Predicted grades are an estimate of the grades a student is expected to achieve in their summative assessment, usually determined by their teachers. These grades are then used by some universities to decide whether a student is suitable for their programmes and can be required in the application process. As the Head of Global Recognition at Cambridge International, universities often talk to me about the importance of accurate and reliable predicted grades. In this blog, I will explain why we created a new predicted grades guide to ensure every student’s grade is predicted fairly and equally.
The importance of having a school policy on predicted grades
Predicted grades are undoubtedly important, yet many schools do not have a policy in place for providing them. This can lead to inconsistencies in how grades are estimated, and in some instances can negatively impact a student’s future. My colleagues in our Teaching & Learning division developed a predicted grades guide to help Cambridge International schools navigate the key principles for best practice in issuing predicted grades for formal qualifications.
The benefit of adopting a school policy on predicted grades is the consistency it provides. By having clear guidelines for how predicted grades are calculated and given, schools can ensure that all students are treated equally and fairly. This reduces any potential biases that may occur when teachers are left to make predictions on their own.
Supporting schools to accurately predict grades
The guide considers a number of different approaches on how to predict grades, and schools are encouraged to consider all the available data to make an informed prediction. Accurate predicted grades can also benefit students by providing them with a clear understanding of what is expected of them. By knowing what they need to achieve to meet their predicted grades, students can work towards their academic goals with a clear focus, and this could help them improve their performance and overall motivation.
How universities use predicted grades to make decisions on admissions
Competitive universities in the UK typically have specific entry requirements in terms of subjects and grades. Universities generally make conditional offers based on predictions, which means that the offer is dependent on the student achieving certain grades in their examinations. UK-based universities need to be confident that the predicted grades are a reliable indicator of a student’s likely performance. Universities in the USA and Canada do not rely on predicted grades as heavily as universities in the UK. However, some universities may consider predicted grades as part of their admissions process, particularly for international students.
In Australia, predicted grades are not typically used, however, international students may be asked to provide predicted grades. Additionally, some universities may use predicted grades to determine whether a student is eligible for early admission or conditional offers.
Having a school policy on predicted grades benefits both universities and schools. By receiving consistent and accurate predicted grades, universities can make informed decisions about which students are suitable for their programmes. This can help ensure that students are placed in the most appropriate courses, leading to higher levels of student satisfaction and success.
As mentioned, in some countries, predicted grades are required for the university application process and therefore I would recommend that Cambridge schools create their own policy. Our new guide can be used by schools to develop this policy to provide consistency, accuracy, and fairness for all students and better outcomes for everyone involved.
Read the Cambridge predicted grades guide and watch the video here
For more information on support for schools and teachers, see this page