OU grade boundaries? Care to share your experiences?

(53 Posts)
LarvaeLamp Tue 04-Oct-11 12:51:43

Instead of revising, I am wasting time working out my OCAS and OES...

In previous courses, I have got Pass 1's, with OCAS of 86 and OES of 84. Now I know you are meant to get 85 in both to get a Pass 1, but I wonder how much variation there can be? Has anyone here got a Pass 1 with a much lower OCAS or OES? Do you only get pulled up if the higher of the two is much higher?

Humour me, this ruminating is better than what I am revising smile

Cat2405 Tue 04-Oct-11 13:06:28

Sorry I can't help with your answer, but I am writing an EMA at the moment and my OCAS is 84, and was also wondering whether there was any movement of boundaries...

Cwm Tue 04-Oct-11 13:22:39

yes, the boundaries can move. I got unexpected pass 1s in both my courses, when technically I was below the grade. First time I was below 85 in my OCAS and just above in my EMA - my total average was still below but they bumped me up. Second time both my OCAS and EMA were below 85 but I still got a pass 1. I don't know how they decide this though! I feel very lucky.

said Tue 04-Oct-11 17:13:14

Oh, I'm avoiding revising by dicking about on the score predictor thing as well. I've got 83% in OCAS but even if I put 100% as predicted exam mark, it doesn't change it to Pass 2. It's all academic as I'm more likely to balls up exam and just scrape a 40% but curious and procrastinating nonetheless.

Mousey84 Tue 04-Oct-11 17:38:17

NO!!! dont procrastinate - just finish the EMA! Its such an incredible relief to get it over and done with you almost wont care what grade you get. (I submitted 3 days ago...I needed 70% to get grade 2 pass)

LarvaeLamp Tue 04-Oct-11 21:01:54

mousey my exam in is a couple of weeks, so I have LOTS of time left to procrastinate wink

said surely if you have 83 in OCAS, then with 100% in the exam you would def get a pass 2, or maybe pass 1? I wonder if it is possible to get 100% in the exam?

cwm that is interesting to hear. My course has been faffed around with this year, so we are hoping the markers might be more lenient grin

cat get back to it! Like wot I'm doing, obviously...

said Tue 04-Oct-11 21:06:17

Still here procrastinating - I meant to say that, with 100%, I'd expect to get a 1st (the theoretical me) but the calculator just sticks at Pass 2

LarvaeLamp Wed 05-Oct-11 12:39:34

Ah, that makes sense said! Yes, the calculator is fixed - only a pass 1 if you get 85+ OCAS and 85+ OES. That's why I was wondering how flexible the marking scheme actually is, and hoping for lots of lovely examples of people getting 80 in their OES and still getting pass 1's!

Mind you, if I don't get my head down soon, I'll not get anywhere near a 80 OES...

I'm afraid that whilst I got Pass 1 marks for my OCAS my exam marks meant I came out with a third. I was told you need to get a Pass 1 or 2 in both to get a higher mark.

KatyMac Wed 05-Oct-11 12:45:52

My tutor says it doesn't matter what the predictor thing says the exam board decide actual grades when they look at everyone as a whole.....apparently wink

VJay Thu 06-Oct-11 07:22:12

I once got 84% in my ocas and 96% in my exam but still got a grade 2, I was gutted, I'd rushed my last assignment and gave birth less than 24 hours after I'd submitted it! Whereas on another course I'd got similar marks and got a grade 1. It is all down to the examination board.

I feel a bit of a dunce here, if I get a Pass 2 it's a massive achievement. I have my final exam on Monday, and a Mark from 40-55% will get me a pass 4, 55-100% a pass 3. Lower standards mean I now need to aim for 55%, anything above that is a bonus. Nobody's ever going to look at my pass marks as I'm already vastly overqualified for my barely minimum wage job (I have a BSc in physics and am completing a BA in Early Years).

said Thu 06-Oct-11 17:22:51

Blimey VJay - that's harsh shock What was the subject?

Fear not inmysparetime - I'm only having a theoretical discussion about this - I always balls up exams by having a disorganised mind and feeling in awe of people doing mind maps all over the place.

VJay Thu 06-Oct-11 19:59:18

It was maths MST209.

I got OCAS of 87 and OES of 83 and I got a pass 1, so there is definitely a bit of leeway I reckon.

