Changes to the GCSE Grading system

There has been some confusion about the new GCSE grading systems and changes to syllabus so we thought we would write a short blog for our students to explain when syllabus will be changing, how the GCSE qualifications will be graded and how these grades will compare with the older grading system.

First of all though it is important to note that there are no planned changes to the grading system of the Edexcel IGCSE syllabus exams.

The new format GCSE's will be graded 1 to 9 with 9 being the highest grade. Below is Ofqual's guide to the comparison between the old and new grading system:

New GCSE Grading system


The new numbered grades will not map directly to the old grades, but we do know that approximately the same proportion of students who currently receive a grade A or higher would receive a grade 7 or higher, a grade C or higher would receive a grade 4 or higher, and Grade 9 will be a new grade issued for the very highest performing students and would be set as the top fifth of the current A and A* grades. Grade 5 will be the benchmark for a good pass, and the bottom of grade 1 will be the same as the bottom of grade G.


When are these changes being implemented?

The changes to GCSEs much like the changes to A Levels are happening over a 3 year period. There are many different GCSE syllabus so we will concentrate on the AQA syllabus for the courses we offer.

The Maths GCSE syllabus was in the first phase of changes and the course detailed on our website covers this new AQA GCSE Mathematics 8300 Specification which will be available for first exams in May/June 2017 and later years. This is subject to the new grading system straight away.

The Religious Education GCSE syllabus is in the second phase so a new course should be available in September 2016 for first exams in 2018.

Psychology GCSE and Sociology GCSE are in the final phase and the current specifications will be retired after the May/June 2018 exams and the new grading will become available for the new specifications for first exams in 2019.

Law GCSE is not being renewed by AQA and this GCSE subject will be retired after the final exams in May/June 2018.

You can find a full listing of our GCSE Courses and IGCSE Courses on our website but please contact is if you have any questions about the new GCSE grading system.


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