As academics specific issues about the best way during which new GCSEs in England are being graded from 9-1 moderately than A*-G, we reply some key questions concerning the adjustments.
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 12 months 11 college students – these exams shall be graded within the new means, 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 in opposition to “direct comparisons and overly simplistic descriptions”.
For many different topics – together with biology, chemistry, physics, laptop science, French, Spanish, non secular schooling, 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, historic 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 can have a mixture of GSCEs beneath completely different marking schemes?
Sure, that is proper. The present 12 months 11s will get English and maths outcomes beneath the brand new numerical grading scheme and the remainder of their choices shall be graded A*-G.
The present 12 months 10 college students will then sit most of their GCSEs beneath the brand new system, however they may have some beneath the outdated system, for instance if they’re taking historic historical past or ICT, whereas these pupils now in 12 months 9 shall be absolutely “moved over” on to the numerical grading system.
How do the brand new grades examine to the outdated ones?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 could be broadly much like a D grade, with two and one taking in grades E, F and G.
There may be 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 “normal 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 at the moment get a grade C or above.
It additionally says a system 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 can have “carried out exceptionally”.
Will not the primary cohort to sit down the brand new exams be deprived?
It actually seems like this and college students within the subsequent two 12 months 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 could count on an analogous share to attain a 4 and above on this summer time’s exams.
Ofqual additionally says examination boards will use check outcomes from nationwide curriculum exams (Sats) taken on the finish of major faculty to foretell the possible 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 an element 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 embrace 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 research, moderately than in modules with exams alongside the best way.
What is going on in Wales?
Change is beneath means in Wales in addition to in England. The Welsh authorities has launched new and revised GCSEs taught from September 2015.
Probably the most important adjustments 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 out there 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 can have outcomes graded 9-1 and pupils in Wales can 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 stated 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’d not provide 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 sit down GCSE grades from English examination boards giving outcomes utilizing the 9-1 system.
Roughly three-quarters of GCSEs in Northern Eire are taken by means of the NI Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Evaluation (CCEA); the remaining quarter by means of the AQA, OCR, Edexcel or WJEC examination boards.
What about Scotland?
Scotland has its personal system of public examinations: Nationals and Highers.