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New Grade 9-1 GCSE courses are now underway for all subjects and they're 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 is reserved for the very top tier of students...


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

  • 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 BiologyChemistry 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...
  • Both Wales and Northern Ireland have introduced their own reformed A*-G courses.

    How does it work in Wales and Northern Ireland?

    The rules about the Grade 9-1 GCSEs are different in Wales and Northern Ireland...
    • In Wales, state-maintained schools can usually only teach the reformed GCSE courses offered by WJEC (also known as CBAC). However, in subjects where WJEC doesn’t offer a reformed GCSE, Grade 9-1 GCSEs are allowed. Independent schools in Wales can teach any GCSE courses they choose.
    • In Northern Ireland, schools can teach most of the new Grade 9-1 courses if they choose to — the only exceptions to this are GCSE Science and GCSE English Language.

Relax — CGP have A-Levels completely covered...

Our amazing A-Level books cover everything from Maths and Biology to Psychology and Business. What's more they're bang up to date for the latest courses.

Check out the range

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