GCSE Grade Changes for England

Those who have sat their GCSE’s this summer may notice a variety of letters and numbers in the results. English Literature, English Language and Maths will be the first subjects to adopt the changes. Other subjects will follow suit in 2019.

So what does this mean?

  • GCSEs in England are being reformed and will be graded with a new scale from 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest grade.
  • New GCSE content will be more challenging.
  • Fewer grade 9s will be awarded than A*s.
  • English language, English literature and maths will be the first to be graded from 9 to 1 in 2017.
  • Another 20 subjects will have 9 to 1 grading in 2018, with most others following in 2019. During this transition, students will receive a mixture of letter and number grades.
  • The new grades are being brought in to signal that GCSEs have been reformed and to better differentiate between students of different abilities.
  • In the first year each new GCSE subject is introduced, broadly the same proportion of students will get a grade 4 or above as would have got a grade C or above in the old system.
  • These changes are only happening in England. Wales and Northern Ireland are not introducing the new 9 to 1 grading scale as part of their changes to GCSEs.
  • You can see how the 9 to 1 grades compare with the A* to G scale in the government’s GCSE grading postcard.

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