Changes to the way exams are graded can be confusing, especially when a new scale is introduced. We are here to help you understand the new 9-1 GCSE framework, and to explain how our systems will provide the information you need during this period of transition.

What are the changes?

The framework for GCSEs in England is changing. The content of the new GCSEs is designed to challenge students, with greater focus on final examinations and reduced coursework.

From this summer GCSE exams in England will be marked using a numerical 9-1 grading scale, where nine is the highest possible grade, and one is the lowest.

The first three subjects to be marked on this scale are English language, English literature, and Mathematics. Most other subjects will be graded 9-1 by 2019.

Guidance from Ofqual shows how the new scale relates to the old A*-G grades:

  • Grades nine, eight and seven will cover A* and A grades.
  • Grades six, five and four are roughly equivalent to B and C grades.
  • A grade three is comparable to a D grade, while grades two and one are broadly in line with grades E, F, and G.

A U (or ‘unmarked’) grade will still be used as part of the new scale.

Does that mean that students will have a mixture of 9-1 and A*-G GCSE results?

Yes – Year 11 students taking GCSEs this summer will get results on the 9-1 scale for English language, English literature and Mathematics only. Results for all other GCSE subjects will be graded A*-G.

Current Year 10 students will sit most of their GCSEs under the new 9-1 scale, and by the time Year 9 students come to take their GCSE exams in 2019 they will receive grades on the 9-1 scale for most other subjects.

Below is an example student showing the conversion to the new 9-1 scale.

Conversion Chart

Find out more.

Get the help you need during this period of transition, with clear, consistent predictions and value-added data

We know that the changes to GCSEs are causing a great deal of uncertainty and concern. We have been working hard to ensure that we incorporate the changes to the grading scale and that our products offer you the support you need during this period of change.

  • Predict with confidence how your students will perform within the new framework

    Our Secondary systems now provide predictions for all GCSE subjects (not just English language, English literature and Maths) on the new 9-1 scale.

  • Clear data in the format you need

    As students will receive a mixture of results as all subjects move over to the 9-1 scale, our baseline assessments provide GCSE predictions on both the A*-G and 9-1 scales. You can choose to use either points or grades in your feedback.

    We also provide a full decimal point system that will display split grades on the 9-1 scale.

  • Review individual progress and performance using CEM baseline predictions

    Predictions from our Secondary baseline assessments are now available on the 9-1 scale for students who sat our Secondary assessments from 2012/2013 onwards - so you can see if they students taking GCSEs this year have performed as expected against the new scale. You can also use these predictions to make sure students studying for GCSEs in 2018 and 2019 are on track to achieve their potential within the new framework.

  • Value-added on Results Day

    This year value-added data will be available soon after you have uploaded your exam results to us. In most cases your reports will be produced on the same day you upload your results. Value-added for the first 9-1 GCSE results are included, so you can understand the performance of your students and plan for the new year.

    Click here for more information

Keep up to date with further developments

We will continue to work closely with schools over the coming months, offering guidance, analysis and support on the changes to the GCSE framework.

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