weighting, we have to weight up the maximum raw mark from 50 to 100.
- Thus component 1 has a weighting factor of 2.
- The other two components both have a maximum weighted mark of 50 (i.e. the same as the maximum raw mark) so they have a weighting factor of 1.
- The overall qualification has a total of 200 ‘weighted marks’.

### Grading

To grade linear qualifications, we:

- Multiply the raw mark for each component by its weighting factor to give a
**weighted mark for each component** - Add these weighted marks together to form a
**total mark** - Apply the subject grade boundaries to the total mark to determine the
**subject grade**.

### A* for linear qualifications

For the reformed A Levels being awarded in June 2019, the A* will be set using statistical and technical evidence.

This statistical evidence is based on the ‘comparable outcomes’ philosophy. This means that, broadly speaking, the same proportions will get A* in the reformed A Levels as in the unitised A Levels or, in the case of reformed A Levels in their second and third years, broadly the same proportions will get A* as in the previous year – assuming candidates are similar in ability.