New GCSE grading system coming into use

The new GCSE grading system will see students marked in numbers rather than letters in a number of subjects, before it is rolled out over the next few years. 

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English language, English literature and maths will be the first to be graded from 9 to 1 in 2017.

Students taking GCSEs in England this summer will receive a mixture of number and letter grades. English language, English literature and maths are the first subjects to use the new system, with most other subjects adopting numbers by 2019.

Eventually all GCSEs taken in England will receive numerical grades.

9 things to know about the new GCSE grades

1.     GCSEs in England are being reformed and will be graded with a new scale from 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest grade.

2.     New GCSE content will be more challenging.

3.     Fewer grade 9s will be awarded than A*s.

4.     English language, English literature and maths will be the first to be graded from 9 to 1 in 2017.

5.     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.

6.     The new grades are being brought in to signal that GCSEs have been reformed and to better differentiate between students of different abilities.

7.     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.

8.     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.

9.     You can see how the 9 to 1 grades compare with the A* to G scale in the government’s GCSE grading postcard.

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.

Ways to keep up-to-date with the changes

There is lots of information to help students, parents, teachers and businesses understand the changes. You can keep up-to-date in a number of ways:

·       Look at the government’s specially produced postcards summarising the changes

·       Subscribe to 9 to 1 News, the Ofqual newsletter about the changes

·       Follow the GCSE grades 9 to 1 page on Facebook

·       Follow GCSE grades 9 to 1 on LinkedIn

·       Read the government blogs on specialist issues

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