Entry, aggregation and certification rules for certification from 2016 FOR CENTRE USE

1. Entries

  • 1.1 An entry is required for each unit which a candidate wishes to attempt in any given examination series.

  • 1.2 The units which make up a qualification may be attempted in any order.

  • 1.3 When an entry is made for a unit, there is no requirement for the candidate to declare the level or title of the qualification which he/she intends to complete.

    The candidate may be aiming for eventual A level certification or just AS certification. Some units are common to more than one title.

  • 1.4 In order to be awarded a qualification (AS or Advanced) an entry must be made – a qualification is not awarded automatically once a candidate has taken the required units. Entry for a qualification is often called ‘certification’ or ‘cashing in’.

  • 1.5 Entries for certification should normally be made at the same time as entries for the candidate’s final unit(s). However, certification entries may also be made by a specified deadline after the publication of results (20 September for the June series) or in a later series (within the shelf life of the specification).

  • 1.6 Once a qualification has been awarded, it is not possible to retract the result.

  • 1.7 The awarding body will allow an entry for certification only if the candidate has already taken, or enters concurrently, the required units.

    If a candidate has entered for a unit but is absent a mark of zero will be attributed.

2. Aggregation, certification and re-takes

  • 2.1 Aggregation to a subject award will be carried out by adding up the candidate’s uniform marks for the relevant units. In all subjects other than mathematics subjects, aggregation will generate the best possible subject grade with the highest possible uniform mark.

    Subject to the resit rules below, the best result for each unit will be used in the aggregation.

  • 2.2 For WJEC specifications, when unit results are aggregated to give an AS or A level award, all results in the relevant units are used up and are no longer available for an award in a different specification at the same level.

    For example, if a unit is common to two specifications and a candidate has taken it more than once (with the best result being used in the generation of an AS or A level grade for one of the specifications), the poorer results do not remain available for use towards certification in the other specification.

    However, where there are optional units the results for any units not used in the aggregation do remain available for use towards certification in the other specification. There is no limit to the number of times that a candidate may re-take a unit .

  • 2.3 In CCEA specifications, candidates may re-sit an individual unit ONCE only before certification. This applies to all AS and A2 units. The better uniform mark score from the two attempts will be used in calculating the final overall grade. Options within an assessment unit and optional units within a specification are treated as separate units with regard to re-sits. Once a candidate has certificated, a further two attempts are permitted at a unit.

  • 2.4 Results for AS units re-sits after AS certification will be eligible to count towards an A level grade, even if the AS award is not re-entered.

  • 2.5 In WJEC specifications, after certification all unit results may be re-used to count towards a new award for the same specification. Candidates may re-enter for certification only if they have re-taken at least one unit which was used in the aggregation or, where there are optional units, if they have taken another option.

  • 2.6 In CCEA specifications, after certification all unit results may be re-used to count towards a new award for the same specification unless the candidate has had two attempts at every unit. Candidates may re-enter for certification if they re-sit at least one unit which was used in the aggregation and which has not been re-sat previously or, where there are optional units, if they have taken another option.

    A candidate who has repeated all units once can retake the qualification by making a ‘fresh start’. A candidate entering a unit for a third time is considered to be making a fresh start (the candidate must have certificated in order to be permitted a third attempt). These candidates may have up to two further attempts at each unit. However no results from units taken prior to the fresh start can be used in aggregating the new grade(s).

  • 2.7 Candidates may not re-aggregate with a set of unit results which is identical to that which existed previously, whether for the purpose of getting all their subject grades on the same certificate or for any other reason.

  • 2.8 The shelf-life of unit results is limited only by the shelf-life of the associated specification.

    Guidance on transition arrangements will be issued by JCQ when specifications change.

3. Conversion to uniform marks

  • 3.1 The maximum uniform mark for an AS or Advanced qualification depends on the number of units in the specification. For legacy GCE specifications (last full award summer 2018) AS and A2 units contribute 50% each of the overall GCE uniform mark total. For revised specifications AS units contribute 40% of the overall GCE uniform mark total and A2 units 60%.
  • 3.2 The maximum uniform mark for each unit is calculated using the maximum for the qualification and the weighting for the unit. An example of how this is calculated for both legacy and revised AS and A Level is shown below for an A Level with a maximum uniform mark of 400:

Legacy GCE 50/50 AS/A2 Weighting

 AS Unit 1AS Unit 2AS Unit TotalA2 Unit 1A2 Unit 2A2 Unit TotalOverall GCE
Weighting25%25%50%25%25%50%100%
Max UMS100100200100100200400

Revised 40/60 AS/A2 Weighting

 AS Unit 1AS Unit 2AS Unit TotalA2 Unit 1A2 Unit 2A2 Unit TotalOverall GCE
Weighting20%20%40%30%30%60%100%
Max UMS8080160120120240400

    All WJEC reformed AS examinations have a maximum of 200 UMS, whilst reformed A level examinations have a maximum of 500 UMS, except Further Maths which has a maximum UMS of 600.
     

  • 3.3 All GCE units use the following uniform mark scale (percentages of the maximum uniform mark):
    A 80%, B 70%, C 60%, D 50%, E 40%

3.4 Uniform Mark Scales (UMS) will be used to aggregate marks from individual assessment units.

  • (a) The raw grade boundary mark at each grade A to E is converted to the corresponding uniform mark.

