Understanding the New GCSE Grading System

Don’t miss out on employing your ideal recruit! Make sure you understand the new GCSE grading system today. 

Do you use GCSE grades to assess applicants to your business, college or university? If so, the Department for Education want you to be aware that GCSEs in England are changing – this started with English and maths in 2017. The new GCSEs have a 9 to 1 grading scale to replace A* to G, with 9 the highest grade. They GCSEs ensure that students leave school better prepared for work or further study. They also cover more challenging content and are designed to match standards in the strongest performing education systems elsewhere in the world. Changing from numbers to letters means you can see easily whether an applicant has taken an old (unreformed) or a new (reformed) GCSE.

If you have previously set grade C as your entry requirement, it would be reasonable to ask for a grade 4 under the new system, unless you have made a deliberate decision to raise the entry bar.

The Department for Education recognises grade 4 and above as a ‘standard pass’; this is the minimum level that students need to reach in English and maths, otherwise they need to continue to study these subjects as part of their post-16 education. A GCSE pass at new grade 4 is therefore a credible achievement and should be viewed as such for work or further study opportunities.

To continue to raise standards in schools, the Department for Education recognises a grade 5 and above in English or maths as a ‘strong pass’ and uses this in its headline measures for school performance; a benchmark comparable with the strongest performing education systems.

*Information, stats and graphics wording have been taken from DFE Guidelines in order to help and aid the audience reach, regarding the new GCSE grading system.

For more information visit these useful links:

Department for Education click here.
The Ofqual grade boundaries PDF, click here.
Department for Education information PDF, click here.

News Articles:

Gov UK: News Post, click here.
The Ofqual Blog: GCSE Grade Boundaries in 2018, click here.
Telegraph: An Employers Perspective, click here.
Telegraph: GSCE Results, How many students will get the new top grade? Click here.
The Guardian: Proportion of students getting good GCSE grades fall after reforms, click here.

*Information, stats and graphics wording have been taken from DFE Guidelines in order to help and aid the audience reach, regarding the new GCSE grading system.