First of all – if you are collecting GCSE results tomorrow expect to see a grade from A* – G in all subjects EXCEPT for English and maths. For GCSE English and maths expect to see a grade from 9 to 1. Clear? …good, now what do they mean?
Grade 9 GCSE
The highest grade that you can get. This means that you rock at this subject – the best of the best – like better than an A*. If you see this grade, then well done you!
Grade 8 GCSE
Grade 8 is equivalent to an A*. If you see this grade on your results, then you have aced it!
Grade 7 GCSE
You like the idea on an A grade? Thought you might – well grade 7 English or maths GCSE is basically an A grade.
Grade 6 GCSE
Before you could only get a B grade. Now you can get a grade 6, which means that you got a high B grade – close to an A.
Grade 5 GCSE
If you achieve a grade 5 you have done well – Grade 5 is basically a very high C grade – pushing into a low B.
Grade 4 GCSE
Ah – the all-important one. Grade 4 is a standard grade C equivalent and what many universities, colleges and sixth forms will be asking for.
Grade 3 GCSE
Is equivalent to a D grade. You may need to retake if you get a grade D (for access to Level 3 courses and university, but also for apprenticeships)
Grade 2 GCSE
The grade 2 award is the same as a grade E.
Grade 1 GCSE
This grade covers both grade F and grade G
Why do I need grade 4 or above?
Most employers as well as sixth forms, colleges and universities will ask for a Level 2 qualification in maths and English (plus others for specific courses of study).
For your GCSE to count as a Level 2 qualification you need to achieve grade 9 – 4. Grades 3 – 1 count as a Level 1 qualification (This is why you may be asked to retake English and maths if you do not achieve a Level 4 or above).