I'm not totally sure whether you're asking for British school info, Lilu, or Hogwarts info. Harry cetainly gets his essays marked with expected OWL grades.
For the Muggle world, the examination system is something like this
GCSE's (equivelent of OWL's) are graded A-G. A-C are the top grades obviously and there the ones that in the old days (HA!) would have been classed as pass rates. JK would write with these in mind which is why she has three pass grades (O, E and A) - the rest are fails. You can fail a GCSE.
A'levels are the equivalent of NEWTS - they are graded A-E. All are pass grades. An F is a fail. Well, that's what it was in my day, I'm not totally sure whether that's still true today.
I think different schools mark things differently. You can have simple A,B, C type grades or A+ A-, B+, B, B-. I used to get essays marked as A= (A double minus) which meant it wasn't quite an A- but was better than a B ++ (double plus) . It used to get very confusing when some teachers marked you as A-(-), (A minus, bracket minus). I think it's simpler now - LOL.
And to confuse things even furthur, my daughter tells me that she gets a number and a letter for her grading. She's year seven and the highest grade you can get is 8A and the lowest 1C.
Carole, you're right about the A Level grades. An AS Level counts as half an A Level, and most students take four subjects at AS, and then drop one going onto the second year. The grade is made up of module marks, and if you resit certain modules, then your grade can change.
In my secondary school, we used a letter grade, then a number. The letter was for effort, and the number was for attainment, I think (it could have been the other way round, I can't remember). In my first year, the grades were strange, and O was the top, but I cant remember what the others were. 5 was the top number grade, but after that, it changed to A-E and 1-5.
At Hogwarts, I'm sure they were marked out of ten or by percentage until fifth year. In PS, Flitwick tells Hermione she got 114% or something in her end of year exam, and in PoA, Snape says that he wouldn't give 3 out of ten to a piece of homework that Lupin marked 8 out of ten. Or something like that.
Also for GCSEs, there is an A* grade for marks over approximately 85%. Currently there isn't an equivilent of this for A level, but it will be introduced for A-level at the end of this year.
Grades in School:
Infant School (Nursery-Year 2)
- I dont remember getting grades or numbers, only marks out of 10 and similar.
EDIT: Yes, PSI you are right, I forgot about my year 2 SATs, they just called them "quizes" and never told us they were important lol, we thought we were doing them for fun! And they never told us what lavel we got...
Junior School (Years 3-6)
- Levels. The lowest you got was like a 1c like carole said, Bu the time you were in Year 6 and took your SATs, you were aiming for three 5's, 5c is the lowest 5 you could get. 5b was better, and 5a was the best you could get in year 6.
For your SATs you took an English exam, and maths exam and a Science exam, you were aiming for your results to read 555 (you didnt get letters on the results)
Secondary school (years 7-13)
Up until year 9 you still get levels. When you take your next lot of SATs in year 9, you are aiming for 778, 7 is the highest you could get in English and Science. And 8 was the highest you coukd get in maths.
When you go into year 10 (GCSE years) You start to work with grades more, You get predicted grades, A*-C is what you aim for really.
Exams: A*-C is a pass at GCSE. The grades go all the way down to U. (U stands for Ungradable, as in, you wrote your name on the paper.)
A*-E is a pass at A Level me thinks. But again, the grades go right down to U.
As Rose said, they are bringing in A* at A level, but only if you get over 90% in every module you ever sit. Basically, child genius' get A* the rest of aim for A's ;)
Hope that helped! That comes from me, sitting GCSE's and my sister sitting A levels, so it should be pretty accurate. :D
Just a few details to add to Russia's post - my mum works for a LEA, so she's always moaning to me about the work she does with assessment, and I've done some work in schools as well.
You should have taken SATs at the end of Year 2, as well Russia, I think? At the end of Year 2, every child should be attaining a level 2, with level 1 being below average, and level 3 being above average. In year 6, every child should be attaining level 4, and for the year nine SATs every child should be attaining a level 6.
Progress matters as well - you should be moving up two levels each time you take the SATs. So if you got level 5 in Year 6, you should get level 7 for your Year 9 ones. That's probably why you were told you had to get 555 and 778 Russia!
To get a level 6 in year 6, or a level 8 in year nine, you have to take an extension paper, but you can get those levels in Maths, Science and English. (Though possibly you could get up to a level 8 on the normal maths paper?) I had a friend who did an extension for English in Year 6 and I did the extension papers for Science and English in Year 9. Most schools, particuarly primary schools, won't normally bother putting children in for the extension paper, because they don't have time to teach the extra material, especially when at most you'll only have one or two children in a class capable of taking the paper.
Although children are usually marked out of ten/out of percentages, teachers will assess children using the levels form the SATs every year, not just when you take the SATs, to track children's progress. At the end of Year 6/Year 9 my school report had levels for all my classes, not just the ones Maths, Science and English, although obviously those were all based on internal exams rather than external ones.
/more information that you will ever need to know. :P
A correction to Russia
In some places Infant School and Junioor School are one school (Primary School) which is followed by Secondary school.
In other places (like where I live) the names and splits are different.
Nursery to Year 4
Year 5 to Year 8
Year 9 to Year 13
Also, the Scottish system is different again. (I live just next door to Scotland) I think athat they run from Primary 1 to Primary 7, then Secondary 1 to Secondary 6. If I'm wrong some Scot will correct me.
May I jump in with a question? Do Brits use the phrase "hanging out" the way Americans do? To indicate relaxing with friends, maybe talking and listening to music? Just curious. Thanks!
What are some typical pet names in Britain that a parent would use when talking to their little girl, or really any small child? The more specifics I could get, the better.
In my part of northern England "flower" and "pet" though I suspect that "pet is more likely to be used by grandparents these days. other pet-names are "gorgeous," "baby," "son" and "sunshine."
Weasley Mom, yes, I use that term, but I think it's something that's only come across in recent years. I don't think I used the term in the nineties, but that may be because I was quite young. I think that if you're writing a next gen fic then you could get away with it, but probably not Trio Era or Marauder Era.
For OliveOil_Med, 'flower' and 'pet' are used more in the north than in the south, you could use 'love', 'petal', 'honey', 'darling', I used to be called 'flossy' by some people and 'rosebud' as well, and the ones Northumbrian has pointed out.