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
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.