What are the new GCSE grades and what do they mean?

Pupils across Gedling borough have been enjoying a well earned break this summer.

But tomorrow is results day for GCSE students and teenagers across the borough will be opening up those dreaded envelopes.

To make matters worse, pupils and parents will also have to get their heads around the new grading system which has been launched as part of a government shake-up of GCSEs.

Students will tomorrow 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.

So how do the new GCSE grades work?

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

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 government have said the new grades will  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.

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You can see how the 9 to 1 grades compare with the A* to G scale by taking a look at the government’s  GCSE grading postcard.

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