The category of mark awarded in the assessment of a candidate's performance. This may constitute part of a continuous assessment or represent the result of a final assessment such as an examination. Grade categories may be descriptors, such as pass, credit, or distinction; or they may be referred to by letter, as in the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) grading system; or by numerical category, as in the case of bachelor's degrees. Normally, each grade occupies a range of percentage marks, and therefore the grade awarded is based on the percentage mark achieved. It is usual for the assessor to refer to grading criteria, in the form of grade descriptors, for guidance in coming to an assessment decision.
Often, and particularly in GCSEs and General Certificate of Education Advanced Level, the grade achieved may be crucial to the candidate's progression to the next stage of their education. In some cases, where the grade awarded in these public examinations falls significantly below that predicted by the candidate's school or college, a grade review may be requested, which involves the double‐checking of the examination result in question.