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New GCSE grading system

 

 

  • Grading now goes from 9-1, instead of A*-C.

  • 9 is the highest grade and 1 the lowest.

  • Each number does not directly correspond to a letter.

  • However, there are benchmarks that correspond:

    • The bottom of an A equates to the bottom of a 7.

    • The bottom of a C equates to the bottom of a 4.

    • The bottom of a G equates to the bottom of a 1.

  • This means there are a wider variety of pass grades to differentiate more between pupils’ ability levels

  • Where a C used to be a considered a ‘good’ pass, a 4 is now a ‘standard’ pass and a 5 is a ‘strong’ pass.

    • This is how the government is trying to improve standards in schools so that 5 is now the desirable pass mark, which is higher than a C was, although 4 is still classified as a pass.

  • This applies at the higher grade range too with 9 being a higher grade than the previous A* was, also used to further differentiate pupils’ abilities at the higher end.

  • Although exams are meant to be tougher, measures have been put in place to not disadvantage the students taking the new exams:

    • The same proportion of students that received a C and above previously will receive a 4 or above.

    • The same proportion of students who received an A or above previously will receive a 7 or above.

    • This may mean lowering grade boundaries due to having harder exams.

  • Many universities and employers set minimum grade requirements for certain GCSEs with many previously requiring a grade C for maths and English. Now, there are variations between institutions whether they would like a 4 or a 5, so make sure to check each place’s requirements before applying.

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