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The New Grade 9-1 GCSEs Explained

What are the 9-1 GCSEs?

New GCSE Maths and English courses started in September 2015, and other subjects (including GCSE Science) followed suit in September 2016.
The remaining courses begain in September 2017.

The new courses are more challenging than ever, with all the exams set at the end of Year 11. There’s even a new ‘9-1’ grading system, where Grade 9 will be reserved for the very top tier of students...

The new '9-1' grading system

Grade 4 is the new Standard Pass grade. If students don’t achieve a Grade 4 in Maths and English, they’ll need to continue studying these subjects.

A bit more detail

  • The first new exams for GCSE Maths and English were taken in summer 2017. The new GCSE Science exams will start in summer 2018.
  • There's no Foundation Level in the new English GCSEs — students of all abilities will take the same exams.
  • There are fewer course options in the new Science GCSEs. Most students will either take the new Combined Science course (worth two GCSEs) or three separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
  • Some of the new grades match up with the old ones. A low Grade 1 is comparable to a low Grade G, a low Grade 4 is comparable to a low Grade C and a low Grade 7 is comparable to a low Grade A.
  • Coursework and practical assessments play a much smaller part in the new GCSE courses — which means most of the marks are won or lost in the exams at the end of Year 11. No pressure...

CGP has the 9-1 GCSEs covered