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UMS explained! What are A-levels worth? • Most A-levels are made up of four units, with a grand total of 400 UMS marks available. • Six-unit A-levels are out of 600 UMS marks • Two-unit A-levels are out of 200 UMS marks The best way to understand UMS is with an example! • Let's imagine a four-unit A-level, with the first unit (we'll call it Unit X) worth 30% of the qualification. • There are 400 UMS marks for the whole qualification (because it's a four-unit A-level), • So Unit X will be worth a maximum of 120 UMS marks (30% of 400). Don’t progress to the next slide if you don’t understand this!! For ALL A-levels… • Grade boundaries for UMS marks are fixed so that: A = 80% of the maximum UMS B = 70% C = 60% D = 50% E = 40% Lets continue with our example! • For Unit X, this means that our UMS grade boundaries are: A = 96 (80% of 120) B = 84 (70% of 120) C = 72 (60% of 120) D = 60 (50% of 120) E = 48 (40% of 120) UNDERSTOOD? If not go back two slides and start again! Let's say the Unit X exam is out of 80 marks. • These are called raw marks. • Once the exam has been taken by everyone, a committee at the exam board gathers to decide what the grade boundaries for this particular paper should be • They take into account for example how difficult it is compared to earlier versions of the Unit X exam Are you sure you understand? Unit X • For this exam, let's say the committee decides that the grade A boundary is 60 out of 80 and the grade E boundary is 36 out of 80 (remember, these are raw marks). • The other grade boundaries are spread evenly between these two points. We now convert the raw marks to UMS marks, because we know where the equivalent grade boundaries lie… • • • If you took the exam and got 60/80, this would give you 96 UMS, because 60 happens to be the raw mark grade A boundary set by the committee, and 96 is the uniform mark grade A boundary for this unit. If you got 55/80, you would get 86 UMS (grade B). If you got 45/80, you would get 66 UMS (grade D). Conclusions… • Because the raw marks are converted to UMS marks, it means different students' grades can be compared side by side, with a particular UMS (and ultimately grade) representing the same level of achievement no matter when the unit was taken. UMS conversion for different exam boards… • http://www.aqa.org.uk/examsadministration/about-results/uniform-markscale/convert-marks-to-ums • http://www.edexcel.com/i-ama/student/results/Pages/Convert-yourmarks.aspx • http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/128199-a2units-showing-90-percent-conversion-pointsjanuary-2013.pdf