Series Name

9-1 indicative grades

Helping you to formulate grade predictions, apply interventions and track progress.

You have told us that mapping the Steps from the Pearson Progression Maps to indicative grades will make it simpler for you to accumulate the evidence to formulate your own grade predictions, apply any interventions and track student progress.



What does it mean for Maths?

Subject and grading experts have been heavily involved in helping us map our Steps in the Scale to indicative grades for maths. Below is the initial mapping, which has given schools using ActiveLearn: Progress & Assess confidence in predicting student progress, and is a very useful tool for helping to explain to students what they need to do to get the best grade achievable to them.

    Indicative Grades Maths - Sept 2016

Pearson Steps mapped to indicative grades for A level Maths


We’re really excited about this work and its potential for helping teachers and students. It is, however, important to understand that this mapping is for guidance only to support teachers’ own predictions of progress and is not an accurate predictor of grades. We will continually update our Progression Maps, the Scale and indicative grade mapping to reflect the changes to national subject entry patterns and performance that inform our best estimates. The latest review for A level Maths and GCSE Maths took place in August 2019, with no changes needed to the initial mappings shown above.

Our Pearson Progression Scale is criterion referenced. If a student can perform a task or demonstrate a skill, we say they are working at a certain Step according to the criteria. Teachers can mark assessments and issue results with reference to these criteria which do not depend on the wider cohort in any given year. For GCSE exams, all Awarding Organisations set the grade boundaries with reference to the strength of the cohort in any given year.  For more information about how Edexcel set grade boundaries, go to:



 Where next?



Any questions?

Please go to our page on Indicative Grades specific FAQs

We welcome your feedback. If you have any questions or comments please do get in touch with us via the Progression Services email address:


Read about grade boundaries and the problems with predictions, plus setting grade 9 in new GCSEs from The Ofqual blog.
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