What do GCSE results mean? How grades compare with ABC system


What do GCSE results mean? How grades compare with ABC system

What do GCSE results mean? How grades compare with ABC system

Students are getting their GCSE results in what is another record day for top grades.

Pupils are being awarded qualifications based on teacher assessments after the cancellation of officials exams due to the Covid pandemic.

Nearly half a million teenagers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are getting grades based on mock exams, homework and coursework.

In years gone by students in England were given grades A-E based on their marks.

But the system was changed by the Conservative government in 2014 as part of new curriculum plans for England.

A numerical system is now in place, with students given grades 1-9.

Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister who was education secretary at the time, said the changes were aimed at driving up performance.

According to Ofqual, the exams regulator, grade 7 is equivalent to an A. Grade 8 is considered a strong A and grade 9 an A*.

Grade 4, a “standard pass”, is equivalent to a C while grade 5 – also a C – is deemed a “strong pass” and grade 6 is equivalent to a B.

The reforms were phased in over a number of years and not fully implemented until summer last year.

Ofqual said the changes were introduced “to keep pace with universities’ and employers’ demands.”

The majority of students in Northern Ireland and Wales are still graded using an alphabetical system. Scotland uses its own exam system, known as Nationals and Highers.

The proportion of GCSE entries awarded top grades has surged to an all-time.

Overall, 28.9 per cent of UK GCSE entries were awarded one of the top grades this year, up by 2.7 percentage points on last year when 26.2 per cent achieved the top grades, figures for England, Wales and Northern Ireland show.

In 2019, when exams were last held, only a fifth (20.8 per cent) of entries achieved at least a 7 or an A grade.


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