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In September 2015 new GCSEs were introduced in the following subjects: 

English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Combined Science, Geography, History, Modern Languages, Religious Studies, Design & Technology, Art and Design, Drama, Dance, Music, Physical Education, Computer Science, Citizenship Studies, Cooking and Nutrition. 

These new GCSEs were first examined in the summer of 2017. They are more demanding and require higher levels of literacy and numeracy to access the top grades.

Other changes include:

  • a new grading scale that uses the numbers 1 to 9 to identify levels of performance, with 9 being the top grade. 
  • a structure where all assessment happens at the end of the course and content is not divided into modules
  • exams as the default method of assessment, except where they cannot provide valid assessment of the skills required (e.g. Art)

4 things to know about the new GCSE grades

  1. English language, English literature and Maths were the first to be graded from 9 to 1 in 2017.
  2. Another 20 subjects will have 9 to 1 grading in 2018, with most others following in 2019. During this transition, students will receive a mixture of letter and number grades.
  3. The new grades are being brought in to signal that GCSEs have been reformed and to better differentiate between students of different abilities.
  4. In the first year each new GCSE subject is introduced, broadly the same proportion of students will get a grade 4 or above as would have got a grade C or above in the old system.

To view a fact sheet regarding the new GCSE’s, please click on the document below.