What you need to know for GCSE results day

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This Thursday 23 August students will be picking up their GCSE results. But, like last year, more subjects are changing their grading structure. This means that what employers see on GCSE transcripts will be different.

Last year, English Literature, English Language and Maths were graded 1 to 9. With 9 being the highest grade a student can achieve, and 1 being the lowest:


The subjects that are changing this year are:

Art and design, biology, chemistry, citizenship studies, combined science, computer science, dance, drama, food preparation and nutrition, French, geography, German, classical Greek, history, Latin, music, physical education (including short course), physics, religious studies (including short course), and Spanish.

What grade should you look for?

Previously if you asked for a C or above in English and or Maths, that would now be equivalent to a grade 4 and above. Last year we saw broadly the same proportion of students who got C or above the year before, get grade 4 or above in these subjects.

What does the new grading show?

If a student has completed the reformed GCSE, it means that they will have a grade between 1 and 9 rather than A* to U. It will signal that they have learnt new content and undertaken new assessments.

You might also notice that the new grading system has more numbers than letters; therefore, each number does not an exact equivalence to the old grades. Instead, there is greater differentiation between at A*-A, reflected by the fact that there are now three potential grades in that bracket, 9, 8, and 7. This means that there will be fewer top grades (grade 9) awarded than there have been A*s.

For more information on the changes, visit Ofqual’s LinkedIn and Facebook pages, and look out for our blog on Thursday dissecting the results!


Education and Skills Policy Advisor

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