How does everyone on here get such high marks? My family keeps getting in the waygrin

Mousey84 Fri 07-Oct-11 12:32:25

DD has playdates every day for a week before a TMA due - I only manage 7 hours study a week the rest of the time. Ive picked courses based on the fact they dont have exams as Id never do well. In my last course (DB234 - personal financial planning) was so far over my head that I skimmed the chapter then read the TMA question and searched the book for the answer. Seems to have worked out very well, though I spent more time looking up terms than on any other course. sad

I managed to avoid exams in all my other courses, but I had to take KE312 to finish my BA, so I have my first exam in 10 years on Monday.

VJay Fri 07-Oct-11 13:42:07

Good luck inmysparetime, I have my last exam on Tuesday as my final two modules have no exams smile

said Fri 07-Oct-11 16:17:50

I have an exam on Tuesday as well and have decided I will never pick a course with an exam again. Stuff that I could chat about and be completely logical about in normal conditions is now an incoherent mess in my head. And I've always only really ever worked to the TMAs but see that a consistent question on every past exam is about a part of the course I have just never read about

said Fri 07-Oct-11 16:18:36

Sorry, good luck as well inmysparetime

VJay Sat 08-Oct-11 07:36:38

Good luck said. I'm just up now to tackle another past paper before the rest of the house is up, so I should get off mumsnet and get on with it really grin

I know that feeling. A neighbour asked me to babysit last night and I agreed readily so I could get some revision donegrin

LarvaeLamp Sat 08-Oct-11 17:51:44

Good luck everyone who is revising or completing an EMA. What are you doing on here lol!

Can I just share my grrr moment for today. I got my OCAS - 84% - so near but yet so far! It's not helping me find my revision mojo...

Cat2405 Sat 08-Oct-11 19:49:12

*Same as me LarvaeLamp!

Good luck all!

HSMM Sun 09-Oct-11 13:04:41

Inmysparetime - I'm doing ke312 exam tomorrow too.

I was messing about with the score calculators last week, because I have done well in the essays, but I don't hold out much hope for the exam!

Mine is in Manchester, where's yours?

VJay Sun 09-Oct-11 17:14:55

yay just realised my exam is Wednesday, not Tuesday, so an extra days revision!!!

said Sun 09-Oct-11 18:29:07

God, imagine if you hadn't checked? Or worse, didn't check and it was the other way round shock I just want it over with now as it's intruding into my life too much.

twinklytroll Sun 09-Oct-11 18:34:49

last year my tma average was 82% and I got 95% in the exam. I came out with a pass 1.

This year I also have 82% but don't think I could strike lucky twice - I am sure I could get 70% without revising which is just as well as I have too much work to revise.

said Sun 09-Oct-11 19:29:42

What subject twinky?

twinklytroll Sun 09-Oct-11 19:41:08

Last year it was Philosophy and the Human situation.

This year it is a level 3 Philopsophy of the mind

said Sun 09-Oct-11 20:00:45

Wow at 95% in exam though

twinklytroll Sun 09-Oct-11 20:11:37

I teach so I find exams quite easy as I can in the mind of the marker. I don't stress about remembering lots of stuff, but showing the skills that will get me the best mark.

said Sun 09-Oct-11 20:14:24

Oo, go on, care to share a few tips? I've written exam questions myself and had enough tuition in exam technique so should know better but still interested in anything you can share.

twinklytroll Sun 09-Oct-11 20:16:37

No great secret at all just read the marking criteria that are in your TMA booklet and then rehearse using those skills in your revision. I do lots of essay questions again and again.

I also make mini revision cards which often have essay plans on which I make on index cards which go onto a keyring so I can learn a few things on the go.

said Sun 09-Oct-11 20:23:37

Thanks. Think I do need to demonstrate I know some stuff though with economics, unfortunately.

twinklytroll Sun 09-Oct-11 20:25:46

Yes it will vary according to the subject.

Of course you need to know some stuff but the examiners do not want to see that you have memorised the books, rather that you can pick out the key points and evaluate them clearly and hopedfully add your own spin,

said Sun 09-Oct-11 20:38:31

No chance of memorising the books grin

twinklytroll Sun 09-Oct-11 20:39:45

Not for me either, just as well really.

HSMM Sun 09-Oct-11 22:58:53

I'm in Wokingham tomorrow. Good luck

HSMM Mon 10-Oct-11 07:32:48

Good luck Inmysparetime smile

Thanks, you too, I'm pretty chilled as I only need 55%, which requires only basic arguments, and if there's one thing I'm good at it's arguinggrin.
I am looking forward to getting my life back at 5.30 when this is all overwink

onequestion Mon 10-Oct-11 15:45:03

It's totally up to the exam board. I got an 84 one year and an 89 in the exam and got a pass 1. I was so chuffed as had convinced myself that wasn't possible as the online calculator kept saying that even if I got 100% in the exam I couldn't do that.

