A-levels, short for “Advanced Level” qualifications, are a subject-based qualification system commonly used in the United Kingdom and a few other countries.
The grading system for A-levels is based on letter grades, with each grade representing a range of marks achieved in the examinations.
In the traditional A-level grading system in the UK, the grades are as follows:
A* (A-star) – The highest grade, awarded for exceptional performance.
A – Excellent
B – Good
C – Satisfactory
D – Passing but below the average expected level
E – Marginally passing
U – Ungraded, indicating that the student did not meet the minimum requirements for a pass.
A-levels are typically assessed through written exams and, in some cases, coursework. The specific grade boundaries (i.e., the percentage of marks needed to achieve each grade) can vary from year to year and are determined by the examining bodies.
A-levels are important qualifications for students applying to universities in the UK and many other countries, as they often serve as the primary basis for university admissions. The grades achieved in A-levels can significantly impact a student’s academic and career prospects.
The number of UCAS points awarded for each grade is as follows:
A*: 56 points
A: 48 points
B: 40 points
C: 32 points
D: 24 points
E: 16 points
The grade boundaries for A Levels are set by exam boards each year and can vary depending on the difficulty of the exam.
These boundaries determine the minimum mark required to achieve each grade. For example, in 2021, the grade boundaries for the A Level Maths exam were as follows:
- A*: 175/200
- A: 157/200
- B: 137/200
- C: 116/200
- D: 95/200
- E: 74/200