New GCSE grades

There have been a number of changes in GCSE courses and examinations in recent years. years. The following provides you with some information on the key changes.

  • The "old" GCSE English and Maths finished in Summer 2016.  The new GCSEs in English and Mathematics started in Summer 2017.
  • Other GCSEs will also end in Summer 17 or Summer 18.  Some will completely cease; others will be replaced by "new" GCSEs.
  • "New" GCSEs will have different grading systems.  Instead of A* - G, they will have grades 9 to 1 where 9 is the highest.
  • "New" GCSEs will be more demanding and use end of course examinations (and as little coursework as possible).

 

Explaining the new GCSE grades; comparing these to the “old” ones

oldgradenewgrade

The table on the left shows the connection between the “old” grades and “new “ grades.  The “good pass” grade for the old GCSE was set at grade C; the new “good pass” grade will be set at a higher standard.  The government intends that:

  • broadly the same proportion of students will achieve a grade 4+ as currently achieve a grade C+
  • grade 5 will be awarded to roughly:
    • the top third of students gaining the equivalent of a grade C AND
    • the bottom third of students gaining the equivalent of a grade B
  • broadly the same proportion of students will achieve a grade 7+ as currently achieve a grade A+ 

 

What will this mean for students?

  • The new 5 grade is at a higher level than the old C grade.
  • This means less students will achieve this than the old C. 
  • If students do not get a 5 or higher on the new exam, they don’t get
    what the government is going to call a “good pass”.
  • Two thirds of students who used to get a C will not get a grade 5 in the new GCSE.
  • In the future, those who don’t get a 5 or better may have to continue
    to take English and/or Mathematics at post 16. 
  • The government will accept grade 4 for the first year or so of the new system.
  • Entry to post 16 courses will need at least a 4 or 5 in either English or Mathematics.
  • Entry to some courses at post 16 will need grades 5 or 6 in English, Mathematics or both.