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Grades Explained
16-18 Education

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Grades Explained

The traditional A* – G grading system for English and maths GCSEs is changing. The first new exams for GCSE maths and English will be in summer 2017.


There are nine grades in the new system whereas currently there are eight, A* to G. In the new system, 9 is the highest grade that a student can achieve, 1 the lowest. The highest grades of A* and A will be replaced by 7, 8 and 9. Grades B and C will also be replaced by three numbers, 4, 5 and 6. A grade C pass, recognised for many employment and higher education opportunities, will be a 5. However, a 5 is not exactly the same as a C; it is equivalent to a high C or lower grade B. Students who have not achieved a grade 4 in maths and English will need to retake these exams as part of their post-16 study programme at college.

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