If you are starting year 9 this September – get ready to see your results very differently. Students who begin their GCSE studies in English language, English literature and maths this September will be the first to open up their exam results in August 2017 and see a numerical grade between 9 and 1 rather than the traditional letter grading of A* — G.
The new grading system, introduced by Ofqual is intended to differentiate better between pupil performance, particularly between the A* — C, or as it will now be, 9 — 4 grades.
This change is expected to provide employers and educational professionals with a clearer picture of a learner’s potential. At present the C grade is the standard of many sixth forms, colleges and universities when it comes to accepting students onto A-level and other level 3 programmes as well as degree courses.
With so many pupils achieving a C grade GCSE in for example English language and mathematics (about 60%), it is possible that this new grading system will be helpful in identifying those learners who have achieved the standard grade required for progression, but who may require some support in developing those skills further in order to achieve their potential. This is because the new system allows the old grades C and B to be covered by three grades: 4, 5 and 6, with grade 5 being equivalent to the top third of marks for an existing grade C and bottom third of the current grade B.
Here’s how the new grading system maps across to the existing one
9 – is the new ‘elite’ grade to identify exceptional performance
8 – is equivalent to A*
7 – is the new A grade
5/6 – will straddle the high Cs, low B grades and high B grades allowing for better differentiation
4 – is equivalent to the existing C grade
3 – D
2 – E
1 – F and G grades are covered by grade 1