GCSE grading structure

Important: changes to GCSE grading structure

What are the changes?
GCSEs are in the process of being reformed to contain more demanding material for students. Students will no longer be awarded GCSE grades A*-G and will instead receive a numbered grade from 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest. New GCSEs are being introduced in different years for different subjects. In June 2017 reformed GCSEs will be taken in mathematics and English. In 2018 all other subjects will follow, with the exception of technology and IT. In 2019 all subjects will be reformed GCSEs.

What is the new expected standard?
It is important to note that the threshold for a good pass has changed. In the past a grade C was considered to be a good pass, but the threshold for a good pass is now considered to be a grade 5. It will be harder to achieve a grade 5 than it was in the old system to achieve a grade C, so students will need to learn more effectively in order to achieve this.

How do 9 to 1 grades compare with A* to G grades?
To assist with the transition to the 9 to 1 grading system we have included a table to show how they compare in terms of difficulty to A* to G grades. Since the content in the new GCSEs is different there is no direct way to convert between the old grading system to the new one. This means the table should be used as a rough guide, not a direct match. In introducing a grade 9 the government has extended the level that can be achieved at GCSE. A simple way to understand this is as a grade 9 being an A**.


8 7 6 5 4 3 2



A*/A A B B/C Low C D E/F


A good pass or better