  • (b) A raw mark of zero is converted to a uniform mark of zero.

  • (c) The maximum raw mark is converted to the maximum uniform mark.

  • (d) The mark interval between the D and E raw boundary marks is subtracted from the E raw boundary mark to give a notional Grade N boundary mark. This is converted to the uniform mark which is 30% of the maximum uniform mark for the unit.2

  • (e) In AS units, the mark interval between the A and B raw boundary marks is doubled and added to the A raw boundary mark to give a notional boundary known as the cap. If this mark is less than the maximum raw mark, it is converted to the maximum uniform mark. Otherwise, conversion is linear between the A boundary mark and the maximum mark.

  • (f) For the A2 units, an A* raw boundary mark is determined. This is converted to the uniform mark which is 90% of the maximum uniform mark for the unit. Initially, an arithmetically-determined A* raw boundary mark is set as follows.

    • (i) If the mark interval between the A raw boundary mark and the maximum is more than twice the mark interval between A and B, then the A* raw boundary mark is set the same distance above A as B is below A. The cap is then set the same distance above A* as A is below A*. This is converted to the maximum uniform mark.

    • (ii) If the mark interval between the A raw boundary mark and the maximum is less than or equal to twice the mark interval between A and B, then the A* raw boundary mark is set halfway between A and the maximum raw mark, rounded down where necessary to the nearest whole number below (e.g. 78.5 is rounded to 78). The cap is then set the same distance above A* as A is below A*. This is converted to the maximum uniform mark.

  • (g) If the arithmetic A* raw boundary mark is moved on the basis of statistical and technical evidence, the cap is determined in the same way as in (f), i.e. the same distance above A* as A is below A*. However, the cap may now be greater than the maximum uniform mark. In this case the maximum raw mark is converted to the maximum uniform mark (with raw marks between A* and the maximum converted to uniform marks by linear interpolation). Otherwise, the cap is converted to the maximum uniform mark.

  • (h) All other raw marks are converted to uniform marks by linear interpolation, using normal rounding rules (e.g. 67.3 is rounded to 67 while 67.5 is rounded to 68).

4. Results

  • 4.1 Candidates’ unit results are reported as uniform marks and as notional grades (a-e).

  • 4.2 Candidates’ results for GCE qualifications are reported on grade scales as shown in Appendix 1.
  • 4.3 Results slips issued for units include, as a minimum, the unit title, the
    candidate’s unit uniform mark, the candidate’s notional unit grade,
    information enabling uniform marks to be equated to grades and the
    examination series in which the unit was taken.
    4.4 Certificates issued for qualifications include, as a minimum, the level, the subject/specification title, the subject grade and the examination series in which the award was made.

  • 4.5 When a qualification result is issued, awarding bodies will report the subject grade and the corresponding contributing unit grades to UCAS.

    Unit outcomes which did not contribute to the qualification (eg because the candidate re-took the unit and obtained a better result) will not be reported to UCAS.

5. Special arrangements for candidates who transfer between specifications midway through GCE courses

  • 5.1 See the document GCE AS Transfer of Credit arrangements, published annually on the JCQ website.

6. Enquiries about results and access to scripts

  • 6.1 Details of the services available are given in the document Post Results Services, published annually on the JCQ website.

  • 6.2 The outcomes of an enquiry can lead to the uniform mark for the unit being confirmed, raised or lowered. If the candidate has entered for certification in the same series, the qualification is currently automatically protected in the case of internally-assessed units. Awards made in a later series will be affected by any lowering of a mark for an internally-assessed unit.

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Appendix 1

Grade Scales for GCE Qualifications

The tables show the grades available and the minimum uniform marks required for each grade.

AS and Advanced single award maximum uniform mark

Grade100200300400500600
A80160240320400480
B70140210280350420
C60120180240300360
D50100150200250300
E4080120160200240

Grade A* is also available for Advanced qualifications (not for AS). To gain Grade A*, candidates must gain Grade A on the qualification overall and at least 90% of the maximum uniform mark on the aggregate of the A2 units. For example, for an Advanced qualification with a maximum uniform mark of 400, candidates gain A* if they obtain at least 320 uniform marks on the qualification overall and at least 180 uniform marks on the aggregate of the A2 units.

AS and Advanced double award, also Advanced with AS Additional maximum uniform mark

Grade2004004806008009001200
AA160320384480640720960
AB150300360450600675900
BB140280336420560630840
BC130260312390520585780
CC120240288360480540720
CD110220264330440495660
DD100200240300400450600
DE90180216270360405540
EE80160192240320360480

Grades A*A* and A*A are also available for Advanced double award qualifications.

In Advanced double award, to gain Grade A*A* candidates must gain Grade AA on the qualification overall and at least 90% of the maximum uniform mark on the aggregate of all A2 units. To gain Grade A*A, candidates must gain Grade AA on the qualification overall and at least 90% of the maximum uniform mark on the aggregate of the best 50% of the A2 units.

In Advanced with AS Additional, to gain Grade A*A candidates must gain Grade AA on the qualification overall and at least 90% of the maximum uniform mark on the aggregate of the A2 units.