GCSE grade changes – what you need to know

A new grading system for GCSE exams in England was launched in 2017. As an employer, you need to understand the changes for deciphering candidate CVs.

Previously the gradings have been alphabetical, ranging from A* through to G, and U for unmarked exam papers. This has now been replaced with a numerical system, awarding grades of 9 – 1, and keeping the U, unmarked grading.

The changes are to due to demands from education boards to make exams more challenging. The new grading system provides a larger range of results, giving a more accurate result.

The Department for Education has stated it will be inaccurate to directly compare the old alphabetical ratings and the new numerical ones. However, Recruiting Times, have drawn up the table below to act as a guide for employers to make the change easier to understand.  Anything higher than a score of 4 is to be taken as a ‘standard pass’ and loosely correlates to an old ‘c and above’ rating.

The top grades in the new system give high achievers more differentiation, although it has been stated that fewer 9’s will be awarded than A*’s, allowing more emphasis for exceptional pupils.

This new system will first come into play for 2018 GCSE results. So, if you are recruiting for entry-level roles, you may well start to see this on applications from May. Just get in touch with us if you need any support.