New GCSE Grading Scheme

I/GCSEs are being reformed and will be graded with a new scale from 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest grade. The image below shows how the new grading structure will compare with the current one.

The first subjects to be graded on this new system will be English Language and English Literature in summer 2017 (and also Maths nationally, but not for the IGCSE course at Dauntsey's). Pupils who take their I/GCSEs in 2019 and after will be graded entirely on the new 1-9 system. Those who take their I/GCSEs in 2018 will receive a complete mix of 9-1 and letter grades, as follows:

  • GCSEs giving 1-9 grades: Art, Computer Science, Dance, Drama, English Language, English Literature, Geography, Latin, Music & Religious Studies
  • IGCSEs giving 1-9 grades: History & Maths (except top set Maths, who will still get a letter grade in the 4th Form)
  • GCSEs giving letter grades: Class Civ, Design and Technology & Economics
  • IGCSEs giving letter grades: Sciences (Biology, Chemistry & Physics) & MFL (French, German, Spanish)
  • The reformed I/GCSEs are designed to be more challenging. The content of new courses is more rigorous, while fewer grade 9s will be awarded than A*s. The exact proportion will vary by subject, but approximately 3% of grades in 2017 were awarded a 9 nationally compared to the 8% that were typically awarded A*s in the past.

    However, there will be some continuity from the current grading system to the new one. In the first year each new I/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, and likewise broadly the same proportion will get a grade 7 or above as would have got a grade A or above in the old system.