As lecturers categorical issues about the way in which by which new GCSEs in England are being graded from 9-1 slightly than A*-G, we reply some key questions concerning the modifications.
When do the brand new 1-9 grades are available?
The brand new grades are being phased in, beginning with a few of this summer time’s exams.
New-style GCSEs in English language, English literature and maths shall be taken by the present Yr 11 college students – these exams shall be graded within the new method, with 9 as the best mark and one the bottom.
A 4 is broadly being in comparison with a C grade, though the exams watchdog, Ofqual, warns towards “direct comparisons and overly simplistic descriptions”.
For many different topics – together with biology, chemistry, physics, laptop science, French, Spanish, non secular training, geography, music and historical past – the brand new grades shall be awarded from the summer time of 2018.
A 3rd wave of 9-1 graded GCSEs – together with psychology, historical historical past, enterprise, info and communications know-how (ICT) and media research – shall be taught from September 2017 with exams in 2019.
So some youngsters could have a mixture of GSCEs below completely different marking schemes?
Sure, that is proper. The present Yr 11s will get English and maths outcomes below the brand new numerical grading scheme and the remainder of their choices shall be graded A*-G.
The present Yr 10 college students will then sit most of their GCSEs below the brand new system, however they may have some below the outdated system, for instance if they’re taking historical historical past or ICT, whereas these pupils now in Yr 9 shall be totally “moved over” on to the numerical grading system.
How do the brand new grades evaluate to the outdated ones?
Grades 9, eight and 7 are broadly equal to an A* and A. Grades six, 5 and 4 are in keeping with B and C grades. A 3 can be broadly just like a D grade, with two and one taking in grades E, F and G.
There’s nonetheless a U (ungraded) mark.
Schooling Secretary Justine Greening says a grade four will be seen as a “standard pass” and a grade five as a “strong pass”.
She additionally says that for varsity efficiency tables, the federal government will publish “customary passes” (grade 4 and above) but in addition the “sturdy passes” (at grade 5 and above).
Watchdog Ofqual says that, broadly, the identical proportion of youngsters will get a grade 4 and above as presently get a grade C or above.
It additionally says a formulation shall be used which is able to imply that about 20% of all grades at seven or above shall be awarded a grade 9.
Chief regulator Sally Collier says college students who get a 9 could have “carried out exceptionally”.
Will not the primary cohort to take a seat the brand new exams be deprived?
It definitely appears like this and college students within the subsequent two yr teams are guinea pigs for the brand new grading system.
Nevertheless, Ofqual insists these college students is not going to be deprived.
It says that in 2016, in English and in maths, about 70% of 16-year-old college students achieved a grade C or above and so it might count on the same proportion to realize a 4 and above on this summer time’s exams.
Ofqual additionally says examination boards will use take a look at outcomes from nationwide curriculum exams (Sats) taken on the finish of major faculty to foretell the seemingly achievement on the new grades of 1, 4 and 7.
Why are GCSE grades in England being modified?
The brand new GCSE grading scheme is a component and parcel of a brand new curriculum which was launched in England’s faculties in 2014 by the then Schooling Secretary Michael Gove.
The brand new GCSEs programs embody a lot much less coursework than earlier than, with grades in virtually all topics relying on exams.
Programs are designed to be extra rigorous with exams taken after two years of examine, slightly than in modules with exams alongside the way in which.
What is going on in Wales?
Change is below method in Wales in addition to in England. The Welsh authorities has launched new and revised GCSEs taught from September 2015.
Probably the most vital modifications are in English language, Welsh language and arithmetic. In all of the modified topics, the brand new or revised specs would be the solely ones obtainable to state faculties in Wales. They are going to be delivered by the WJEC examination board.
One essential distinction to England is that the established grading construction of A*- G is being maintained.
What is going on in Northern Eire?
Whereas pupils in England could have outcomes graded 9-1 and pupils in Wales could have A*-G graded outcomes, pupils in Northern Eire might find yourself with a mixture of A*-G and numerical grades.
Initially, the Northern Eire authorities mentioned all examination boards working within the province must give their results on an A* to G basis. This led English examination boards OCR and AQA to announce they might not supply the brand new GCSEs there.
However in June 2016, this decision was reversed by new Education Minister Peter Weir and pupils will now be allowed to take a seat GCSE grades from English examination boards giving outcomes utilizing the 9-1 system.
Roughly three-quarters of GCSEs in Northern Eire are taken via the NI Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Evaluation (CCEA); the remaining quarter via the AQA, OCR, Edexcel or WJEC examination boards.
What about Scotland?
Scotland has its personal system of public examinations: Nationals and Highers.