GCSE 9-1 Grading Explained

What is the new 9-1 grading system and how will it affect me?

Last year, the 9-1 grading system was only used in English language, English literature and Maths.

This year, it will used in 20 more subjects (see below for a full list).

The new scale will be phased in to all other GCSEs over the next few years.

GCSEs graded 9-1 in 2018

English, Maths

Biology, Chemistry, Physics

Combined Science

Computer Science

Geography, History

Art and Design

French, German, Latin, Spanish

Classical Greek

Dance, Drama, Music

Food Preparation and Nutrition

Physical Education

Religious Studies

Citizenship Studies

In summer 2019, the following subjects will be graded 9-1: Ancient History; Astronomy; Business; Classical Civilisation; Design and Technology; Economics; Electronics; Engineering; Film Studies; Geology; Media Studies; Modern Foreign Languages (Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Modern Greek, Modern Hebrew, Panjabi, Polish, Russian, Urdu); Psychology; Sociology; Statistics

In summer 2020, this will be expanded to: Ancient Languages (Biblical Hebrew); Modern Foreign Languages (Gujarati, Persian, Portuguese, Turkish)

The new scale is a dramatic shift away from the A*- G system that students, parents, and teachers have been familiar with for decades, but exam boards say it is “anchored” in the old A* – G system.

The bottom of a grade 7 is equivalent to the bottom of a grade A, for example, and the bottom of grade 4 is equivalent to the bottom of a grade C. The bottom of a 1 is aligned to the bottom of a G.

The government expects, therefore, that a pupil who scored a C or above under last year’s grading scale will receive a 4 or above.

The government introduced the scale to inject more rigour into the exam system, and to allow for more differentiation among the highest-achievers.

 You can read more about the changes at:

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