Having a big old panic this year because I have worked so hard and got myself an 85 in the ocas. I found the work bloody hard so consider that a huge achievement (it's dd303, cognitive psychology). However, I just don't think at this stage I can match that in the exam, it's just too hard and I'm exhausted (have M.E). And yet if I can get a pass one overall I get a 1st in the degree. I can just see myself missing out on a couple of marks and not getting it and being cross with myself for the rest of my life. sad I am far too much of a perfectionist for my own good.

LarvaeLamp Mon 10-Oct-11 18:15:11

Are you me onequestion?! (except I don't have to battle M.E. too sad)
I am in excatly the same position as you, except my OCAS turned out to be 84%, and I too doubt I can match that in the exam.
Will your TMA05 help at all?
I reckon I will miss out on a 1st too, thought I have Social next year which might be 'easier'.
What are you revising for each section?

onequestion Tue 11-Oct-11 12:16:49

For tma 5 I got 83% so no I don't think it will help sadly. Boo.

I have already done dd307 (social). I did disastrously through the year and then got a first in the exam which was at least something, though rather frustrating. It is better in lots of ways, but I didn't enjoy it (although know lots who did).

I'm revising Attention (and only skim reading Autobiographical memory so screwed if Attention doesn't come up!)
Language processing (yuck!), Concepts and Language and Thought
And then Emotion & Cognition and skim reading Intelligence.

I am taking a risk - wish I could learn working memory and problem solving and go over consciousness, but there you have it. No more time really. And certainly no more energy! wink

Good luck! This is SO hard, isn't it? It doesn't help that lots of the chapters are badly written.

DamselInDisarray Tue 11-Oct-11 12:59:36

KatyMac's tutor is correct, the exam award board has discretion to alter the boundaries for each of the pass grades. The board sets minimum scores for OCAS OES and also a minimum score based on both scores.

It's all quite complicated (it takes hours and involves lots of tables and charts to work out), but it does mean that the calculator is not always correct. My advice would just be to do your best and worry too much about what the calculator says.

said Tue 11-Oct-11 18:06:15

How did you get on inmysparetime? Isn't a lovely feeling when it's over?

It feels good to stop stressing about revisiongrin. I did really well for the first question, ok for the second, and the third was the rantings of a mad woman! I'm sure I've done more than enough to pass anyway.
The saddest thing was that all I wanted to do with my free time today was clean the house, as it got pretty disgusting while I neglected it for revisionblush

acunningstunt Thu 21-Feb-13 21:23:41

Sorry to drag up an old thread smile

I've had grades bumped up twice - once when I got below in TMAs and above in the exam, and once when I got above in TMAs and below in the exam. Both were level 2 courses.

My current final level 3 course, I'm averaging at 82% in the TMAs (with one to go). It's unlikely I'll get above 85 - I'd have to get 93 in the last one! Just wondering if anyone's been bumped up when they've been below 85 on both TMAs and ECA? Last year's ECA was also low 80s, so if I'm consistent I'll be just under the grade boundary for both.

LoosingBattle Wed 27-Feb-13 20:22:32

I only got 74% in my TMAs on last course, but managed 95% in exam - got my my first (and no doubt last!) distinction smile

MsJinnifer Mon 20-May-13 14:00:10

My daughter is taking an single OU module (a requirement of starting a PGCE in September) and has just found out about "Grade capping". She has scored over 85% on her OCAS but is really worried that if she gets say 55% in the exam, she can only get a Pass 3, because you get awarded a grade that is the lower of the OCAS and OEM. This even though she was told that the grade would be awarded on a 50%/50% basis. Is she correct? Or will there be a cap at Grade 2, but still taking her OCAS into account a bit?
I am still a mum, even if she is 26! The OU handbook is no help and she has tried to get more info herself, to no avail. they will only say "you have to get 85% on both element to get a Pass 1."
Thanks -- this thread is the most helpful info I have found anywhere! smile

SwedishEdith Mon 20-May-13 17:40:55

Theoretically, you get the lower of your scores. However, anecdotally, I know of people who have had less then 85 on both OCAS and OES and still got a distinction. There is scope for flexibility.

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