GCSE Grading Guide

National Changes to GCSE Grading

Since the exams in Summer 2019, all GCSEs transitioned to a new grading system.  Instead of the old A* to G grades, all GCSEs are now using a numbered system of Grades between 1 and 9:

  • Grade 9 will be the highest awarded.  This is the equivalent of an ‘A*+’
  • Grade 4 will be the equivalent of the bottom of the C grade
  • Grade 1 will be the lowest grade awarded which is broadly in line with a grade G
  • Grade 5 is considered a ‘Good’ pass and is the new expected standard
NEW GCSE GRADING STRUCTURE OLD GCSE GRADING STRUCTURE
9 A*
8
7 A
6 GOOD PASS (DfE)
5 and above = top of C and above
B
5 B – C
4 AWARDING
4 and above = bottom of C and above
C
3 D – E
2 E – F
1 F – G
U UNGRADED U

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why were these changes made?
A: The Government scrapped the old A* – G grading system and replaced it with a 1 – 9 system.  The intention was to better distinguish between candidate exam performance.

Q: Do all schools use the same assessment system?
A: All schools will sit the same GCSE exams and all of their students will leave with 1 – 9 grades.

Q: Will this change how my son/daughter’s work is marked?
A: Fundamentally, it is only the grading system which has changed.  Students will still, as ever, receive timely and meaningful comments from their teachers which commend them for things they have done well and highlight areas for development.

Q: How will I know that my child is still making progress?
A: Student exercise books will continue to demonstrate the progress your child is making however, you should not that your child will be assessed every half term and meaningful feedback provided by the teacher to help them progress.

Q: Will some subjects be ‘worth more’ than others?
A: No.  The Government and exam boards are simply moving to 1 – 9 grades.  All grades carry the same worth and value to students as the ‘old/unreformed’ GCSEs.

Q: How can I make sure my son/daughter is making progress?
A: Please get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.  You can continue to support your son/daughter by encouraging them to reflect on where their strengths and areas for development lie within each subject.  Teacher feedback in assessments will support you and your child, as will half termly reports and Parents’ Evenings.

Q: What does the colour coding on my son/daughter’s report indicate?

A: The colours on the half termly report indicate how your child is currently performing in relation to their end of year target or end of course target (if they are in years 10 or 11).  The colours are specified as:

PURPLE Indicates that your son/daughter is currently on track to achieve above their target grade
GREEN Indicates that your son/daughter is currently on track to achieve their target grade
YELLOW Indicates that your son/daughter is currently not on track to achieve their target grade
RED Indicates that your son/daughter is currently well below the required standard to achieve their target grade.