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New GCSE 9 to 1 grades are here

New GCSEs in England are being graded from 9 to 1, with 9 being the top grade. Combined science will be graded from 9-9 to 1-1 from 2018.

GCSE grades for combined science are changing

GCSE science grades in England are changing

GCSEs for science are changing in England. Students taking separate science GCSEs will now get a grade from 9 to 1 in each subject. Combined science draws content from all three subjects and students will receive an award worth two GCSEs, consisting of two equal or adjacent grades.

5 things to know about the new combined science GCSEs

  1. Students taking separate science GCSEs will get a grade from 9 to 1 for each subject, with 9 being the highest grade.
  2. Students studying combined science will receive an award worth two GCSEs, consisting of two equal or adjacent grades from 9 to 1 (9-9, 9-8, 8-8, 8-7, 7-7…to 1-1).
  3. If the numbers are different, the highest number will always be reported on the left.
  4. Students do at least 8 practical activities (16 for combined science) covering specific apparatus and techniques.
  5. Exam questions about practical work make up at least 15% of the total marks for the qualification.

The new 9 to 1 GCSE grades are here

Students taking GCSEs in England this summer will receive a mixture of number and letter grades. English language, English literature and maths were the first subjects to use the new system in 2017. Most other subjects will adopt numbers by 2019. Eventually all GCSEs taken in England will receive numerical grades.

9 things to know about the new GCSE grades

  1. GCSEs in England are being reformed and will be graded with a new scale from 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest grade.
  2. New GCSE content will be more challenging.
  3. Fewer grade 9s will be awarded than A*s.
  4. English language, English literature and maths were the first to be graded from 9 to 1 in 2017.
  5. Another 20 subjects will have 9 to 1 grading in 2018, with most others following in 2019. During this transition, students will receive a mixture of letter and number grades.
  6. The new grades are being brought in to signal that GCSEs have been reformed and to better differentiate between students of different abilities.
  7. In the first year each new 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.
  8. These changes are only happening in England. Wales and Northern Ireland are not introducing the new 9 to 1 grading scale as part of their changes to GCSEs.
  9. You can see how the 9 to 1 grades compare with the A* to G scale in our GCSE grading postcard.

Ways to keep up-to-date

We’ve got lots of information to help students, parents, teachers and businesses understand the changes. You can keep up-to-date in a number of ways:

And if you’ve got any questions, drop us an email at public.enquiries@ofqual.gov.uk or give us a call on 0300 303 3344.

Published 3 March 2017
Last updated 22 December 2017 + show all updates
  1. Article now shows the updated video.
  2. Added results day guides for students and parents.
  3. First published.