Grade boundaries 2022: A Level results boundaries including AQA, Edexcel, OCR and WJEC - how they vary to 2019

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Different subjects and exam boards set slightly different boundaries - here’s how to find yours

Exams returned this year for the first time since the disruption experienced by students taking exams in 2022”.

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The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) has said its “grading approach” will “provide a safety net”.

So how exactly do the grade boundaries work in 2022, and how do they differ to their pre-pandemic equivalents of 2019?

Here is everything you need to know.

How do A Level grade boundaries work in 2022?

This is the first year since the Covid-19 pandemic that A Level exams have been held as usual, but students are still struggling with the upheaval of the previous two years.

Examiners have been instructed to be more lenient in grading students in order to accommodate for this.

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Ofqual has stated that grade boundaries - which indicate the minimum number of marks required for each grade - this year have been set between pre-pandemic levels and the teacher’s assessment used for grading last year.

Although some boundaries may be eased, the exam body does not expect grade inflation to reach the levels observed in 2021.

Schools minister Will Quince said it was critical to “move back to a position where qualifications maintain their value” and assured students that grades will still be higher than in 2019.

Students look at their A-Level results outside their school (Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)Students look at their A-Level results outside their school (Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Students look at their A-Level results outside their school (Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images) | Getty Images

One exam board - AQA - said: “Grade boundaries show the minimum number of marks you need for each grade, and are published on results day.

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“Once all exam papers have been marked, grade boundaries are set by senior examiners and assessment experts.

“It’s not until after all the marking has been completed that it’s possible to see how difficult students found the paper (for example, compared to previous years) and so take this into account when setting the boundaries.”

This means that students are not penalised with low grades if their exam was particularly difficult, such as in relation to past years.

Senior examiners then compare completed exam papers from this year to those from the previous year in order to maintain a consistent level.

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They will then settle on a minimum mark for each grade, and each student’s grade will be determined, with the highest and toughest grade boundaries established first, followed by others at equal intervals.

How do I find my grade boundaries?

Typically, grade boundaries are revealed on results day itself, which this year for A Level exams is Thursday 18 August.

Exam results come from a variety of different educational boards, depending on where you live and what course you take, with each posting their results independently.

The grade boundaries for this year were announced on the AQA website at 8am, while Edexcel’s boundaries have been available here from 6am.

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The grade boundaries for OCR were also revealed on the same day at 8am, and can be found here.

Here is a full list of the different exam boards, with links where more information on grade boundaries and A Level results may be found:

How are A Levels being marked compared to pandemic years?

When A Level exams were cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, students were instead awarded grades by an algorithm designed by Ofqual.

This provoked significant outrage, and was accused of discriminating against the nation’s poorer pupils and widening inequality.

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Nearly 40% of A-level results were reduced from teacher projections in the final results, forcing the government to backtrack.

As a result, the algorithm approach was abandoned for 2021, when results were awarded exclusively on school judgments, with "teacher assessed grades" derived using classroom examinations, mock exams and work completed during the year.

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