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New GCSE Grades – What Do They Mean?

GCSE Results

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).

Feel free to print me out to take along on results day

About Lynette Daly

Lynette is the publishing editor of Moving On magazine. Moving On is devoted to helping young people make good choices for their future – education, qualifications and careers. Moving On really wants to motivate you! Our articles cover a range of topics to inspire and give ideas. Our magazines are delivered free to all schools, colleges and sixth forms in England and is also available online.

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