Grade boundaries

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About grade boundaries

Grade boundaries show the minimum number of marks you need for each grade, and are published on results day.

Once all exam papers have been marked, grade boundaries are set by senior examiners and assessment experts. It’s not until after all the marking has been completed that it’s possible to see how difficult students found the paper (for example, compared to previous years) and so take this into account when setting the boundaries. This means that a student who performed at a certain level should get the same grade regardless of which year they sat the exam.

See this short video and the grade boundaries guide below to find out more.

Notional grade boundaries for components

Students are given a single overall grade for a subject, which is based on a single overall subject mark and the subject grade boundaries.

However, we are able to provide ‘notional grade boundaries’ for individual components of the qualification (for example, a question paper), for illustrative purposes only. Although there are no official grades for individual components in linear qualifications, notional grade boundaries can be useful for students and teachers to see how the overall subject grade was achieved. Download the guide below for more information on this.

Grade boundaries for March 2024 exams

Raw mark grade boundary tables show how we assign grades, based on raw exam marks.

Qualifications that use uniform marks can't be used with these tables (the results slip will show the UMS mark).

Grade boundaries archive

For grade boundaries from previous awarding series, see the grade boundaries archive.

Please be aware that the Uniform Mark Scale (UMS) converter is no longer available. You can still access uniform marks in the grade boundaries archive.