Always Learning
Always Learning
GCSE from 2009 | Geography A

14 February 2011

Mixing tiers of entry for GCSE Geography units
The overall grade is based solely on the aggregate uniform mark total, irrespective of the tier of entry for individual units. A rule regarding the overall grade being restricted by the tier of entry used to be true for legacy GCSE qualifications, but is not true for the new GCSE 2009 unitised qualifications;so candidates can mix tiers over the four units.

Foundation units are worth a maximum of 69 uniform marks (just below the 70 required for a B), whereas Higher units are worth a maximum of 100 uniform marks. Unit 4 is not tiered and is out of 100 uniform marks.

The whole GCSE is out of 400 uniform marks, with 360/400 = A*; 320=A; 280=B; 240 = C; 200 = D; 160 = E; 120=F and 80=G.

So a student's result could look like this, for example:
 
Unit 1H = 66 UMS (C)
Unit 2H = 55 UMS (D) retake Unit 2F - 69 (C)
Unit 3H = 72 UMS (B)
Unit 4 = 73 UMS (B)
Overall = 280 = B

Likewise, it is possible to get a B with all Foundation papers:
 
Unit 1F = 69 UMS (C)
Unit 2F = 69 UMS (C)
Unit 3F = 69 UMS (C)
Unit 4 = 73 UMS (B)
Overall = 280 = B

Terminal assessment rule and resits
Usually the best mark counts towards the final grade. However, the terminal rule states that 40% (two units in the case of geography) must be assessed in the final session and these marks must count to the final grade.
 
So, if you leave only one unit plus a resit (or two resits only) for the final session, then the resit(s) will have to count towards the final grade even if lower than the previous attempt in order to satisfy this terminal assessment rule.
 
We therefore advise you to keep two units to the end (not including resits) so there’s a choice of unit grades for the system to draw on, rather than having to use a unit (in which the candidate might not have performed well) simply to satisfy the 40% terminal assessment rule.

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