GCSE Scaling Factors

Some exam boards have scaling factors for the 9-1 GCSEs and A-levels. Those specifications that use Scaling Factors have clearly stated them at the end of the assessment section in the specifications. They change the weighting of the marks achieved in exam units and therefore affect the final grade students achieve.

What are Scaling Factors?

As the new 9-1 GCSEs and A-levels do not have UMS like the legacy courses, there is a need in some cases to apply a scaling factor to the raw marks. This is needed when the raw marks for each unit does not match the percentage weighting required for the overall course grade.


Figure 1 Edexcel 9-1 GCSE Physical Education scaling factors


Worked example


For example, Edexcel 9-1 GCSE Physical Education has published the above scaling table. Look at Component 4; it is marked out of 20, but the assessments need to contribute towards 10 % of the overall grade (the components weighting). You can see the total raw marks is 285 and, 20 marks is is not 10% of 285! Therefore, the raw mark is multiplied by the scaling factor to give the scaling mark. The scaling marks for each component are added together at the end of the course to match against the grade boundaries.

The student will get a grade based on 286.25 being applied to the grade boundaries.

Do I need to do anything?

If your using our trackers the short answer is no! All our trackers have been updated where they are affected and you will see both the raw and scaled marks for a component and the scaled marks are used when estimating the grades.