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New GCSE Grades – What does it all mean?

New GCSE Grades – What does it all mean?

If you are a Y10 or Y11 student, you will have no doubt heard a lot recently about the change in the GCSE grading system from letters (A*-G) to numbers (9-1) – but what does this actually mean for you as students?

The simple answer is that although this year only English and Maths grades will be changing, by 2020 all GCSEs will be graded using the number system rather than the letter system, and will end up looking like this:

At present, the government have set Grade 4 as their equivalent of the current ‘C Grade’, with Grade 5 as a ‘Strong Pass’ – this means that if you were previously aiming for Cs at GCSE, Grade 4 will be recognised by the government as the nearest similar grade.

The slightly more complicated answer is that until the first set of results for Maths and English come back this year, we cannot be sure whether Grade 4 or 5 will be the standard accepted by colleges, universities and employers across the country. Often, colleges and universities set their own entry requirements anyway and are open to hearing from students who haven’t quite got the grades they need at GCSE, so don’t panic if your English and Maths results aren’t the grades you were hoping for!

For a more detailed breakdown of the new grading scale, check out these factsheets from the Department for Education:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gcse-new-grading-scale-factsheets

These changes are something that everyone involved in the education system, from students and parents to teachers and careers advisers, are having to get used to, so if you feel like you want to talk with someone about how these changes might affect you, please come and speak with John or Chris in the sixth form library anytime during break or lunchtime on Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays!

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