Awarding, which is setting the standard for an exam by determining the grade boundaries for each paper, is a crucial part of the exam process.

By grade boundary we mean the minimum mark you need to get a certain grade: for example, you might need a mark of at least 114 out of 180 for a grade C in a certain GCSE.

Watch our video to find out how students' work turns into grades.

Setting the standard – how we maintain standards over time is a short summary of the awarding procedure.

A detailed explanation, intended for teachers and those with a reasonable understanding of the exam system and the terminology used, is also available. This leaflet below explains our procedures for setting standards in all our qualifications.

A basic guide to standard setting