Welcome to the latest School Entrance Tests
feature for A-Level students on A-Level Results Day 2024.
When is A-Level Results Day 2024?
How are the A-Level pass marks calculated each year?
We also aim to answer this biggest 2024 A-Levels question of all. This is,
Why each A-Level subject’s pass grade boundaries move from year to year.
- In the UK, AS, A Level, and GCSE qualifications are determined using the ‘comparable outcomes’ approach. This A Level grading method bith establishes and then maintains the consistency of A Level standards.
- All A-Level exam publishers design new A-Level exams each new A-Level exam season. Part of this assessment design process involves the creation of new A-Level grade boundaries for that specific A Level subject. These boundaries signify the minimum A-Level mark requirement for hitting each specific A Level grade.
Our FREE 6th Form A-level 2024 prep resources
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How do A-Level exam designers ensure A Level marking is accurate?
- Watch the video below for an explanation of how Pearson determines it’s A-Level grade boundaries:
A-level grading must be consistent
- There needs to be consistency from 2023 A Level pass marks to 2024 A Level grades. As A Level teachers and precious years’ A Level students know full well, A Level scoring consistency was a major problem for both OfQual and the Department of Education during those unfortunate lockdown years.
This approach hinges on the idea that if the group of students (the cohort) undertaking a qualification in a given year is of similar skill level to the previous year’s cohort, then the overall national results should be similar as well.
Statistics are a crucial component of the comparable outcomes approach. Awarding bodies collaborate with Ofqual to create a reference matrix for each subject, serving as a basis for predicting AS or A Level performance for the current year’s cohort.
These predictions are based on prior attainment data from GCSE performance.
In addition to statistical analysis, experienced examiners also play a pivotal role in providing expert assessments of the quality of work. This expertise helps ensure that grade boundaries are set accurately.
Our subject experts undergo extensive training to create consistent question papers and assessments year after year. It’s essential that assessments remain valid and unpredictable for learners.
As a result, question papers may vary slightly in difficulty due to the content being tested and the types of questions asked. To maintain fairness and standard comparability, grade boundaries may be adjusted to account for these variations.
New AS pass marks and new A Level pass marks
The above pass mark grading process is especially important during transitions. Such as to new or revised A Level qualifications.
For example, the new AS and A Levels.
2024 A Level linear qualifications
Linear qualifications involve assessing candidates at the conclusion of the course, typically spanning two years for A-levels or one year for AS-levels, once all subject-related teaching and learning have concluded.
The assessment process for a linear qualification entails aggregating all the marks obtained across various question papers, resulting in the candidate receiving a single grade for the qualification. In this system, there’s no requirement for a uniform mark scale; each candidate is assigned a single grade.
A-levels 2024 modular qualifications
Modular qualifications, in contrast, are structured to be taught in ‘units’ over the course duration, with assessments conducted at the conclusion of each unit. Candidates receive a grade for each unit and can later ‘combine’ these grades to attain an overall qualification grade.
Modular qualifications employ a Uniform Mark Scale (UMS) to account for variations in question paper difficulty.
Transitioning to linear qualifications for reformed GCSE, AS, and A Level will eliminate the necessity for UMS.
What happened on 2023 A-Level Results Day?
In 2023, GCSE exams regulator Ofqual ensured that national GCSE results were lower than 2022 GCSEs results, but similar to 2019’s GCSE results.
This 2023 return to pre-pandemic grading followed the increase in top GCSE and A-level grades in 2020 and 2021. In those GCSE years’ results teacher assessments were used instead of actual GCSE exams.
Recommended growth mindset for passing 2024 A-Levels
- To succeed on A-level Results Day 2024, tens of thousands of A-Level pupils will have worked hard to crack their A-Level exams.
- Merit in terms of both knowledge and ability are the key factors to A-Level exam success.
Choice of A-Level essay Questions
- In most Humanities A-Level exams, there is a choice of essay questions. A-Level students must choose the suitable one to answer at their bes
- First review the full A-Level question paper, before starting to write the most suitable one for you personally.
Time management during your A-Level exams
- Candidates must plan their stipulated time carefully. To complete all questions, it is important to plan how much time should be given to each question.
- For example, spending 30 minutes on a question worth 20 percent of the total marks is not good, and then investing 15 minutes only for the rest of the paper.
- In that case, it has been found that the quality of writing would be sacrificed. In other words, evidence found that many teenagers fail to plan their time carefully.
Cut out avoidable A-Level mistakes
- No examiner expects an error-free answer paper from the students. However, careless mistakes will bring fewer marks.
- For example, using commas instead of full stops at the end of the sentence is one of the common careless mistakes often done by students on the exam.
- On the other hand, grammatical mistakes are another common but avoidable mistake of the student.
- Due to the short exam time, students hardly get time to read their answers at the end of the exam. In GCSE English, a clear mark is assigned for spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
- These basic mistakes could cost half a grade. To avoid such mistakes, thus, it is important to spend five minutes at least checking avoidable mistakes at the end of every exam.
Focus on one A-Level exam at a time
- After the exam is over, it is crucial for A-Level students to forget about it and start preparing for their next A-Level exam.
- Even if this latest A-Level paper was not one of their best, it is always best not to overanalyse it. In particular, to catastrophise that they have failed that A-Level now.
2023 A-Levels Results Day summary
- Although the percentage of students receiving A* and A grades has decreased compared to the previous year, it still surpasses the levels seen before the pandemic.
- In the current year, 27.2% of students achieved A* and A grades, which is slightly lower than the 36.4% from the previous year, 44.7% in 2021, and 38.5% in 2020.
- However, it’s worth noting that this figure has increased by 1.8% compared to the pre-pandemic period when 25.4% of A-level entries received A or A* grades.
- The overall pass rate, which includes grades A* to E, has declined to 97.3% this year, marking a decrease from 2022 (98.4%) and the pre-pandemic year of 2019 (97.6%).
- In fact, this pass rate is the lowest since 2008 when it was at 97%.
What is the 2024 A-Levels pass mark?