New GCSE Grading Structure

Reformed GCSEs will be introduced gradually over three years from September 2015.  Examination Results will be graded from 9 - 1, instead of A* - G.

Students awarded GCSEs in 2017 and 2018 will therefore receive a mixture of 9 - 1 and A* - G grades - Current Year 10 and Year 9.

Students will not be penalised as a result of the changes.  A statistical method will be used by examination boards (known as comparable outcomes) so that:

  • broadly the same proportion of students will receive a grade 4 and above as currently achieve a grade C or above;
  • broadly the same proportion of students will receive a grade 7 and above as currently achieve a grade A or above;
  • the bottom of grade 1 will be aligned with the bottom of grade G;
  • a grade 5 will awarded to the top third of students gaining the equivalent of a grade C or bottom third of a grade B.  The Department of Education has decided that a grade 5 will be a 'good pass', it was previously a "C" grade.

In addition the top 20% of those who get a grade 7 or above in each exam, will be awarded a grade 9.

New GCSE grading structure

GCSE timeline of changes