The new GCSE grading system
GCSE subjects and the system for grading them are being overhauled, with changes being rolled over the next few years. The current Year 11 taking their exams in Summer 2017, will sit new GCSEs in Maths, English Language and English Literature.
A numerical grading system of 9-1 will replace the current system of A*-G, with 9 as the highest achievable grade and 1 as the lowest (although there will also be a grade U for those who fail to achieve the minimum requirements for grade 1).
Grade 5 will be considered a ‘strong pass’ and Grade 4 a ‘standard pass’, with performance tables focusing on pupils achieving grades 9-5 and 9-4.
The new system has been designed to reveal differences between candidates at the top end of the spectrum. The current top two grades (A* and A) will be replaced with three top grades (9,8 and 7). Grade 9 is being referred to by some as an A**, as it will only be awarded to approximately the top 3% nationally.