Changes to GCSE assessment

From summer 2017, the way some GCSE’s are graded will be changing. New GCSE specifications will use a new system of grading ranging from 9 (Highest grade) to 1 (Lowest grade). U grades will continue as indicators that a qualification has not been passed.

The new grading system is not directly analogous to the current grades, although OFQUAL have produced the following graphic to help parents and schools to translate the overlap between the old and new grading approaches.

 

graph 4

In the new system of grading, there will be more grades at the top end of the scale, and fewer grades near the bottom of the system. It has not yet been confirmed what proportions of each grade will be awarded nationally, except to confirm that initially the percentage of grades awarded a 4 and above will be the same as the percentage awarded a C and above. Similarly, the percentage awarded a 7 or above will be the same as awarded an A or above.

Under the new system a good pass will constitute a grade 5 or above which roughly equates to a C+ on the current grading system.

GCSE subjects will not all move to the new grading system at the same time, but there will instead be three waves of change.

Summer 2017 (affecting the current Y10 and beyond):

The GCSE subjects graded this way for the first time will be:

English and Maths

Summer 2018 (affecting the current Y9 and beyond):

In addition to those already changed, GCSE subjects graded this way for the first time will be:

Sciences, Art and Design, Computer Science, Dance, Drama, Modern foreign languages, Geography, History, Music, PE

Summer 2019 (affecting the current Y8 and beyond):

In addition to those already changed, GCSE subjects graded this way for the first time will be:

Design and technology, Business, Media.

Further information about this and other reforms to GCSE and A-level qualifications can be found at the DfE website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/your-qualification-our-regulation-gcse-as-and-a-level-reforms