Your projects will be marked as a whole. We do not mark each individual drawing/painting. You therefore need to be aware of how the assessment objectives work. 
Assessment objectives
Each assessment objective accounts for 25% of each project's mark. They are: 
AO1: Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating a critical understanding of sources.
AO2: Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.
AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.
AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.
What's my level of ability?
Even though you can't work out your grade before it gets marked at the end of the course, you can see roughly where you're heading by reading through the descriptions below and thinking about which level most closely reflects your projects.
Minimal ability - typically a grade 1
  • Little evidence of idea development
  • Ideas show little development
  • A lot of direction by the teacher
  • A short journey of experimentation
  • Mainly copying of images
  • Little connection with artists or other sources
  • Little evidence of visual literacy/awareness/understanding/skills
  • Lacking a sense of purpose
  • Unclear what the student's intentions are
Some ability - typically a grade 2 or 3
 •  Simple and basic understanding, evidenced in the use of visual language
 •  Beginnings of a sense of purpose
 •  Reflections on ideas, techniques and processes
 •  Initial signs of understanding and purpose in terms of developing ideas from artists or other sources
 •  Progress is reliant on the teacher's direction as it develops
 •  Simple, uncomplicated recording of observations and ideas
 •  Beginnings of a sense of intention in experimental pieces
 •  Briefor limited links between artists/sources and the student's own ideas
 •  An attempt to control the use of materials, techniques and processes
Moderate ability - typically a grade 3 or 4
 •  Working towards a sense of purpose, a focus and an intention
 •  Inconsistent
 •  A short journey that is quite obvious and 'safe'
 •  Teacher-led and repetitive
 •  Shallow understanding
 •  Superficial analysis of artists or sources
 •  Variable depth of analysis, understanding, exploration, refinement and coherence
 •  Emerging/growing visual literacy and awareness
 •  Independence
 •  Understanding and maturity of skills
 •  Evidence needs to demonstrate greater depth of understanding
Consistent ability - typically a grade 5 or 6
 •  Increasingly purposeful levels of selection and discrimination throughout the journey
 •  Understanding and using the results of experimentation on the development of ideas
 •  An increasing depth of understanding and analysis
 •  Refinement is informed, reflective and considered
 •  Exploring an appropriate and relevant variety of artists or sources
 •  Increasing confidence to take informed risks with experimentation and exploration of ideas
 •  Evidence of the development of ideas being less about copying other artists and more independent
 •  Combination of information and ideas resulting from exploration, reflection and refinement
 •  Recognising the value of artists/sources while developing ideas and using materials and techniques
 •  Decisions made that demonstrate increasing levels of intention, selection and discrimination
Highly developed ability - typically a grade 7 or 8
 •  Assured, skilful and successful presentation of a personal response
 •  A depth of understanding, considered choice exploration and control of media
 •  Increasing levels of confidence and control in the way the student's ideas and artwork are integrated
 •  Use of experimentation and innovation to enhance the creative journey
 •  Well-informed and purposeful risk-taking
 •  Sustained and incisive reflection and consideration of choices
 •  Very good depth of understanding
 •  Informed intentions
 •  Independent and perceptive
 •  Growing maturity and clarity of purpose
 •  Very confident and insightful
 •  Discrimination and informed selection driving the choice and use of materials, processes and techniques
Exceptional ability - typically a grade 9
 •  A mature ability to synthesise ideas alongside the selection of appropriate media and materials
 •  A high degree of personal response
 •  Sophisticated ideas consistently and confidently demonstrating depth of understanding
 •  Highly discriminating and rigorous process of selection related to media and materials 
 •  Maturity of thinking, analysis and confident application of findings
 •  Clear and well-informed intentions
 •  An ability to qualify decisions, compare, discuss and originate ideas and alternatives
 •  A genuine process of discovery, possibly involving a willingness to take risks
 •  A mature awareness of the significance of challenge and change
 •  An awareness of the need for subtle, measured, informed change
 •  Clarity and purpose demonstrated through self-awareness
 •  A strong sense of independent thought and reflection throughout the creative journey