Grade Boundaries

Percentage-wise grade boundaries should be:

  • A* 90%-100%

  • A 80%-89%

  • B 70% 79%

  • C 60%-69%

  • D 50%-59%

  • E 40%-49% (this is considered a pass)

  • U 0%-39%

However, boundaries can fluctuate greatly depending on how hard everyone found the papers. Especially since the new syllabus change in 2017 with first exams in 2018. For example, A Level Edexcel had very low boundaries in 2019 and 2022 (72% for A* and 55% for A. Grade boundaries also vary between different exam boards due to the varying difficulty of the exams. The order of difficulty of the exam boards is:

  • Difficuly level 1: AQA

  • Difficuly level 2: Edexcel (the UK version is easier than the iAL)

  • Difficuly level 3: OCR (MEI B is harder than the regular A syllabus)

  • Difficuly level 5: Cambridge (Pre-U is the hardest cambridge A Level)

AS is a first year course and the end of year exam is only taken if a student is considering dropping Maths (when studying four subjects and dropping to the required three). So, AS levels are standalone courses, taken alongside – rather than as part of A-levels. This means that they won’t form part of an overall A-level grade (this was not the case before the syllabus change in 2017 though). If one is only taking AS, they will sit 2 exams at end of their first year. Students cannot get an A* for an AS, only for an A Level. If one is taking a full A Level they'll they will usually sit 3 exams at the end of their second year (unless taking Further maths also)

Further Maths is like an add-on to the main maths A level. One will not be able to take Further Maths unless they are also taking A Level Maths, but it doesn’t matter whether sequentially or concurrently. Obviously, one needs A Levels maths to understand Further Maths, but schools tend to choose their preferred order of teaching the content and when the exams are taken. A Level Maths’ exams can be completed in the first or second year of study. Content-wise, some schools teach all of A Level in year 12 and Further Maths content in year 13, and some schools try to do both alongside each other over the 2 years. Exam-wise, some students sit A Level Maths in year 12 and then sit Further Maths in year 13, straight after. Some sit all exams in the final year.

Grade boundaries for all maths course for the latest syllabus can be found below.

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