I agree with Steve's comments before about AB examiners marking being sometimes hard to understand.
I did not enter any pupils in exams held this term - however I accompanied over 15 candidates. As an accompanist you can often tell how well the player has performed, and successfully gauge the mark they may expect to get!
The teacher was very surprised by the results. It seemed to her that the more outgoing candidates (who were not necessarily expected to do really well) came out with much higher marks than those who were quieter. I accompanied a (quieter) girl who played her grade 5 flute pieces beautifully - lots of dynamics, articulation etc etc. Surprisingly the examiner FAILED HER on one of these pieces - in fact the one she was asked to play at our local Arts Festival final concert last month.
Despite the stated policy of the AB that the examiner marks each section independently, many candidates do not feel this is followed. Many think that the examiner decides whether a player is fail, pass, merit or distinction standard overall, and then manipulates the marks. This will of course be denied officially, but sad if it is in fact true!
I do feel quite disillusioned about AB exams at the moment because of this. I feel particularly sorry for the pupils who are taught by teachers who do not seem to see there is a musical life outside exams! Some seem to only learn exam music..., and stagger from one exam to the next. That also means that although they pass the exam they are not necessarily that standard.
Oh well - it's not a perfect world!!!