AQA GCSE Art & Design Grade Boundaries

By The Arty Teacher - May 10, 2022

Every year, I seem to lose that useful piece of paper or image with the AQA GCSE Art & Design grade boundaries on it. So, I’m sticking them all in a blog post here—useful for you and me. Remember, these are last year’s grade boundaries, and things may change in either direction.

AQA GCSE ARt Grade Boundaries

Comparing 2023 to 2022, the grade boundary for a 9 came down by one mark. 8 remained the same.  It became harder to get a 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 with each grade boundary going up one mark. The grade boundary for 1 and 2 remained the same.  I believe this means teachers must have been marking higher for a majority of grades and so the exam board had to make the grade boundaries higher.

Scroll down to see previous years’ grade boundaries.

Statement to Explain to Students Why Their Grade Might Change

Your likely grade might change because:

  1. The moderator might come in and change the grades. He/She might move the whole cohort up or down.
  2. The exam board might change the grade boundaries. They may move them up or down.

Historic Art & Design Grade Boundaries

It’s interesting to see how the grade boundaries have changed over time. They don’t usually move by more than one number, however, after covid, there was more of a change. Compare 2019 to 2022. Compare 2022 below to 2023 above.

AQA GCSE Art & Design Grade Boundaries
AQA GCSE Art & Design Grade Boundaries
AQA GCSE Art & Design Grade Boundaries

I am happy to reply to art teachers who comment below, but if you are a student wanting to know what grade you will get, I will not respond as it is your own teacher’s job to answer your questions. (I’ve had far too many and have just deleted then all.)

Useful Resources for Art Teachers:

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Colour Theory Art Exam
Art Exam
Analysing an Artwork Exam
BAseline Testing in Art
Friendly Testing to Assess Your Students Starting Point
Drawing Exam
Drawing Art Exam

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The Arty Teacher

Sarah Crowther is The Arty Teacher. She is a high school art teacher in the North West of England. She strives to share her enthusiasm for art by providing art teachers around the globe with high-quality resources and by sharing her expertise through this blog.

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13 responses to “AQA GCSE Art & Design Grade Boundaries”

  1. kelly says:

    sorry just some additional info, her school only did component one, the portfolio, maybe that’s why?

    • The Arty Teacher says:

      All schools have only completed component 1. If the exam board is AQA, it is out of 96. Perhaps your daughter has remembered it incorrectly or the teacher slipped up and meant to say 96?

  2. kelly says:

    Hi, my daughter just got told her mark is 63 today, however her teacher told her that it is out of 72. I’m therefore quite confused. she seems to have gotten one of the highest marks in her class but the total mark being 72 isn’t correlating with these grade boundaries. she does fine art

  3. Sarah Turner says:

    Hi my daughter today received a mark of 50 for her textiles gcse (art & design) which is confusing is this a grade 5?

    • The Arty Teacher says:

      If the grade boundaries are the same as 2019 a 50 will mean your daughter hasn’t quite reached a 5. She will get a 4. However, it’s possible the grade boundaries might change.

  4. Sarah says:

    Hi Sarah
    New teacher here and it’s my first year marking. I have a class of 6 Pupils and 9 pupils, for two different art subjects. Will the moderator we take the whole cohert down. Or do it one by one in a small class?

    • The Arty Teacher says:

      Hi Sarah, I’m guessing that if you enter the grades for both groups and get one ‘sample’ (list of students who will be moderated) that it would count as one cohort and be treated as such. If you get a separate sample for each class, it would be treated as separate cohorts. With groups that size I imagine all of them will be in the sample. For a definitive answer, why not contact your coursework adviser? If you ring or email your exam board, they will be able to tell you who that is.
      Moderators don’t change a single student’s mark but look to see if the cohort is in tolerance.

  5. Jo says:

    My daughter was given a final grade 73 – do you think this is likely to be a grade 7 or do you think the grade boundaries might be more lenient in 2022?

  6. Katie says:

    My Daughter has been given a grade 63 today from her art teacher for her GCSEs but was told previously her work was at the level of a 7 = A so she is currently upset with her B grade comparing to 2019 grade boundaries, so my question is do you think the grade boundaries will change this year at all due to Covid?

    • The Arty Teacher says:

      I can’t predict if the grade boundaries will go up or down. I did wonder if they would go down because of covid, but that will only happen if teachers across the country have marked as normal i.e. marked like they would in non covid times. I fear teachers will mark too generously because their students have produced little because of covid and the boundaries could go up. In the last 15 years I don’t believe they have ever moved by more than one mark, so your daughter will most likely get a 6. She may have been given a 7 as the teacher was seeing potential but then it didn’t get realised, or it may be that the final outcome wasn’t as good as the sketchbook. Who knows! Ask your school for some feedback.

  7. Liz Gaskell says:

    My daughter has an NEA for A Level Art. The maximum mark is 96 and her provisional mark is 82.
    What A Level grade does this equate to please ?

    • The Arty Teacher says:

      The A Level grade boundaries are different from above. Assuming your daughter is with the AQA exam board, an 82 is likely to be an A*. (Fantastic! Well Done!) Two things might change this. The moderator might come in and put all the marks of the whole cohort either up or down if he/she feels the school/college has been too mean or too generous. Or, the exam board could change the grade boundaries.

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