Guidance

Grade descriptors for GCSEs graded 9 to 1

Grade descriptors for GCSEs graded 9 to 1. Designed to provide an indication of the likely level of performance at grades 2, 5 and 8. 

Documents

Details

We have developed grade descriptors for the reformed GCSEs graded 9 to 1. These aim to assist teachers by providing an indication of the likely level of performance at grades 2, 5 and 8 in each reformed subject.

The descriptors are not designed to be used for awarding purposes, unlike the ‘grade descriptions’ that apply to GCSEs graded A* to G. Equally, they are not designed to be used as mark schemes.

The purpose of these grade descriptors is to give teachers and students an idea of likely performance at the mid-points of grades 2, 5 and 8.

The grade descriptors were developed with the input of subject experts and exam boards. The wording draws on the relevant subject content published by the Department for Education as well as the assessment objectives published by Ofqual.

We have published more information on how grade standards are set for the new GCSEs.

Published 28 November 2014
Last updated 6 September 2017 + full page history
  1. Added grade descriptors for: ancient history, astronomy, business, classical civilisation, design & technology, economics, electronics, engineering, film studies, geology, media studies, psychology, sociology and statistics.
  2. Clarified the recent updates to the page.
  3. Added grade descriptors for ancient languages, art and design, citizenship, computer science, dance, drama, food preparation and nutrition, geography, history, modern foreign languages, music, physical education, religious studies, single sciences and combined science.
  4. First published.